IAS 102: Scope and Methods in International and Area Studies

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  • James Church
  • Office Hours: By appointment
  • Office Location: 438 Doe Library
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    510 678-7611

About this Guide

This guide serves as a basic research tool for locating information on a wide range of primary and secondary resources of interest to conducting research in international & area studies.

Electronic Resource Finder

The most important research section of the library web site is the Library Electronic Resource Finder. This is the library directory of databases and other information resources, organized by subject (e.g. political science) type (e.g. encyclopedias) as well as other categories. It also contains a link to a comprehensive listing of library e-journals.

Campus Library Map

Click on the image below to see a larger interactive version of the campus library map.

UC Berkeley Library campus map

You can also view/download a PDF map of library locations. For library contact information and building addresses, visit our directory.

Catalogs & Search Engines

Find a book that matches your topic and go to the call number range to browse. Check the references and bibliography.

Google Scholar
. Functions as both a key word database for articles and books. It automatically connects to select licensed content held by the UC libraries. 

Google Books. Millions of scanned books worldwide.  Search the text of the books, view previews or "snippets" from books still in copyright, and read the full text of out-of-copyright books.  To read the text of a copyrighted book, use the Find in a Library link to locate the book at UC Berkeley or search OskiCat.

Oskicat. UC Berkeley libraries catalog. Includes records for most UCB library materials, including books, e-books, journal and e-journal titles, films and videos, maps, archival materials, and much more. See also the Quick Guide to Oskicat and Oskicat Tutorial.

Melvyl
. Catalog for all UC Campus libraries, including selected libraries on campus not in Oskicat, e.g. the Boalt Law Library. 

Connecting from Off Campus

You can access UCB Library resources from off campus or via your laptop or other mobile device using one of two simple methods:

Proxy Server
After you make a one-time change in your web browser settings, the proxy server will ask you to log in with a CalNet ID or Library PIN when you click on the link to a licensed resource. See the setup instructions, FAQ, and Troubleshooting pages to configure your browser.

VPN (Virtual Private Network)
After you install and run the VPN "client" software on your computer, you can log in with a CalNet ID to establish a secure connection with the campus network.

Encyclopedias Handbooks and Reference Works

For additional background sources and encyclopedias go the library "Find Electronic Resources" finder and select either Encyclopedias and Almanacs. Before you begin please also see this excellent library guide on Critical Evaluation of Resources.

Cambridge Encyclopedias.  Excellent regional, multi-volume encyclopedias.

Latin America and the Caribbean  Doe ReF F1406.C36 1992
India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal &  Bhutan  Doe Ref: DS334.9 .C36 1989
Africa  Doe Ref DT3 .C35 1981
Middle East and North Africa Main DS44 .C371 1988
Russia and the Soviet Union Main DK14 .C35 1982
China East Asia DS735 .C3145 (Fairbank Edition).

eHRAF World Cultures.  Indexes mostly primary source material on cultures or societies representing all major areas of the world. Includes many rare sources as well as English translations of foreign texts.

Encyclopedia of Diasporas: Immigrant and Refugee Cultures around the World
. Arranged in two volumes, with Vol. 1 focused on Overviews and Topics, and Vol. 2, Diaspora Communities. Edited at Yale University.

Encyclopedia of Social Measurement. Contains over 350 articleson all aspects of Social Measurement and related social sciences, covering the core theories, methods, and techniques employed by social scientists.

Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Country Reports and Profiles. Indexes studies that provide analysis and forecasts of the political, economic, and business environments in more than 180 countries. Annual profiles are updated by quarterly reports.

Human Development Report Library
. The web site includes the UNDP flagship publication the Human Development Report, as well as national human development reports from over 250 countries and regions.

International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (IESBS)
. The electronic version of the 26 volume IESBS set published in 2001. It contains over 3800 articles spread over 99 subject areas. 

Library of Congress Country Studies
. Description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of countries throughout the world.

