Welcome! We are providing this site to assist you in exploring library resources on your topic. Our library is one of the largest in the United States and it can be very intimidating. We will try to make things a little easier for you, but you have to ask questions. It takes patience, curiosity, and a sense of adventure to use our resources and facilities so think of this page as a road map for your travels with us.
Citing a Source – Find out about the wide variety of citation styles for both print and electronic resources.
RefWorks is a wonderful bibliographic collection and production tool. To learn more about RefWorks, attend a Savvy Researcher Session at the University Library.
Thinking Critically About Information Sources
Guide to Critical Thinking – Use this checklist to evaluate a potential information source and determine its suitability for your information needs.
Evaluating Information – These questions may help you decide what is authoritative and what is not.
Primary, Secondary and Other Types of Resources
What are Primary Sources?
If you are seeking to learn about the past, primary sources of information are those that provide first-hand accounts of the events, practices, or conditions you are researching. In general, these are documents that were created by the witnesses or first recorders of these events at about the time they occurred, and include diaries, letters, reports, photographs, creative works, financial records, memos, and newspaper articles (to name just a few types).
Access to Primary Resources:
News resources can be very helpful and provide a good basis for your understanding of global issues. We frequently forget that these reports are written from a particular point of view. We have provided a number of sources for you to explore that include the New York Times, sometimes known as the paper of record for the United States, as well as various other resources from the U.S. and around the world.
- Arab world – Al-Jazeera
- England – B.B.C.
- France – Monde diplomatique
- Hong Kong – Asia Times
- India – Times of India
- Japan – Japan Times
- Latin America – Zona Latina Collection
- Russia – Moscow Times
- South Africa – African Sun Times
- United States – New York Times
Searchable News Databases
- Access World News – A large aggregation of news articles in English from around the world.
- Emerging Markets – As complex as you can get but emphasizes news about economic development in a large number of countries, in many languages.
- Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe – Full text world publications (news, transcripts).
- Watching America – This is an independent web site that translates a wide variety of newspaper articles.
- Library PressDisplay – Facsimile front pages and papers from around the world for the last week.
- Ethnic NewsWatch: Ethnic News Watch includes full text publications for 200 newspapers and journals of the ethnic, minority, and native press from 1959 – present.
- World Newspaper Archive: Identifies articles from hundreds of Newspapers from around the United States and the World.
Government and IGO Documents
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
- Doha Ministerial Declaration (WTO)
Other Primary Resources Online
What are Secondary Sources?
Secondary sources are documents written after an event has occurred, providing secondhand accounts of that event, person, or topic. Unlike primary sources, which provide first-hand accounts, secondary sources offer different perspectives, analysis, and conclusions of those accounts. They can also be reports of original research in specific areas of study. They include journal and magazine articles, encyclopedias, textbooks, and newspaper articles that do not report specific events, but interpret these events.
What is a scholarly resource?
Scholarly sources (also referred to as academic, peer-reviewed, or refereed) are written by experts in a particular field and serve to keep others interested in that field up to date on the most recent research, findings, and news. These resources will provide the most substantial information for your research and papers. When a source has been peer-reviewed it has undergone the review and scrutiny of a review board of colleagues in the author’s field. They evaluate this source as part of the body of research for a particular discipline and make recommendations regarding its publication in a journal, revisions prior to publication, or, in some cases, reject its publication.
Access to Secondary Sources
- ABI-Inform Complete – A very useful database for research on business, economics, management, business trends, accounting and finance, and more.
- Biological Abstracts (BIOSIS) – Includes citations to articles in biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, botany, medicine, pharmacology, zoology, agriculture and veterinary medicine.
- Business Source Complete – Another business and economics focused database that is slightly more scholarly in nature than ABI-Inform.
- CAB Abstracts – An interdisciplinary index for applied life sciences includes agriculture, environment, veterinary sciences, applied economics, food science and nutrition.
