Reference tools provide background information, the who, what, where and when -- and a bit of the how and why -- for any topic. They include subject and biographical dictionaries and encyclopedias, almanacs, chronologies, directories and atlases. Many, especially dictionaries and encyclopedias, are now available online. Many others, especially historical atlases and chronologies are still only available in print.
Selected examples of print reference sources. All titles are located in the General Reference Collection (1st floor, Hesburgh Library).
Examples of specialized atlases available in the Hesburgh Library Reference Collection.
While WorldCat and Google Books show promise of becoming truly world wide catalogs of books, they have not yet reached that goal. To expand your retrieval try using major library catalogs in appropriate countries. While, there is no universal listing, these two websites are excellent.
Most people are familiar with keyword searching (think Google). However, most library catalogs and commercial, subscription databases also provide a subject headings search option. This approach can be extremely helpful in many cases. Give it a try.
While the following search functions are almost universally available, their specific form will vary from database to database. The examples listed here are the most common forms. If one or more do not work in a given database, look for a Help, Information, Tips, etc. tab or label somewhere on the home page. There are often found in the upper left or right of the screen and sometimes indicated by a ? or I symbol.
In addition to phrase searching with quotation marks, many database offer proximity searching and other special features. This allows you to specify number of words that may appear between two search terms and their order. This feature can be especially helpful if you are searching in the full text of articles. For instance EBSCO databases use the following proximity operators.
Single Subject Databases
The most frequently relevant database for locating journal articles in Peace Studies is, not surprisingly, Peace Research Abstracts (PRA). Given that Peace Studies is a multi- or inter- or trans-disciplinary discipline, you will also want to use other single subject databases most relevant to your particular topic. Selected relevant subject databases for Peace Studies at Notre Dame are listed below. Additional databases are available on each discipline's "Subject Page" and through the Libraries's home page by searching under the "Databases" tab.
Again, since Peace Studies involves so many discrete academic discipliens, multi-subject databases will of signigicant help. They cover fewer sources in any specific subject than single subject databases do. However, since they cross disciplinary boundaries and cover many or all subjects, they will often turn up otherwise hard to locate materials.
Peace Research Abstracts Journal (EBSCO)
--- the only database devoted to peace and conflict studies
--- includes most disciplines
--- addresses interpersonal and inter-/intra- group and national conflict
P.A.I.S International (Public Affairs Information Service) (CSA)
--- mix of articles, reports, books and documents
--- public policy, social sciences prespective
CIAO: Columbia international affairs online
--- features timely working papers and policy briefs
--- can be a gold mine if you're lucky
International Relations and Security Networdk (ISN)
--- working paper, policy briefs, documents, etc.
--- similar to CIAO
--- produced by the Center for Security Studies and Conflict Research, Zurich, Switzerland
Web of Science
--- can be limited to "Social Sciences" and/or "Arts and Humanities" sections
--- features citation tracking, i.e. one can track who cited whom
--- strictly scholarly analysis
--- look for "FindText" links for items available in a database available at Notre Dame
--- is an "academic" subset of the larger "Google world"
--- made available by the Kresege Law School Library;
--- includes hundreds of law journals including international and non-U.S. sources;
--- defaults to "Citation Navigation" tab. You'll probably want to switch to "Search" tab.
--- mostly law reviews;
--- is a subset of the full L/N database;
--- some international sources.
Westlaw Campus Research
--- made available by the Kresege Law School Library;
--- is a subset of the full Westlaw database;
--- new campus resource.
Other legal databases
--- are available from 8:00-5:00, M-F in the Kresge Law Library;
--- are available on their website at FIND > Electronic Resources > Foreign / International; or
--- may be recommended by Patty Ogden, Research Librarian.
------ 1111 Eck Hall of Law
POLITICAL SCIENCE / INTERNATIOINAL RELATIONS
Worldwide Political Science Abstracts (CSA)
--- covers over 1,700 journals from 1975 to date
--- default basic search includes the complete records (e.g. citations) sometimes producing "interesting" results.
--- consider using the advanced search feature to focus your results
International Political Science Abstracts (EBSCO)
--- covers over 1,000 journals from 1951 to date
--- produced by the International Political Science Association
THEOLOGY / RELIGIONATLA Religion Database (EBSCO)
To search several databases from different vendors or platforms,
1) select the "Articles" tab on the Libraries homepage;
2) select "Advanced QuickSearch" (to the left below the search box); and
3) select the option you prefer.
