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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.

Background Resources

Citing Your Sources

Thinking Critically About Information Sources

Find Materials in a Specialized Databases

  • 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.
  • JSTOR – JSTOR identifies publications, research and content across disciplines.
  • Academic Search Complete – This multi-disciplinary database provides full text for more than 4,600 journals, including full text for nearly 3,900 peer-reviewed titles.
  • International Bibliography of Social Sciences – This database for social science and interdisciplinary research includes over two million bibliographic references to journal articles and to books, reviews and selected chapters dating back to 1951.
  • International Affairs Resources – Part of the WWW Virtual Library, this gateway provides sources of information and analysis in a wide range of international affairs, international relations, international studies, global studies, and global education topics.

Find Statistical Sources

  • 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.
  • Eurostats – The European Union collects a large number of statistics about its member countries.
  • SourceOECD – Click the statistics tab at the top of the page for information on both developing and developed economies.
  • ProQuest Statistical Insights – This database includes statistical datasets and statistical publications from the US Government, UN, EU, OECD, and private sector sources.
  • United Nations Statistics Division – Compiles economic, development, and environmental statistics from international sources, and provides resources on statistical and data collection methods.
  • Pew Research Center – Center is well know for the polling it does in many areas, but especially the Internet.
  • World Bank Data Catalog – The data catalog is a listing of available World Bank datasets, including databases, pre-formatted tables, reports, and other resources.
  • IMF Data and Statistics – Includes data from the International Monetary Fund as well as manuals, guides, and other material on statistical practices of the statistical community at large.

Media Sources

Newspapers (online)

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.

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.
  • Nexis Uni – 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.

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..
  • CIA World Factbook – Frequent updates – includes map, overview, politics, economics, population, and more. Last section for entry usually includes “transnational issues” including internal disputes.

The United Nations

  • AccessUN (1946-) – This is an index to the UN microfiche/microprint collection that includes documents, Official Records, periodicals, periodical articles, and sales publications of the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, Trusteeship Council, International Court of Justice and the Secretariat.
  • United Nations Documents Index (UN.ST/LIB/Ser.N – Documents Library) – The main print index to the documents and publications of the UN and its subsidiary bodies. While you are using these in the Documents Library, ask the reference librarian about the changes that have occurred over the years if you are interested in pre-1998 items. While you are there, ask them about the Index to Proceedings of the General Assembly, Index to the Proceedings of the Security Council, Index to the Proceedings of the Trusteeship Council, and Index to the Proceedings of the Economic and Social Council.
  • UN-I-QUE – This is a database created by the United Nations/Specialized Agencies Reference Desk of the Dag Hammarskjold Library in response to frequently asked questions. It emphasizes access to special documents that are sold by the UN.

Regional IGOs

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.

Finding Online Journals and Databases

This link goes to the list of online journals and databases available through the Library.  If you see this image associated with any of the articles you are interested in, click on it to see if the full text of the work is available through our collections.  You can also search for specific journal and database titles using Finding Online Journals and Databases.  If you have the citation to an article of interest, go to Journal and Article Locator and enter the requested information.  If neither of these work, go to the online catalog to see if the title is available in print in the Library.  If you still cannot find the article you are interested in, go to Iliad, our interlibrary loan service and place a request.  You will receive an email when the article arrives and usually you will be able to link directly to it.

The UIUC Library also provides a listing of databases by subject.

Finding Books

Use the online catalog to search for print and online books.  In addition to the 14 million books we have in our library, we belong to a consortium of libraries called I-Share.  If you can’t find something here, you may well find it in that collection which is also part of our library catalog.