GETTING STARTED -- PRE-RESEARCH
To get your feet wet or to gain an overview of a particular issue, you might want to start by looking up your area of interest in a subject specific encyclopedia. We have two collections online on the "Virtual Reference" page under "Encyclopedias."
DIGGING DEEPER -- RESEARCH
As with almost all topics, the best place to begin searching for books is in the Libraries' Catalog.
However, Peace Studies is a highly interdiciplinary or multidisciplinary discipline. Our library holdings for some disciplines are excellent while for others they are "adequate." In addition, since conflict may arise anywhere at anytime and since no one can buy every book on every potential conflict, you might want to use WorldCat to supplement our collections. WorldCat lists the holdings of almost all libraries in the United States and many national libraries around the world. If you find a title on your topic in WorldCat, you can use the FindText link to initiate an Interlibrary Loan request and we will borrow the item from another library -- at no cost to you.
There is one database specifically devoted to Peace Studies, Peace Research Abstracts. All of the core journals in Peace Studies as an academic discipline are included. In addition, many related journals in political science, conflict transformation, interntational affairs and related fields are indexed.
In addition we have subscriptions to two databases that contain critical analysis of public policy issues, P.A.I.S. (Public Affairs Information Service) International and CIAO (Columbia International Affairs Online). The latter is particularly good for very recent research contained in working papers and policy briefs created at "think tanks."
There are several interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary databases that cover all topics. The first two, Academic Search Premier (EBSCO) and Expanded Academic ASAP contain both popular sources (like Time and Newsweek) and scholarly journals. If your assignment requires scholarly or academic sources, be sure to select the "Peer Reviewed" limit to restrict your search to appropriate sources. The Web of Science is strictly a scholarly database. Google Scholar limits your search to what appear to be scholarly, academic websites -- but be careful and examine the authority of individual sites. Google Scholar results are linked to our FindText system (if you access it from the Libraries' homepage) and allow for direct fulltext retrieval when we subscribe to a source and Interlibrary Loan if we don't.
Also, since Peace Studies is so interdisciplinary, it is quite likely that your project may benefit from insights and analysis from one or more specific disciplines. Here is a highly selected list of the most helpful or prominent databases for several other disciplines.
----- Anthropological Literature
- History, Non-U.S.
----- Historical Abstracts (EBSCO)
- History, U.S.
----- America: History and Life (EBSCO)
----- EconLit (EBSCO)
----- Philosopher's Index (EBSCO)
- Political Science
----- Worldwide Political Science Abstracts (CSA)
----- International Political Science Abstracts (EBSCO)
----- PsychLIT (CSA)
----- Sociological Abstracts (CSA)
- Theology (Religion) (EBSCO)
----- ATLA Religion Database and
----- Catholic Periodical and Literature Index (CPLI) (EBSCO)
This is only a sampling of databases available in each discipline. For more extensive lists, go to the Research by Subject page and select the relevant academic subject. In addition to a list of databases, each subject page includes contact information for the Hesburgh Libraries subject librarian assigned to that department or program. Please feel free to contact them for specialized assistance.
Government documents can be invaluable resources. In addition to the links listed here, "Googling" the official name of the country with the term "governemnt" will usually provide a link to official publications, e.g. <"united kingdom" government>.
Here is a selection of statistical sources of potential value for Peace Studies research. Additional resources may be found from the Libraries homepage by following the path "Reference Shelf | Data, statistics and survey results" at going directly to Data, statistics and survey results.
- Top Choices
- Other Recommended Resources
Maps are essential for placing a conflict in context. Finding the best scale and type (physical, political, topographic, etc.) for a given project can be difficult. A ot Z Maps is probably the easiest to use while be quite comprehensive for country maps.
- Top Choices
- Other Recommended Resources
For current news coverage the Libraries offer the three major databases listed below. Lexis/Nexis and Factiva are "fraternal twins" with significantly overlapping coverage of both domestic and international sources. L/N leans toward the legal/political while Factiva leans toward business (it's a DowJones/Reuters cooperative venture). World News Connection provides English translations of non-English news sources (broadcast, electronic and print) from around the world. Google provides older news coverage from sometimes obscure sources while Google News provides very recent news coverage from a much narrower and highly select number of sources.
For historical news sources, follow the Libraries' Catalog "More" tab to "Periodicals | Newspapers" for print or microfilm runs of newspapers; the "Newspapers" link on the library homepage under "Research Tools" (far right of page) for online collections; or, also under "Research Tools," try the "Center for Research Libraries" (CRL) link on the More page (i.e., ND catalog, WorldCat, [more]). The latter has especially strong holdings of non-U.S. newspapers and will loan whole runs not just photocopies of single articles.
- ND Catalog
Research Tools | Find: Articles | Journals | Newspapers
Research Tools | catalog, WorldCat, [more] | CRL
One of the advances provided by the Internet is the ability of people to speak in their own voices, unfiltered by intermediaries. Almost anyone can throw up a website overnight. In any conflict there are usually many points of view. By "Googling" the names of groups or their leaders you can quickly discover their positions in their own words. (To "Google" a name, place it with in quotation marks to make it a phrase.)
In addition, 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 "Googling" their names and browsing their sites are often extremely helpful.