Think tank, as defined by Culture Wars: An Encyclopedia of Issues, Viewpoints and Voices, is a "nongovernmental, nonprofit organization that devotes a significant portion of its activities to public policy analysis. Think tanks identify policy issues, evaluate ideas, and design public policies."
Think tanks can be a great resource for research on a variety of topics, but you need to be mindful that they can be, and often are, advocacy-oriented.
The fact that a think tank may refer to itself as non-partisan means simply that it has no formal connection to a political party; however, it might have an ideological orientation more consistent with a given political party. The pages that follow list numerous think tanks, foundations and institutes and identify each with a political ideology (categorized here as liberal, moderate/centrist, or conservative), based on its research foci and reporting.
This guide was adapted with permisson from Roger Kosson, Social Sciences Librarian at Denison University's Doane Library.
Revised by L. Richter, 7/14.