Oxford Reference Online - Politics and Social Sciences
. Access to nine reference sources published by Oxford University Press on the topic of World History, Geography, Politics and Sociology. Search all sources collectively or search within an individual title.

Routledge Politics and International Relations Online
. Extensive ollection of reference books and encyclopedias from Routledge. Coverage includes globalization, international security, political thought, peace and conflict, political chronologies and more.

Sage handbook of qualitative research. Print only at Public Health Library, earlier editions at several library locations.  This is only one example of many Sage Handbooks across multiple disciplines. To find more simply type "sage handbook" into Oskicat.

Secondary Sources in International & Area Studies

A secondary source is a work that interprets or analyzes an event or phenomenon.  It is generally  one step removed from the event and is often based on primary sources, including research data.  Examples include scholarly books and journal articles. A good way to find secondary sources is by searching library databases.

A library databases is like a search engines that indexes the scholarly and popular literature - both books and articles - on a specific academic discipline or disciplines, geographic regions, or types of information (e.g. statistics or news). See the sections below for databases in Anthropology and Sociology as well as  International & Regional Studies, Economics and Politics, and History.

Sociology & Anthropology Databases

Anthropology Plus. Indexes journal articles, essays, reports, commentaries, edited works, and obituaries in the fields of social, cultural, physical, biological, and linguistic anthropology as well as ethnology, archaeology, folklore, and material culture. This database combines the resources of Anthropological Index and Anthropological Literature.

Elsevier Geography.  Indexes over 2000 journals, monographs, books, conference proceedings, and theses covering the international literature in human geography, as well as international development issues.

Family and Society Studies Worldwide. Indexes books, scholarly journals, magazines, reports, proceedings, statistics, dissertations, and websites worldwide related to social science research about the family and society.

International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS). Indexes over 3000 journals, books, chapters, and book reviews in the fields of economics, political science, sociology, and anthropology from more than 100 countries. More than 70 languages are represented, with 30% percent of records published in languages other than English. (You may also search all Social Sciences databases on this platform).

JSTOR. Includes over 1000 scholarly journals with access to more than 2 million articles. JSTOR is an archive which means that current issues (generally the most recent 3-5 years) of the journals are not yet available. 

Project MUSE. Scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences. Topics include literature and criticism, history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, economics and many others.

ProQuest Social Sciences. Interdisciplinary metasearch through 22 of the the social sciences indexes on the ProQuest platform. Includes EconLit, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS), Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts, PAIS, PsycInfo, Sociological Abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts and more.

Sociological Abstracts. Indexes over 1,900 journals, books, dissertations, and reviews in the social sciences on sociological topics as well as selected anthropology, criminology, demography, law, social psychology, and urban development. (You may also search all Social Sciences databases on this platform).

Social Work Abstracts. Indexes more than 450 journals related to social work on topics such as homelessness, AIDS, child and family welfare, aging, substance abuse, legislation, and community organization.

Urban Studies and Planning: A SAGE Full-Text Collection. Covers  Economic Development, Planning Practice and Theory, Policy Analysis, Political Science, Public Administration, Regional Geography, Residential and Community Development, Urban and Regional Planning, Urban Policy, and Welfare Economics.

Web of Science. Indexes over 8,000 of the leading journals in the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences, providing searching of footnoted citations. Includes the Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Science Citation Index, and Social Sciences Citation Index.

Women's Studies International. Indexes books, journals, magazines, and other resources related to research and commentary on women and women's issues, feminism, and gender.

International & Area Databases

ABSEES Online Database. Indexes journal articles, books, dissertations, selected government publications, and online resources published in the US and Canada on East and Central Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet Union. Covers the more recent years of the print equivalent, American Bibliography of Slavic and East European Studies.

Africa-Wide NiPADA comprehensive database covering journals, magazines, newspapers, broadcasts, books and more on all aspects of Africa including politics, history, economics, literature, music and natural sciences. Combines the databases previously known as African Studies and South African Studies.

