UCB Libraries

Resources for IAFS 1000:
Global Issues and International Affairs

For help doing recording your search terms and for tips on searching, check out the search worksheet.

  • Finding
  • Finding
  • Finding
    Primary Sources
  • Current
  • Citing
  • Finding
    Additional Help

+ Getting Started

The library catalog, Chinook, is the best place to get started searching for books. These sections will provide examples on how to find books and tips for searching the catalog.

You will find in Chinook a number of reference sources that will provide assistance in starting your research. They can give you a broad overview of the topic and assistance on finding additional more in-depth sources.

Reference Resources

Yearbook of the United Nations
This annual publication details all of the work of the United Nations in a given year. You can find how a country voted, the actions and debates on a particular topic and much more.

CIA World Factbook
This annual publication from the CIA provides basic demographic information on all the countries of the world. It is not an in-depth look at a country, but it does provide a basic history as well.

Reference Universe CU
Reference Universe is a database that contains the table of contents and indexes of reference books. You can use this database to find titles that we have electronically and in print.


CQ Researcher
Covers the most current and controversial issues of the day with summaries, pros and cons, bibliographies and more.

+ Searching for Books, Two Examples
Basic Keyword Search

  1. Go to Chinook and type in the search terms Angola Congo politic*.
    The * replaces up to five characters. Politic* finds politics, political, etc.
  2. You can use the links to the left and narrow down the list of resources. For example, if you only want books, not journals, click on Books only.
  3. This gives us a nice set of results, but that first title looks the most interesting. So click on Africa's World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe. This record can lead us to other relevant titles. If you scroll down to "Subject" you will see there are descriptions of what this book is about. To find more relevant books (similar to this one), click on Political violence -- Great Lakes Region (Africa).
  4. Now let's go get those books. The majority of the titles will be in the Norlin Stacks, which starts on the third floor. Check out this map of where the call numbers are located.

Advanced Keyword Search

  1. Go to Chinook and click on Advanced Keyword Search.
  2. In the first box type "angola congo". In the second box, change the drop-down to "Subject" and type politic*
    Tips: The * replaces up to 5 characters and choosing subject gets you a more refined, focused set of results.
  3. You get a nice set or results, let's again click on Africa's World War : Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe.
  4. In the record you have a number of options. You can click on a subject heading, such as Genocide -- Rwanda or click on the Show Similar Items box at the top of the record. Below you will get more details on both.
    • Subject Headings: In advanced keyword, not only can you search by subject heading, but you can also browse the subject headings around the one listed in this record. For example, if you click on Genocide -- Rwanda you will see that you can see 44 books on this topic or focus in on 25 on Genocide -- Rwanda -- History 20th Century.
    • Show Similar Items: This button takes the first three subject headings and searches the catalog for other titles with these topics. Generally, this results in a set of books that will be dealing with topics similar to the record you start with.
  5. Finding the books: In this version of the catalog, all the location codes are hyperlinked to maps of where those materials are located in the libraries.
+ Other Search Suggestions for Chinook
There are a number of terms to try when searching Chinook, but here are some suggestions:

  • China India economic*
    This will find economic books on both China and India.
  • Middle East histor*
    Not finding what you are looking for by searching for an individual country? Sometimes searching by the name of the broader region (Middle East instead of Israel) will get more results.
  • Russia Ukraine energy
    Think in broad terms. If you are interested in natural gas politics in Russia and Ukraine, this broader search (energy instead of natural gas) will get you more results.
  • United States Mexico politic*
    Sometimes these searches will bring up electronic databases of resources on a particular topic. Such as HAPI: Hispanic American Periodicals Index in this result set.
  • France Germany cultur*
    Don't forget those facets on the side of the screen. On the right-hand side you can use the "Refine by Tag" box to focus your search in further.
+ Finding Books not at CU
There are two major library catalogs to search for materials not available at CU.


Prospector is a library catalog of 26 libraries in Colorado and Wyoming. CU students, staff and faculty can request materials not held by CU (or currently checked out) through Prospector. To do this, click on the "Request this item" or "Request it" link and type in your identikey and password (these are the same username and password you use to login to CUConnect and CULearn). The materials requested through this database generally (if they are available at another library) take 3-5 business days to arrive.

WorldCat CU

WorldCat is a database of library resources from across the world. Requesting materials through this database is an ILL request. To learn more about ILL, check out their web page.
+ Finding Articles at CU
Find Articles and More

This is the main site to use to find all the databases available at CU. There are a few categories that you may be most interested in:

Scholarly Articles

This database is an interdisciplinary index of journals, books and publications that cover global public policy and social issues including health, finance, economics, education, technology, and the environment for the U.S. and abroad.
1. This database is an index, which means that you will need to use "Find it at CU" to find a majority of the materials indexed.
2. When you find an article that covers the topics you are interested in use the "Descriptors" to focus in on other articles in this database on those topics.