1) not all databases are available for QuickSearch and
2) not all search techniques work in all QuickSearch databases.
To search some or all EBSCO databases simultaneously,
1) from the homepage of any EBSCO database
2) select "Choose Databases" (near the top of the screen to the right of the EBSCO logo);
3) select the boxes for each database; and
4) select OK and search.
Philosopher's index (EBSCO)
--- indexes UN docs from 1946 to date
--- often contains full text online, especially for older documents
--- provides UNDOC number for UN microfiche (Hesburgh Library Lower Level)
International Governmental Organizations (Duke University Libraries)
--- provides links to IGO websites.
NGO Research Guide (Duke University Libraries)
--- provides links to NGO websites.
--- "Google" the name of the NGO or IGO to locate its website.
It is relatively easy to obtain current new accounts using the Web. You can either go to a favorite news source directly (for instance by "Googling" the name of the source) or use a service such as Google News. Getting "older" accounts (just about anything over a week or so old) often involves paying a fee. The databases listed below contain archived news accounts and any assocaited subscription fees have already been paid.
WNC (World News Connection)
--- emphasizes non-English sources in translation from 1997
--- includes print and broadcast media
--- is a joint project of American University and the U.S. Department of State
--- succeeds Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), 1949 to 1996
Westlaw Campus Research
--- strong legal and business components
--- similar to Lexis/Nexis Academic
--- Law Library has a more robust version
For additional news sources, see the "Newpapers databases" page on the Libraries homepage.
Poular sources provide access to public opinon contemporary to events as expressed in or shaped by the mass media.
Current News Sources
Historical News Sources
The following webpage contains several regional guides to non-U.S. governments and their publications.
Alterately "Googling" the official or common name of the country and a topic or agency name and limiting your search to the .gov domain and the country code using the "Advanced Search" option should usually provide a link to official publications.
In addition to governemnt documents increasingly being made available on the Web, Notre Dame has several online and print collections of documents that may be found by searching Catalog Plus or Catalog Classic (ND Catalog) or by using the Databases tab on the Libraries homepage.
Additional documents may located or identified at the UN and affiliate organization websites.
See Alphabetic Index of Websites of the United Nations System of Organizations for additional organizations.
A helpful directory listing IGOs can be found in::
Another means of accessing IGO publications is to "Google" their name (i.e., search for the name of the group enclosed in parentheses, e.g., "european union" and then use the navigation or search system of their web site. Reports and analysis from IGOs are often available free of charge from their websites.
An excellent guide to locating NGOs and their documents can be found at:
Another means of accessing NGO publications is to "Google" their name (i.e., search for the name of the group enclosed in parentheses, e.g., "human rights watch" or "amnesty international") and then use the navigation or search system of their web site. Reports and analysis from NGOs are often available free of charge from their websites since part of their mission is often to disseminate vital information to the general public. In many cases we have older publications in paper or microfilm.
Amnesty International Country Reports
- 1990-1991 to date
- Section A: Country Dossiers, 1975-1986
- Section A: Country Dossiers, 1988-1993
- Section A: Country Dossiers, 1998-2009
- Section B: Publications, 1962-1986
- Section B: Publications, 1988-1992
- Section B: Publications, 1997-2009
Increasingly academic databases are including the ability to track citations forward and backward in time including:
is a web-based bibliographic management tool that enables you to:
This page offers links to guides for the most frequently used citation systems. These citation systems are available in RefWorks for the automatic creation of bibliographies. However, it's always essential to check automated output. So, even if you use RefWorks, reference to citation guides is always necessary.
FindText is behind the scenes software that links most of our databases to each other. A simple click on a FindText image, , initiates a search of all of our FindText enabled databases and our catalog to determine if we have a full text copy of the item that you've selected, first online and, if it's not available online, in print or microfrom in our collections. If no copy is found locally, a link to our Interlibrary Loan service appears.
To take advantafe of this feature, do not enable the "full text" only option available in many databases.
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a service that provides books, mivrofilms, videos and copies of articles that we either don't on or that are missing from our collections. Notre Dame has most of the core peace studies materials. However, it cannot possibly buy every study of every real or potential conflict. Therefore, it is quite likely that you may need to use ILL.
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