- CIAO (Columbia International Affairs Online) – A wide-ranging source for information on international affairs and policy studies found in full text materials that include working papers from university research institutes, occasional papers series from NGOs, foundation-funded research projects, proceedings from conferences, books, journals and policy briefs.
- GeoRef – Identifies articles, books and other publications on geology and earth sciences.
- PAIS (Public Affairs Information Service) – Identifies articles, books, websites, statistics, yearbooks, directories, conference proceedings, pamphlets, reports, government documents, and microfiches on political, social, public policy issues from 1915 to date.
- Web of Science – Includes Science Citation Index, Social Science Citation Index and Arts & Humanities Citation Index.
- Women’s Studies International – Identifies articles, books, chapters, gray literature and media on women’s studies and feminism.
- Worldwide Political Science Abstracts – Identifies articles on political science, international relations, law, public administration/policy and political economy.
- ICPSR – The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research archives a large number of datasets. If you have problems downloading any of these, please contact ATLAS for assistance.
- LexisNexis Statistical Universe – Find publications, tables, and datasets on a wide variety of topics.
- Eurostats – The European Union collects a large number of statistics about its member countries.
- Statistical Abstracts of the United States
- OECD – Statistics for both developing and developed economies.
- United Nations Statistics Division – Compiles economic, development, and environmental statistics from international sources, and provides resources on statistical and data collection methods.
- Roper Center for Public Opinion Research – Site includes links to the iPoll database, news, express dataset download and selected topics that have been used for polling. Also includes the General Social Survey from 1972-2008.
- Pew Research Center – Center is well know for the polling it does in many areas, but especially the Internet.
Sources for Country Information
- EIU Country Intelligence – Provides quarterly analysis and forecasts of the political, economic and business environment for nearly 200 countries. Quarterly and annual statistics of at least 150 data points. Country Intelligence contains country reports and profiles, risk ratings, licensing and trading information for the new economies, plus G-8 and regional forecasts. An online newsletter, Business Middle East, is also included.
- Europa World Plus – Combines the Europa World Yearbook and the Europa Regional Survey of the World in an online resource. An absolutely fantastic site for country information including current news on elections, recent events, and even allows you to compare statistics between countries of the world.
- Political Risk Yearbook – This wide-ranging resource provides information concerning political and business stability in many countries.
- CIA World Factbook – Frequent updates – includes map, overview, politics, economics, population, and more. Last section for entry usually includes “transnational issues” including internal disputes.
- TED Talks – This excellent resource originally brought together speakers from fields related to Technology, Entertainment and Design, but has immensely expanded the topics. Most talks are brief, entertaining and thought provoking.
- Center for Global Studies Multimedia – The Center for Global Studies maintains an archive of streaming videos, powerpoints and pdfs on global studies presentations hosted at the University of Illinois, as well as links to broadcasts and web-blogs from co-sponsored programs.
Attend an Event
- The Center for Global Studies and ACDIC host frequent Teach-Ins, talks, lectures, and panels covering a wide range of global issues. See the Center’s calendar here!
Find Conference Proceedings
Conference Proceedings are sometimes very difficult to find, and even more difficult to assess. They make up part of the body of “grey” literature, meaning writings that are not regularly distributed in the same way as other works. Sometimes they are published like books, sometimes they only exist on the website of the conference. The following databases should be of some help in finding the papers from a variety of proceedings.
- ProceedingsFirst – Identifies records for congresses, symposia, conferences, expositions, workshops and meetings, providing a list of the papers presented at each.
Having Trouble Pulling It All Together?
Sometimes we have problems meaning what we say and saying what we mean. If you would like to have someone work with you, contact the Writers Workshop. From their website: “The Writers Workshop, part of the Center for Writing Studies, is the writing center at Illinois. We provide free writing assistance for University of Illinois students, faculty, and staff from all disciplines and at all stages of the writing process. Discuss your writing with consultants who are experienced writers and teachers of writing. Call (217) 333-8796 (or drop-in) to set up a 50-minute session at one of the four Workshop locations. Please see our appointment, schedule and policies pages for more information”.