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GL 201 Foundations of Global Studies

Professor Kirby

This course page will lead you to diverse sources of information about countries of the world and issues in globalization.

Online Sources

Europa World
Europa World is the online version of the Europa World Year Book.  First published in 1926, the year book covers political and economic information on over 250 countries and territories, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.

Global Road Warrior
Use this database to get acclimated to a country's business culture and etiquette (greetings & courtesies, ethics, meetings, attire), society and culture (gift giving, food, media, time & punctuality) and travel tips (money & banking, transportation, and more) for 175 countries.

CIA World Factbook
This is a wonderful source for country information and maps which is in the public domain. It may be copied without obtaining permission from the Central Intelligence Agency.

Country Studies
Online book-length versions of sources previously published by the U.S. government for diplomats.  Many have not been updated but can be very useful for historical information.
World's largest provider of full-text electronic news and information on Africa.  Includes articles from past five years in English and French on over 80 topics and 54 countries.

United Nations data search allows you to search across multiple sources such as UNESCO, Food and Agriculture Organization, etc.

Statistics and reports from United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. Click on Worldwide from the menu and select a UNESCO region to pull up various countries.

World Bank
Select a country from the Countries menu button and find statistics, publications, and special reports related to that country.

UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing Countries provides country profiles on least developed countries.

Human Development Index
Human development statistics from the United Nations

World Development Indicators
Development Indicators from the World Bank

Print Sources

REF G GT 150 .C85 2010  4 vols
This set published annually contains country information in 25 different categories.

Encyclopedia of Stateless Nations
REF D860 .M56 2002 4 vols

Encyclopedia of the World's Nations and Cultures
REF G 63 .K874 2007  4 vols

Europa World Year Book
REF JN 1 .E85
Contains valuable information about international organizations as well as individual countries.  Data comes from the United Nations as well as many other international sources.

Political Handbook of Africa
REF JQ 1875 .P63 2007

Political Handbook of Asia
REF JQ 24 .P65 2007

Poltical Handbook of Europe
REF JN 12 .P65 2007

Political Handbook of the Middle East
REF JQ 1785 .58 P65 2006

The Statesman's Yearbook
REF JA 51 .S7
Published annually.

Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations
REF G 63 .W67 2007   5 volumes.

Travel guides to many countries as well as encyclopedias and handbooks of countries and regions are kept in the Reference collection.  Browse in call number D for countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe and F for Central and South America.

Use the database Reference Universe to find other reference material in the library's collection or ask a librarian for help.

Finding Books

You may search the library's online catalog to find additional information about various aspects of a particular country.

Try keyword searches such as

  • countryname  economy
  • countryname  globalization
  • countryname  ecology

Try subject searches such as

  • countryname history
  • countryname politics and government   

Try expanding your search by searching your country's region such as Africa or even broader such as developing countries.

Search Tips
  • Use quotation marks to search on an exact phrase.
    Example: "developing countries"
  • Use the *, a common truncation symbol to find variant endings of a word.
    Example: econom* finds economic, economics, economy, economical
  • Brainstorm keywords for your searches
  • Pay attention to subject headings
  • Redo your searches using broader or narrower terms 

Finding Articles

Article databases can lead you to more focused and current information on various aspects of your country in magazines, newspapers, and journals.

Try general interdisciplinary databases such as  Academic OneFile, Academic Search Premier, and ProQuest Central

JSTOR is a scholarly interdisciplinary full text database.

Subject specific, scholarly databases that might be helpful include: SocIndex with Full Text, Business Source Premier, and EconLit.

Newspaper Databases

Remember to try different terminology if you cannot find the information you need.  For example to find political information you could try these keywords:

  • politics
  • government
  • foreign relations 

Finding Maps and Multimedia 

Maps may be found in atlases, books about countries, the online sources listed below, and in the map area of the reference collection which includes flat maps, folded maps, and rolled maps.  Maps may be topical, country or regional outlines, road maps, or fall into another of the many types of maps.  Ask a librarian for help.


Be persistent!  You will need to look at a  variety of sources in order to find the information you need.  You will also want to compare data from different sources.

Give yourself adequate time to do quality research.  Research takes time--hence, search and re-search!

Work with a librarian!  We  like to help students conduct research for this assignment!

Learn What Matters