Parliamentary research service publications in English – where to find them

A worldwide guide to the sources of parliamentary research publications in English. The guide covers the output of parliamentary library and research services in the form of briefings, studies and other documents that are publicly available.

Topical search engines for parliamentary research publications in English are now available on a dedicated page. They permit a one-stop search of selected sources mentioned in the guide below. They are very useful to get a picture of what different services are offering on a single topic, and can offer a quick start to learn about an issue.


Australia

Parliament of Australia – Parliamentary Library

*New parliamentary research publications are shown on this page, which also has search options for older publications.

New South Wales – Parliamentary Research Service

Research papers may be browsed and searched.

Queensland – Parliamentary Library

Research publications available online are currently (Feb 2020) limited to a series ‘Economy tracker’ covering Queensland and Australia as a whole.

Victoria – Parliamentary Library Research Service

Research papers may be browsed and searched. A new site is in BETA.

Single search for Australasia

Single search for Australasia. BETA This covers the national parliaments of Australia and New Zealand plus the state parliaments of Australia for which research publications are available.

Canada – Library of Parliament

*Research papers are searchable online.

European Union

The European Commission and the many agencies of the European Union produce a treasury of research publications, which can normally be found on the excellent Office of Publications website – together with all/most of the publications found in the parliamentary sources below.

EU ‘parliamentary’ single search

EU ‘parliamentary’ single search BETA This covers all the EU sources below

European Parliament

The *central database of research products created by the European Parliament Policy Departments working for parliamentary committees and the European Parliamentary Research Service ‘EPRS’. One of the Policy Departments – serving committees for agriculture, fisheries, transport, regional development, culture and education – also has a blog with a summary of each of its products. The EPRS blog covers its services’ products in the EP central database but also there are some additional features such as a ‘graphics warehouse’ with graphics that anyone may use and A ‘scrutiny toolbox’. Videos of expert events are listed and linked to their site on YouTube. Note that the European Parliament common database of research is called the ‘Think Tank’ and, rather confusingly, the address of the EPRS blog is the epthinktank.eu. They are not the same thing and the coverage by the blog of studies and briefings is significantly less than the contents of the research database. The Think Tank Research database includes publications of all the EP research services, not only the EPRS.

The European Union has other bodies beyond the Parliament with a role in legislation and they also produce library/research publications prepared for their decision-makers.

Council of the European Union – Library

The Library of the Council produces a very useful monthly summary of think-tank papers from around the world.

Committee of the Regions

Although it partners with EPRS the CoR also contracts external experts to prepare studies, which can be browsed by year or searched.

European Economic & Social Committee

The EESC contracts external experts to prepare studies in its areas of interest.

Ghana – Parliament Research Department

 *Research publications of various types can be browsed here.

India – Lok Sabha Research and Information Division

Information Bulletins can be browsed in the Digital Library. There is also a page for Research Notes (with at least some overlap in content with the first page) on the Library website.

Single search for Indian subcontinent. BETA Covers the national parliaments of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Ireland – Oireachtas Library & Research Service

*Research publications can be browsed or searched on the same page.

Single search for Ireland & Northern Ireland. BETA

Israel – Knesset Research & Information Centre

The Knesset research is produced in Hebrew but ‘papers that are of special relevance on an international level’ are translated into English.

Japan – National Diet Library

English translations of selected materials on Japanese society, economics, legislation, and other issues for the benefit of research analysts in parliamentary libraries throughout the world”

New Zealand – Parliamentary Library

*Research papers from 2018 to date are listed on this page. Earlier papers are listed separately and are searchable.

Single search for Australasia. BETA This covers the national parliaments of Australia and New Zealand plus the state parliaments of Australia for which research publications are available

Pakistan – Institute for Parliamentary Services

A digest of research is published online. BETA

Single search for Indian subcontinent. BETA Covers the national parliaments of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka – Parliament Secretariat

The Parliament of Sri Lanka publishes a journal of its research.

Single search for Indian subcontinent. BETA Covers the national parliaments of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

United Kingdom

House of Commons Library / House of Lords Library / POST

As of February 2020 there is still a *a single point of access to the research publications of the House of Commons Library, the House of Lords Library and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). This will be replaced by ‘microsites’ for the three services – two have already appeared. It is understood that the intention is to retain a central hub to redirect to the three sites and to create a unified search so that users on any of the sites will get results from all three. The Parliament website as a whole is also under redesign.

Micro sites

The House of Commons Library blog (in BETA in February 2020) has all of its research publications to browse and search.

The House of Lords Library blog (launched in BETA in February 2020) has its research publications to browse and search.

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology has, for now, only its own pages on the existing Parliament website, no blog. Publications can be browsed; search is the general search for the Parliament website.

Scottish Parliament – SPICE

Scottish Parliament research briefings from April 2017 are available from their digital hub. Earlier briefings are at a separate address.

National Assembly for Wales – Senedd Research

Senedd research papers are searchable and browsable online.

Northern Ireland Assembly – RaISe

Research publications are browsable by year. The default is the current year and previous years are on the right side of the page.

Single search for Ireland & Northern Ireland. BETA

UK parliaments’ single search

UK parliaments’ research publications single search BETA

United Nations – Dag Hammarskjöld Library

The UN considers itself a parliamentary body. The Dag Hammarskjöld Library of the headquarters is, therefore, a parliamentary library. It does not itself publish research publications but it produces very useful ‘Research Guides’ to a wide range of topics of interest to UN delegates and others.

United States of America – Congressional Research Service

The CRS, until recently, kept all its products confidential, although many were published unofficially on various websites. The CRS has now made a large part of its output officially available through the *website ‘CRS Reports‘.


Notes

Not all services publish their output. Some services publish only part of their output – research may be kept confidential for individual Members or Committees, for example. (Some of that output ends up on the internet anyway, but there are no unofficial sources in this guide). Some services only publish part of their output in English – research in other languages is not covered by this guide. Some services also publish in other media and formats – video, audio – but they may not be found using the sources here.

If you are a parliamentary research/library service that makes English language publications or other resources available to the public online, you are welcome to get in touch giving the relevant link and description of what is available. Also please get in touch if you find any errors or omissions in the guide.

Since launching this page in February 2020 a colleague has helped create a similar page for German language sources of parliamentary research service publications. Colleagues from Portuguese and Spanish language services have also been in touch and they intend to create similar guides for content in those languages. Links to those guides will be added here when available.

From the brief experience of compiling the list above it could be that services need to offer more explanation of what is included and excluded on the relevant pages and databases, describe the date range of products available, and offer more help on how to search.

Iain Watt, Information@Work, February 2020