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Benefits and Social Insurance: Home

A research guide for graduate students in SMLR course 38:578:520 and for anyone doing research in benefits, health care plans, and other employment-related social insurance plans.

Getting Started

Benefits and Social Insurance Research


This guide was developed for students attending Benefits and Social Insurance.  However, it can be used by all Rutgers students doing research on this topic, as these are issues that affect all United States citizens.

Employee Benefits:

Broad definition – Any form of employee compensation other than direct wages. 

Narrow definition – Any type of plan sponsored or initiated by employers or employees and providing benefits that stem from the employment relationship and that are not underwritten or paid directly by government.  In general, the intent is to includes plans that provide in an orderly predetermined fashion for (1) income maintenance during periods when regular earnings are cut off, and (2) benefits to meet medical expenses associated with illness or injury.

[from Roberts’ Dictionary of Industrial Relations, 4th ed., BNA, 1993.]

Social Insurance

Protection of the individual against economic hazards (as unemployment, old age, or disability) in which the government participates or enforces the participation of employers and affected individuals.  [Merriam Webster Online,]

Approaching Your Assignment

Before you begin searching for sources for your assignment, here are some suggestions to consider:

  • First, be sure that you fully understand your assignment. Does your intended topic meet all of the parameters of your assignment? What types of sources should you be searching for: books, academic journals, or news/magazine articles?
  • When you are ready to begin searching for sources, consider all of the key words that relate to your topic.  Keep in mind that it is common for multiple terms to refer to the same topic; for example, there is overlap in the terms "health insurance" and "employee benefits." Try searching using all of the terms that relate to your topic to find as many relevant sources as possible.
  • Consider the scope of each type of source that can be used in your assignment. Books generally provide a broad overview of a topic, while journal articles will target one very specific aspect of it.  News and magazine articles are produced the fastest, so they tend to be the most up-to-date.
  • If you're having trouble finding sources for your topic, feel free to ask a reference librarian for assistance.

Labor Relations & HR Librarian

Julie Peters
James Carey Library
Labor Education Center (Cook Campus)
50 Labor Center Way
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
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