Virtual Library

This WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources is an Internet directory of over 2000 annotated links to high-quality English-language sources of information and analysis in many international and global studies topics. Sites are carefully selected for their long-term value, favoring those with cost-free, authoritative information and analysis online.

How to Use This Virtual Library as a Guide to Quality Internet Research in International Studies


         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

Internet search techniques for academic and related purposes are specific to those fields and must be learned and practiced to be fully effective. The "Quick Fix" approach of just entering several words into Google in hopes 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 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 Help.

• Lifehacker posts many helpful suggestions at Google Tips and Tricks Every Student Should Know. Also see How to Google your Way to Better Search Results and Advanced Google Search Shortcuts from Lifewire. Beyond posts "Google Advanced Search: A Comprehensive List of Google Operators."

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. For search technique tips, see the Google Scholar Blog and the Research Buzz article "Google Scholar and the Full-Word Wildcard."

• Different search engines tend to produce varying results, with the same search terms. Therefore, useful complements to Google include Bing, Yahoo!, and Ask, because they all have their own (and different) indexing systems. Gigablast maintains its own searchable index of over one hundred billion webpages. StartPage, Disconnect Search, and DuckDuckGo have user privacy features. Search-22 and 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 Worldwide, European Research Theses, Scholarly Literature, Academic Open Access Web Resources, Open Access Law ReviewsNongovernmental Organizations, Intergovernmental Organizations, All UK Newspapers, European Union News, World News (in many languages), World Legal Information, and U.S. Congressional Research Service reports, among other subjects.

• "Top 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."

For ongoing search technique tips from an expert, see the Learning Search category at Research Buzz.

• 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. Consult the blog entry "A Few Advanced Search Tips" for best use practices.

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."

• "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.

Policy Statement

          This site is supported by Elizabethtown College, PA, USA. It does not use cookies, intrusive programs, or spyware. All information collected at this site is non-intrusive, such as site usage statistics. Such information will not be used for any purpose other than the evaluation and improvement of this site for the benefit of its users. All descriptive statements taken verbatim from the web sites annotated in this Virtual Library are in quotes. The WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources is not responsible for changes in the content of remote web sites that we link and annotate, but over which we have no control. Any subsequent change of ownership or hacking of an annotated remote site may lead to radical changes in the nature or the contents of that site, but still located at or referred through that same URL.

Top of Page

This section of the WWW Virtual Library system was created, and is edited and maintained, by Dr. Wayne A.Selcher, Professor of International Studies Emeritus, Department of Political Science, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA 17022-2288  U.S.A., as a volunteer and non-profit public service. This website copyright 1997-present by Wayne A. Selcher. E-mail: