Usage: 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.
search techniques must be learned and practiced to be
effective. The common practice of just entering a couple
of words into Google with the hope of "finding
something" is not a serious research strategy.
Strategy Tips and Tutorials
• The University of California at Berkeley posts an extensive tutorial at Finding Information on the Internet: A Tutorial.
• BBC's WebWise is a thorough free online interactive tutorial on the use of the Internet, from the British Broadcasting Corporation.
• Laura Cohen, Web Support Librarian,
University at Albany, SUNY, writes and posts very helpful
and frequently updated Internet
Tutorials on using and searching the Internet.
• The Ohio State University Libraries offer net.TUTOR, free "interactive tutorials on basic tools and techniques for becoming an effective Internet researcher."
• The Virtual
Training Suite, from the UK, is "a set of
[free, subject-specific] online tutorials designed to help
students, lecturers and researchers improve their Internet
information skills. The tutorials offer self-directed
learning, take around an hour each to complete, and
include quizzes and interactive exercises to lighten the
learning experience." Many subject matters and their key
sites are featured.
More Effective Use of Search Engines
• Your use of the Google search engine
may be aided by consulting the advice from Google's Web Search
Help and Inside Search
pages and the Official Google
Blog. There is also an informative unofficial blog
• 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.
• The Global Studies Search Engine, from the Center for Global Studies of the University of Illinois, "offers researchers more precise search capabilities by pulling information from a limited pool of academic research centers, intergovernmental organizations, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations. These sources have been selected by CGS staff for their focus on data sources, policy, theoretical debates, methodological challenges, program description, and curricular concerns."
• Of special interest for international affairs searching is Glearch, which allows you to search for language and country-specific content in "top results from Google, Yahoo and Bing as well as the most popular search engines for the selected country."
• Scirus is "the most comprehensive science-specific search engine on the Internet [and] searches over 545 million science-specific Web pages," including many international studies social science resources. The "Advanced Search" feature is useful for international affairs searches.
• 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 for Global Studies, Human Rights, Think Tank Publications, the LibGuides library reference system, Library Holdings Worldwide, Scholarly Literature, Canadian Newspaper Articles, Nongovernmental Organizations, Intergovernmental Organizations, International Development, International Relations and Security, Military Affairs, and the US Government, among others.
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."
• Puzzled by all these search engines? There are thousands of them, and some relatively unknown ones may be of interest to you. Resolve your doubts and uncertainties at the following: Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Showdown, and Pandia Search and Social. About's Web Search explains search engines and techniques, and offers a weekly newsletter.
• Search Engine Colossus, Search Engines 2, and Search Engine Guide are comprehensive global master directories of local search engines for regional, country, or language-specific searches. Yahoo! provides country-specific, regional, and official government site search options.
Beyond Search Engines
• The "Deep Web" is a vast area of the Internet (probably well over half of it) that most search engines (including Google) fail to index. CompletePlanet helps you to reach those depths through thousands of databases, directories, and specialty search engines. Also see Alisa Miller's "100 Useful Tips and Tools to Research the Deep Web."
• "Academic and Scholar Search Engines and Sources" by Marcus P. Zillman, Executive Director of the Virtual Private Library and Internet search 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 is his Searching the Internet page. Mr. Zillman also posts a list of his excellent and numerous White Papers on Internet Research.
• Research Buzz is a website and newsletter that covers search strategies, "search engines, databases, digitization projects, and all kinds of online information collections."
• For translations, try Bing Translator and Google
translates text and Web pages among many languages. See
the General Resources for Foreign Languages
page of this WWW Virtual Library for more free online
translation resources, among diverse languages.
• Many of the larger online publications
are in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF),
rather than in browser-readable HTML. In order to view
these files, you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader,
downloadable in many languages without charge from the
Adobe Web site.
• Practice a foreign language or listen to online stations worldwide with RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, or Winamp. Also enjoy the convenient paid vTuner to find thousands of online stations. Select stations from the links found in the "International Radio and Television" section of this site.
• GUISD Pew Case Study Center-- From the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, numerous free case studies and case reference material for use in teaching international relations and related subjects. Free registration is required.
• IPSA Portal-- "The portal of the International Political Science Association and an official online IPSA publication. Hundreds of useful, rich and qualitatively outstanding websites for political science are selected, reviewed and evaluated by IPSA in order to provide scholars and students of the discipline worldwide a useful tool for online research."
• The International Studies Association maintains an International Studies Compendium Project dataset page with a directory of links to freely available online datasets for academic international studies use.
• Open Access Theses and
Dissertations-- "Index of over 1.6 million
electronic theses and dissertations... [mainly] records of
graduate-level theses that are freely available online,"
including many on international topics.
• Political Research Online (PROL)--
Thousands of pre-publication professional papers are
available for cost-free download here, many of them in
international studies topics. This site is a collaborative
effort of the American Political Science Association and a
consortium of political science and related organizations
to make conference, other preprint, and research center
and institute papers widely accessible.
• The Social Science Research
Network "is devoted to the rapid worldwide
dissemination of social science research and is composed
of a number of specialized research networks in each of
the social sciences." Thousands of academic and research
institute papers are available for free download,
including many in international studies topics.