Bibliography of Asian Studies (BAS)Over 500,000 citations to journal articles, books, and conference proceedings worldwide on the countries, histories, and cultures of East, South, and Southeast Asia.

Handbook of Latin American StudiesIndexes books, journals and proceedings to create an annual bibliography on Latin America consisting of works selected and annotated by scholars, alternating between focusing on the humanities and the social sciences.

International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS)   . Indexes over 3000 journals, books, chapters, and book reviews in the fields of economics, political science, sociology, and anthropology from more than 100 countries. More than 70 languages are represented, with 30% percent of records published in languages other than English. (Search all ProQuest Social Sciences databases.)

Index IslamicusIndexes literature on Islam, the Middle East and the Muslim world. Over 3,000 journals are monitored for inclusion in the database, together with conference proceedings, monographs, multi-authored works and book reviews. Journals and books are indexed down to the article and chapter level.

Politics & Economics Databases

This page lists databases for finding information on the political and economic aspects of global poverty & practice.  For additional information on these topics please also see the section on Government Information in this guide.

Alternative Press Index.  Alternative, radical, and left magazines, newsletters, and journals in North America which report and analyze issues of cultural, economic, political, and social change. Approximately 90% of publications included are not indexed elsewhere. The Alternative Press Index Archive covers materials from 1969 to 1990.

CIAO (Columbia International Affairs Online). Indexes journals, books, policy briefs, working papers, and conference proceedings from research institutes worldwide related to international affairs analysis and advocacy materials. Also includes links to international affairs Internet sources.

EconLit. The most comprehensive index to scholarly journal articles in economics. It also lists books and dissertations, and indexes articles within 'collective works' (books consisting of collections of essays or individual papers). Most citations include a searchable abstract. (You may also search all Social Sciences databases on this platform.)

Elsevier Geography.  Indexes over 2000 journals, monographs, books, conference proceedings, and theses covering the international literature in human geography, as well as international development issues.

JSTOR. Includes over 1000 scholarly journals with access to more than 2 million articles. JSTOR is an archive which means that current issues (generally the most recent 3-5 years) of the journals are not yet available.

PAIS International. Indexes books, journals, government documents, statistical directories, grey literature, research reports, conference reports, and web sources related to public policy, politics, economics, and social issues worldwide. Includes publications from over 120 countries. (You may also search all Social Sciences databases on this platform).

PolicyFile. Index to public policy in the areas of economics, politics, the environment, and social issues, taken from reports from a wide range of thinks tanks, Non-governmental organizations, international governmental organizations, and other institutions worldwide.

Political Science: A SAGE Full-Text Collection. Includes the full-text of 24 journals published by SAGE and participating societies, some journals going back 24 years. Covers such subjects as American Government and Politics, Policy Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies and International Relations.

ProQuest Social Sciences. Interdisciplinary metasearch through 22 of the the social sciences indexes on the ProQuest platform. Includes EconLit, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS), Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts, PAIS, PsycInfo, Sociological Abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts and more.

Web of Science. Indexes over 8,000 of the leading journals in the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences, providing searching of footnoted citations. Includes the Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Science Citation Index, and Social Sciences Citation Index.

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts.  Indexes books, journals, and dissertations within the field of political science and related to international relations, law and politics, political economy, public administration, and public policy. (You may also search all Social Sciences databases on this platform).

History Databases

The following databases are useful for finding academic articles in history journals. See also ths section below on selected primary resource databases useful for uncovering original (primary sources) such as newspapers and government information dealing with empire and the legacy of colonialism.   

America: History and Life. Indexes over 2,000 journals published worldwide on the history of the US and Canada from prehistory to the present. Includes all key English-language historical journals; selected historical journals from major countries, state, and local history journals; and a targeted selection of hundreds of journals in the social sciences and humanities.

Bibliography of British and Irish History. Covers historical writing dealing with the British Isles, and with the British Empire and Commonwealth, during all periods for which written documentation is available. To access database, click on Enter databases, then click on Bibliography of British and Irish History

Bibliography of Slavery and World Slavery. Searchable database of references to scholarly works in all disciplines and western European languages on slavery and slaving throughout the world. It includes most known print and digital materials published since 1900 covering historical and modern times.