Academic Search Premier CU

This scholarly multi-disciplinary database contains indexing for over 8,000 publications, with full text for more than 4,450 of those titles. PDF backfiles to 1975 or further are available for well over one hundred journals, and searchable cited references are provided for more than 1,000 titles. Provides full text journal coverage for nearly all academic areas of study - including social sciences, humanities, education, computer sciences, engineering, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, and ethnic studies.

This database provides full-text access to articles from scholarly journals in history, economics, political science, demography, mathematics and other fields in the humanities and social sciences.
1. This database does NOT have current access to a majority of the journals in JSTOR. This means if your topic is a current event, this database will not work out as well.
2. The default is to search the full text of the articles. If you are getting to many results go to advanced search and search only the abstract and/or title.

Web of Science CU
An interdisciplinary index that provides bibliographic citations for high-impact journals in the disciplines of science, social sciences, and arts and humanities.
1. This is an abstract database, which means it has NO full text. To find full text of the article, click "Find it at CU."
2. The citation field in this database can help you determine the impact of a particular article. If an article has been out for 10 years and no one has cited it then it has little impact.
3. Don't forget to use those facets on the side to refine by subject, article type and/or year.

Wiley InterScience CU
This database contains over 3 million articles in full-text. The topics cover science, medicine, technology, business, social sciences, and the humanities. You will find books, reference works, journals and database when searching this database.

Global Market Information Database CU
This database, provided by Euromonitor, is primarily a resource on international markets and business. Even so, it provides timely and relevant reports on a variety of international issues. If you want an overview of the population of a particular country and some of the major issues this is a good place to go.

Want to access these databases from off-campus? Check out the off-campus guide for help.

+ Getting Articles from PASCAL
Many of our journals have been sent off site to a location called PASCAL. If you want a copy of an article from one of these journals there are two options.

Option 1: Get a Copy Electronically
  1. Get your citation. You may have a citation to the article in a bibliography or maybe you found it using a database, either way will work.
  2. Go to Chinook and type in the Journal title (if you are looking at a bibliographic citation this is generally the title in italics).
  3. In this record you will see a "Request a PDF (UCB only)" note in the box with all the years covered information. Click on that link.
  4. It will ask if you have checked to see if we have a copy electronically, if you have then click the yes button. If not, choose no and follow those steps. (The following steps will be for the folks who choose yes.)
  5. You will need to login to ILLiad, the very first time you do this it will ask a series of question, you only need to fill that form out once.
  6. Once in ILLiad, choose "Electronically Delivered Articles" under New Requests.
  7. Type in all the citation information you can here. The more you include the better, but don't worry if you can't fill in all the fields. Only the ones with the asterisks are required.
  8. Click "Submit Request" at the bottom.
  9. You can now logout of ILLiad, you will get an email when your article has been scanned.
  10. There will be a link in your email to ILLiad, after you login click on "Electronically Received Articles" under "View."
  11. The process of scanning in the article should only take 1 business day.
Option 2: Get the Journal at the Library

  1. Get your citation. You may have a citation to the article in a bibliography or maybe you found it using a database, either way will work.
  2. Go to Chinook and type in the Journal title (if you are looking at a bibliographic citation this is generally the title in italics).
  3. Choose the record with title that does not have [electronic resource] next to it.
  4. At the top of the page click on the "REQUEST IT!" button.
  5. Login using your identikey and password and choose a pickup location.
  6. Choose the volume you want. (At this time you can only choose one volume at a time, if you need to recall a large set of volumes, please contact Circulation for assistance.)
  7. Hit the "Request Selected Item" button.
  8. You will get an email when your volume arrives, which should be within 1 business day.
A primary source is a document, object, or other evidence about the topic you are investigating that was created during the time period under study. It provides direct evidence and thus offers an inside view into events of the period. Primary sources come in many forms: documents (diaries, letters, speeches, government documents, books, periodicals, interviews); creative works (novels, music, poetry); and artifacts (photos, pottery, clothing). (For more info, check out the finding primary sources guide.)
+ Finding Materials in the Catalog
There are many primary sources available in the Libraries, including paper documents such as books, pamphlets, broadsides, and manuscripts, as well as electronic and microform collections. You can locate relevant items by searching in Chinook, the library catalog.

