Starting Points

Course textbooks and readings, class discussion and meetings with faculty are often the best places to begin you research.  Taking advantage of these resources will facilitate your forging an interesting and doable topic.  Library resources such as those recommended below may also be helpful by offering authoritative orientation to topics.

CQ Global Researcher  This is a periodical written specifically for students studying international issues related to subjects as diverse as religion, natural resource managment, public health or international finance.  Issues are presented in a pro/con fashion and are written by journalists, not experts in the field.

CIAO Columbia International Affairs Online offers course packs, case studies, working papers, policy briefs by NGOs, journal articles and books.  Browsing the what's new section may lead to a good idea for a topic.

Encyclopedia of Global Change  Brief entries organized alphabetically (making it inconvenient for browsing by topic) provide basic background on human and natural phenomenon that have been recognized to have global repercussions.  Entries include  brief bibliographies for further reading.

Sage Reference Online This is a collection of specialized encyclopedias written for an academic audience.  Several of the titles in this collection are relevant to global studies.   The "Browse" tab in these titles make them particularly useful for topic exploration.  Titles relevant to this course include:  Encyclopedia of Community, Encyclopedia of Global Health, Encyclopedia of Global Warming & Climate Change, Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Encyclopedia of World Poverty, Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual Development.


Starting with the books in the Falvey Library collection is a best bet, but you may need to search beyond your own backyard.  Use Google Books and Worldcat to find out what else has been published in your area of interest.  Take advantage of EZBorrow to get books not in our collection delivered.

Catalog Books in the Falvey Library Collection

Worldcat Books owned by academic libraries around the country

Google Books Full text of books held in many top notch university libraries digitized (but not necessarily available to read online). Snippets available to read.

EZBorrow  Preferred source for borrowing books from other local libraries.

Scholarly Articles

The very definition of interdisciplinary is to integrate or synthasize concepts and methods typically associated with distinct and well established academic disciplines.  From the vantage point of a student researcher, this means that you can expect to search across bodies of knowlege claimed by more than one academic subject.

Since they are both cross disciplinary databases, you could limit your searching to Google Scholar or Academic Onefile (but if you do you're likely to miss some the really good stuff found only in specialized article databases).  Check out our subject guides to identify the best article databases by discipline.

The databases listed here cover broad subject categories:

Social Science Citation Index

Social Sciences Full Text

Applied Social Sciences Index & Abstact

PAIS International


Staying Informed

If you haven't aready developed a habit for reading news and opinions in quality sources, now may be the time to start. 

Finanical Times, published in London,  is a best known for its international business coverage.  Print copies are available on a daily basis in SAC, Connelly and Bartley.  From on campus electronic access is available at  For electronic access off campus go to  Login with your LDAP user name and password and type in the Juniper browse box.  More detailed instructions are available here.

Economist is a London based weekly magazine best known for it's analysis of international economic and political developments.  The online edition is available at  The print edition is available on the first floor of Falvey Library in current periodicals.  The full text of the current print edition is available in html (not pdf) via Business Source Premier and ABI Inform.

The Christian Science Monitor is a international news organization that publishes a weekly print edition and daily online articles at  The print edition is available on Lexis-Nexis and ABI/Inform. 

Patchwork Nation Blog Sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, this blog refracts news through the lens of a dozen different community types defined by demographic and economic indicators.

Foreign Affairs Monthly published by the Council on Foreign Affairs, an organization aimed at understanding international affairs and shaping U.S. foreign policy. Print edition is available in Falvey library current periodicals and alternate online access

Data Sources

World Development Indicators World Bank

Stat OECD Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

IMF Statistics International Monetary Fund

UNData United Nations

Statistical Lexis Nexis Subscription database with graphing, and maping features for U.S. and international statistics.

OffStats  Directory to authoritative sources for global statistics by country or subject.

Country Reports

EIU (Economist Intelligence Unit)

Eldis  Free portal for access to country reports by various international agencies.  Central repository for topical reports relating to development.

Stat-USA Central access point for country reports by several U.S. government agencies such as the CIA, Department of Commerce and

Source OECD Country Studies Choose them from within the Book tab, link to country studies on the left pane.

BBC Country Profiles

Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations

Worldmark Encyclopedia of the National Economies