Historical Abstracts. Indexes over 2,000 journals, as well as historical book reviews and dissertations, published worldwide about all aspects of world history (excluding US and Canada) from 1450 to the present. Articles covered were written from 1954 to the present

JSTOR. Includes over 1000 scholarly journals with access to more than 2 million articles. JSTOR is an archive which means that current issues (generally the most recent 3-5 years) of the journals are not yet available.

Periodicals Archive Online (formerly PCI Full Text)An online periodical archive that provides access to some 475 digitized journals in the humanities and social sciences. A sister database, Periodicals Index Online, provides additional indexing for articles in over 4,700 periodicals.

Project MUSE.Topics include literature and criticism, history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, economics and many others.

Primary Sources in International & Area Studies

Primary sources are either created during the time period being studied or were created at a later date by a participant in the event.  They reflect the individual viewpoint of a participant or observer.  For more information see the library guide to finding primary resources. The following sources may be used to locate primary source information from Nongovernmental Organizations, InternationalGovernment Organizations, United States Governments, Foreign National Governments, and a selection of News Sources.

News Sources

For additional sources see the library electronic resources finder news category.

ABYZ News Links
. A portal to online news sources from around the world. The database is primarily composed of links to online newspapers, but also includes many broadcast stations, internet services, magazines, and press agencies. ABYZ News Links does not contain actual news content but only links to other news sources.

Access World News
.  Global wire services, newspapers, magazines and government documents covering politics, economics, culture, business, science, and technology, worldwide.

allAfrica.com
Contains over 700,000 articles from 120 news publications throughout Africa. Also includes press releases and documents from 200 governments and non-governmental organizations in and outside of Africa. 30% of articles are in French

California Ethnic Newspapers (New California Media Online)
. Contains full-text California ethnic newspapers, many with English translations, some in the vernacular, from 2002 to present.

Factiva
.  General and business news and information from more than 9,000 sources in 22 languages, including influential local, national and international newspapers, and news wires. Includes the exclusive combination of The Wall Street Journal (1979-present), the Financial Times, Dow Jones and Reuters newswires and the Associated Press, as well as Reuters Fundamentals, and Bureau van Dijk company profiles.

Foreign Language News and Newspapers
. A list of freely available newspapers and magazines from Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian Sources. Compiled by the MIT Libraries.

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports Information from thousands of foreign media sources, including political speeches, television and radio broadcasts, newspapers, periodicals, and more, offering an extensive collection of military, political, scientific and technical reports from countries around the world, translated into English, from 1941-1996. 

LADB (Latin America Data Base)
. An online news service that provides access to three weekly electronic news bulletins about Mexico (SourceMex), Central America and the Caribbean including Cuba (NotiCen) and South America (NotiSur). LADB is also a searchable archive of over 24,000 articles.

Latin American Newspapers.
  This growing archive of Latin American newspapers contains more than 150,000 pages of content. New content is being added regularly and will eventually contain more than 1.5 million pages. Included in the collection are: Comercio from Peru; El Dictamen, Mexican Herald and Excelsior from Mexico; Prensa and Razon from Argentina; and more

LexisNexis Academic
. Includes over 6,000 individual titles of international, national and local newspapers and wire services; radio and television transcripts; and business, medical, industry, and legislative magazines, journals, and newsletters. Wide geographic coverage and translations from foreign-language sources.

Mideastwire.com
.  Brief English translations of Arabic, Kurdish, and Persian news articles from 22 Arab countries, Iran and the Diaspora. Subjects covered are Middle East and North African politics, culture, economy, and opinion pieces appearing in the print, radio, and television media of these countries, with links to the original sources.

People's Daily (Ren Min Ri Bao)
. Complete archive of the People's Daily, the national newspaper in China, from the birth of the People's Republic to 2002.