Tips for Searching Chinook

  • Do a keyword search on your topic, remember to think of synonyms for your search terms. For example, labor or work or employment. You can even try all these words at once, for example, check out this search in Chinook for "(labor or work or employment) and World War and narratives," to see narratives on work during the World Wars.
    Note: British spelling is used in many of the international titles in English. So if you are looking for international materials, keep those spelling differences in mind. E.g. labor is labour.
  • As the above search demonstrated, adding special subject terms that identify primary materials: sources (more general), correspondence, diaries, early works, narratives, pamphlets, speeches, letters, documents, etc. can help narrow down your result set.
  • You can also try an author search on a particular figure during the time period you are studying.
  • Don't forget to follow those "Subject" links in the full records for a title for more resources on that topic.
+ Finding Electronic Primary Sources
There are numerous databases that contain primary sources. These are some electronic databases, by area, that might help your research.

Databases Covering Many Years and Geographic Regions

This web site, from the Yale Law School, contains primary source documents by year. These documents range from law decisions to diplomatic discussions to message from government officials. These are the primary source materials for many of the major issues of the world.

Empire Online CU
This database brings together essays on particular time periods and the primary sources that influence these discussions. This database covers the 1400s to the present day. You can search all the resources or browse by topic, name, and place.

House of Commons Parliamentary Papers CU
This database covers documents from Great Britian's House of Commons from 1688-1900. While this will contain a number of sources that are focused on Great Britain, due to the fact that "the sun never set on the British Empire" during this time period, there a many colonial documents in this collection.

Declassified Documents from the United States

Digital National Security Archive CU
This database provides a collection of declassified materials from the United States government. The material ranges from World War II to present day and contains 33 collections with over 80,000 documents. This database was founded by journalists and attempts to develop a comprehensive collection of all declassified materials on each of the 33 collections.

Declassified Documents Reference Service CU
This database also contains declassified documents from the United State government. The time coverage also spans from World War II to the present day, but unlike the previous database this collection is not built around themes. These documents are gathered from presidential libraries and include all the material declassified from those collections.

Additional Sources

If you don't find what you are looking for here, try Find Articles and More. Here are some of the topic areas with primary sources:

+ Finding Transcripts from Congress
Congress conducts hearings on a wide variety of topics to meet their legislative and oversight responsibilities. Find these resources using Proquest Congressional CU.
+ Finding Transcripts from the United Nations
The United Nations organs hold meetings and the mastheads and Official Documents provide summary and/or verbatim records of this work. This video walks you through using AccessUN CU and UN Official Document System (ODS) to find these materials.

To view this in full screen mode, click the far right bottom corner (which has a little yellow screen icon).
Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.
There are many sources that can help you keep up with current events, these are just a few that might be useful:

Global Issues at the UN
This web site provides an overview of some of the major international issues that the United Nations works with. Each section also provides links to the various UN agencies and affiliated international organizations working in each area.

CQ Electronic Library CU
This database focuses on the issues of the United States, but also contains the CQ Global Researcher that examines international perspectives on the United States.

Proquest Congressional: Congressional Research Service Reports (CRS) CU
Select CRS reports from the Advanced Search screen. CRS reports are short (generally 20-60 pages) reports written for the US Congress on issues that impact their work. While many are US in focus, there are many that are useful for studying international affairs. For example, check out Palestinians: Background and U.S. Relations.

News and Newspapers -- International Resources
This is the Find Articles and More link to newspapers. The two resources that are strongest in here are Factiva CU and LexisNexis Academic CU which both have international coverage. For historic, translated newspapers, check out Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports CU which provides translations of radio and television broadcasts from foreign governments, official news services, and clandestine broadcasts from occupied territories.

Want to access these databases from off-campus? Check out the off-campus guide for help.

How to Cite a Source
This is a collection of guides to various styles (APA, MLA, Turabian, etc.) and resources for using citation tools, such as RefWorks.

RefWorks CU
RefWorks is a citation manager that will make all your citing so much easier. Most of the databases mentioned on these pages have links to export citations into RefWorks. You can use this tool to gather all your citations and then create a bibliography when you have finished your paper. You can even directly export citations into RefWorks from Chinook!
These are just a few other guides you might find helpful:

Connecting to Databases from Off-Campus
This is a web page describing the steps you will need to take to get your home computer to let you into the databases from off-campus.

Research and Subject Guides Database
This is a collection of all the guides (over 500) created on a variety of topics from declassified documents to history to the guide you are looking at right now.

Foreign Information by Country
There is a guide here to resources on every country on the world. The resources range from quick profiles, to article databases, and much more.

Still need help?
There are a number of ways to receive additional assistance:
1. Stop by the Research Desk on the second floor, check the web site for hours.
2. During those same hours, ask us on chat.

3. Or send an email to set up an individual appointment to leanne.walther@colorado.edu or debra.vantassel@colorado.edu