How to Use This Virtual Library as a
Guide to Quality Internet Research in International
This section of the WWW Virtual Library system is a frequently updated Internet directory of over 2000 annotated links to high-quality English-language sources of current information and analysis in a wide range of international affairs, international relations, international studies, global studies, and global education topics. These sites are carefully selected for their long-term value, including only those with cost-free, authoritative information and analysis online. Each website is described only in general terms because of the typically rapid changes in details of its contents and features. You can use the constant menu on the left-hand side of every page to navigate this whole directory, to find annotated sources of interest to you. Search within those remote sites to find the information that you seek. Resources are listed alphabetically on each page, within categories. Any major directories, specialized search engines, other locator services, or blogs are featured at the top of each page. All referred sites will open in a new window or tab of your browser.
Tips for Quality Internet Research in International Affairs
techniques for academic and related purposes must be
learned and practiced to be effective. No search engine
indexes more than a small percentage of the Internet.
The common "Quick Fix" approach of just entering a
couple of words into Google with the hope of "finding
something" is not a serious research strategy. Avoid the "Google search
trap" (relying only on Google to find your search
results). Impatience, short attention span, and
haste are the most common enemies of quality results.
Consider taking some time to learn better,
proven search techniques, to get consistently better
results on all of your searches.
More Effective Use of Search Engines-- There are many options within and beyond Google
• Your success with the Google
search engine may be greatly improved by using Google's Advanced
Search option, and by consulting the advice from
Google's Web Search
Education video webinars, Inside Search
pages, and the Official Google
Blog. There is also an informative unofficial blog
• Lifehacker posts many helpful
suggestions at Google
Tips and Tricks Every Student Should Know. Also see
to Google your Way to Better Search Results and Advanced
Google Search Shortcuts from About.com.
• Try Google
News concerning your research topic, because it
scans news sources worldwide and in many languages, with
an advanced search option. Note that there are many
different national editions available.
• Google Scholar "enables you to
search specifically for scholarly literature, including
peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts
and technical reports from all broad areas of research...
to find articles from a wide variety of academic
publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories
and universities, as well as scholarly articles available
across the web." Many international affairs sources are
included. Particularly good for finding open access, free,
and recent items.
• Different search engines tend to
produce varying results, with the same search terms.
Therefore, useful complements to Google include Bing, Yahoo!,
because they all have their own (and different) indexing
"maintains its own searchable index of over a billion
webpages." Startpage, Hulbee, Disconnect
Search, Oscobo, and DuckDuckGo
have user privacy features. 2lingual Google Search
searches simultaneously in two languages of your choice. Search-22
provide direct inquiry access to many search engines, from
a single interface. Whenever possible, on any search
engine, consider using the "advanced search" option.
• Try to find limited
area search engines in your topic of interest. They
focus sharply by searching within a specified number of
only the most relevant websites in a defined subject
matter, rather than covering the whole web. This Virtual
Library links excellent limited area search engines
tailored for Think
Tank Publications, the LibGuides
library reference system, Library Holdings
Research Theses, Scholarly Literature,
Open Access Web Resources, Open
Access Law Reviews, Nongovernmental
Union news, World News
(in many languages), and U.S.
Congressional Research Service reports, among other
15 Most Popular Search Engines" is a constantly
updated ranking from eBizMBA.
• "100 Search Engines for Academic Research," from TeachThought, is a multidisciplinary list to help you "discover the very best search engine for finding the academic results you’re looking for."
• "12 Fabulous Academic Search Engines," from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, suggests search engines that are "area or content specific."
• Information specialist Phil Bradley offers lots of tips to help you select the proper search engine or technique for your task at hand, including country-based search engines.
• If you have an older URL that no longer holds the content that you know used to be there, you may be able to retrieve that former content through the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.
• If you are seriously "searching the literature" in a topic, be sure to see the tips provided by the Thesis Whisperer in How to Become a Literature Searching Ninja and related posts on that very helpful academic blog.
Beyond Search Engines-- All of them
together index only a tiny portion of the Internet
• The "Deep Web" or the "Invisible Web" is a vast area of the Internet (by far the major portion of it) that commonly used search engines (including Google) fail to index. The Open Education Database provides "The Ultimate Guide to the Invisible Web." Also see Alisa Miller's "100 Useful Tips and Tools to Research the Deep Web." Karl Weitzenegger posts a very helpful annotated list of Deep Web Research Tools.
• "Academic and Scholar Search Engines and Sources" by Marcus P. Zillman, Executive Director of the Virtual Private Library and Internet research expert, is a helpful "research paper [in PDF] listing selected resources both new and existing that will help anyone who is attempting to find academic and scholarly information and knowledge available on the Internet." Of special interest are his Searching the Internet- A Primer, Online Research Tools, and Deep Web Research and Discovery Resources guides. Mr. Zillman also posts a list of his excellent and numerous White Papers on Internet Research.