South Asian Newspapers
.  A growing collection of South Asian newspapers. Contains more than 200,000 pages of digitized content, including material from the Ceylon Observer, Indian People / Leader, Madras Mail, and the Tribune. Part of the World News Archive project from Readex/Newsbank

WiseNews
.  Online news service related to greater China. Includes political, regulatory, social, economic and financial news, information on market trends and companies. In Chinese and English.

World News Connection
. Full-text translated transcriptions of radio and TV broadcasts, newspaper articles and periodicals from countries worldwide. A successor to reports from the Foreign Broadcasting Information Service and Joint Publications Research Service.

Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs)

Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) information on the Internet can be located using the following directories (browsable by country and focus area) and the NGO search engine below. Print NGO publications can be found by searching in Oskicat and Melvyl.

NGO Custom Search Engine


Directory of Development Organizations
. Over 47,000 organizations of all kinds listed by region and country. One of the most extensive compilation of NGO country directories.

Idealist.Org. Includes a searchable directory of over 52,000 organizations by name, mission, country of focus, and more.

TakingITGlobal
. International non-profit organization centered on young people interested in connecting across cultures. Outstanding source of NGO information by country and area of focus. Go to browse organizations.

World Directory of Development Organizations and Programs. Large NGO Internet database. Searchable by name, country of activity, field, and project.

International Government Organizations

The government documents collections at the UC Berkeley libraries are comprised of collection of primary source documents from all over the world. See the Government Information Pages for more information.

To get started finding International Governmental Organization (IGO) Information you may wish to try the following IGO Custom Search Engine, which was initiated by David Oldenkamp, International Documents Librarian at Indiana University, and searches 392 urls of International Governmental Organizations (IGOs).


Global Issues on the UN Agenda
. Excellent UN Ready Reference tool for links to online documents, agencies, and other resources on a wide range of important topics on the UN Agenda.

Human Development Report LibraryThe web site includes the UNDP flagship publication the Human Development Report, as well as national human development reports from over 250 countries and regions.

OECD iLibrary. Online library from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) an international economic organisation and leading international organization for foreign aid (development assistance) data.

World Bank E-library. Database for hundreds of full-text World Bank publications. Topics covered include economics, public policy, education, international development, gender, the environment, and more.

United States Federal, State & Local Governments

Govscan. Google Custom search engine that searches state and  local government websites. Search the entire web site or limit by state.

ProQuest Congressional
. One-stop shopping for U.S. congressional publications.  Provides indexing and abstracts of congressional publications back to 1789, including full text of published Congressional Hearings, full text Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports from 1916-present and more.

USA.gov.  Official United States Government web portal, with specialized “gateways” for citizens, business and government employees.

USAID Documents. Online resource for USAID international development, with thousands documents available for download. Database is browseable by country and by subject.

United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs
. Standing committee of the US House of Representatives with jurisdiction over related to the foreign affairs of the United States. Occassionally holds congressional hearings relating to poverty and development aid.

U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants
(Green Book). Loans and grants from the US government each fiscal year by purpose and country.

Foreign National Governments

The UC Berkeley libraries continue to collect foreign government information on a large scale.  We have strong collections for Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and the Pacific Islands.  

Africa South of the Sahara. One of the most comprehensive web portals for Sub-saharan Africa. Fully searchable and browseable by topic (e.g. environment, human rights) and by country/region.

Foreign/International Governments Custom Search. Collection of Google custom search engines from Carleton University Library, including Asia & the Pacific, Latin America, & the Middle East.  Includes a mix of sites from international agencies, news services, and NGOs.

Foreign Government Information by Country.  Very nicely organized directory of government sites from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Government in Latin America - Provides links to regional organizations and government information by country. Information Includes: constitutions, presidential messages, central bank reports, and other official documents. From the University of Texas Latin American Information Center (UT Lanic).

International Statistics

Africa Development Indicators.  Detailed collection of data on Africa, containing over 1,600 indicators, covering 53 African countries from 1961 to 2008. Data include social, economic, financial, natural resources, infrastructure, governance, partnership, and environmental indicators.

