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 resources for a wide range of international affairs, international relations, international studies, global studies, and global education topics. These sites are recommended for regular research use, and are carefully selected for their cost-free, authoritative, and reliable information and analysis. Each website is described only in general terms because of the typically rapid changes in details of its contents and features. Use the constant menu on the left-hand side of every page to navigate this whole directory by topic, 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 Studies
techniques for academic and related purposes are
specific and must be learned and practiced to be fully
effective. The common "Quick Fix" approach of just
entering several words into Google with the hope of
"finding something" is not a complete research strategy. Impatience, short attention span, and
haste are the most common enemies of top-quality
results. Consider taking 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
• 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 Lifewire.
• 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 one hundred
billion webpages. StartPage, Hulbee, Disconnect
Search, Oscobo, and DuckDuckGo
have user privacy features. Search-22 and Info.com
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 to 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
UK Newspapers, European
Union News, World News
(in many languages), World Legal Information,
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 acquaint you with specialized search engines and guides for academic purposes.
• "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 listing of "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.