AIDSInfo Online
. From the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS. Includes data and estimates on AIDS and HIV infections worldwide, and other associated variables, from the 1990's.

China Data Online
. Focuses on economic statistics of China, arranged by regions and categories. Includes monthly and yearly reports on China's macroeconomic development and statistical databases about China's population and economy at the county and city levels.

FAOSTAT. Extensive data on agriculture, food supply, food security, prices, commodities, forest products, and fisheries from the FAO.

Genderstats. Indicators on key gender topics. Themes included are demographics, education, health, labor force, and political participation. From the World Bank.

Global Health Observatory Data Repository
. Statistical and epidemiological data from the World Health Organization (WHO). Statistics by disease and condiation (HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, epidemics) as well as information on health systems, nutrition. injuries and violence, environmental health, tobacco and more.

Human Development Report Statistics
. Statistics from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Links to the text of national human development reports from over 250 countries and regions.

Indiastat
.  Statistical data from Indian government and private sources: finance, agriculture, health, housing, transportation, and many other areas. Data is derived from documents, reports and policies from the states and national government of India. Information is classified into 30 major sections and includes census data. Userid and password required. Please inquire at any Library Reference Desk for assistance.

Laborsta. International labor statistics from 1979 to the present on employment, earnings, wages, strikes and more.

Lexis Nexis Statistical DataSets
. Provides fast and easy one-stop shopping to more than 5.3 billion (and growing) data points from licensed and public domain datasets. Sources of data include local, state and international governments and organizations.

Official Statistics on the Web
. Access to social, economic and general data from official government sources.  Includes statistical offices, central banks and government agencies. Features a good subject list.

OECD iLibrary. Leading International Organization for Foreign Aid data. Includes International Development Statistics as well as statistical databases on External Debt Statistics and Geographical Distribution of Financial Aid Flows to Developing Countries. Choose the "international development" link on the statistics section.

UN Data
. Wide range of economic, social, cultural, and demographic indicators: population, environment, health, economics, technology, trade, refugees, and more.

Urbaninfo
. Statistical data on urban indicators, human settlements, and city profiles worldwide from the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. Database is difficult to use, not all indicators listed are available for every geography, 

U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants (Green Book). Loans and grants from the US government each fiscal year by purpose and country.

World Development Indicators
. Time series data from 1960 for 207 countries in the areas of population, labour, education, economics, the environment and much more.

World Income Inequality Database. Information for over 140 countries on income inequalities at both cross-country and time series levels over the period 1950-98, with a focus on the period since 1980. See also the University of Texas Income Inequality Project.

Area Studies Selectors

UC Berkeley area studies librarians provide expert assistance across disciplines for all the languages and geographic regions listed below.

African Collections
(Jason Schultz: contact)

Chinese Collections/East Asian Library (Jianye He: contact)

French, Canadian, Iberian, & Italian Collections (Claude Potts: contact)

Dutch, Germanic & Scandanavian Collections (Jim Spohrer: contact)

Japanese Collections/East Asian Library (Toshie Marra: contact)

Judaica Collections (Paul Hamburg: contact)

Korean Collections (Jae-yong Chang: contact)

Latin American Studies Collections (Carlos Delgado: contact)

Middle Eastern Studies (Shayee Khanaka: contact)

Slavic & East European Collections (Liladhar R. Pendse: contact)

South Asia Collections (Adnan Malik: contact)

SouthEast Asian Collections (Virginia Shih: contact)

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Research Advisory Service

Research Advisory Service for Cal Undergraduates

Book a 30-minute appointment with a librarian who will help refine and focus research inquiries, identify useful online and print sources, and develop search strategies for humanities and social sciences topics (examples of research topics).

Schedule, view, edit or cancel your appointment online (CalNetID required)

This service is for Cal undergraduates only. Graduate students and faculty should contact the library liaison to their department or program for specialized reference consultations.

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