UCB Libraries


IAFS 3000: Global Health

Resources and tips for research on Syrian Refugees and Global Health


  • To Begin...
  • Global Health
  • Countries
  • Statistics & Current Events
  • Assistance


If you are off campus, you will need to configure VPN to access library resources. We are also rolling out a new Proxy Server system. This will soon allow you to sign in to a resource with your Identikey and Password (no more need for the VPN).


If you find something that you need but cannot find at CU, you can make requests for items that we do not hold through Prospector or ILL.


ILLiad interlibrary loan:

  • Log in using your Identikey, and submit the required information. Also, the more of the non-required information you can provide the easier it will be to expedite your request.
  • The first time you log in you will need to fill out your contact information.
  • Specify a realistic "Not Wanted After Date". If you order an item and do not use it, the Libraries will have to pay for the loan anyway.

Choosing Search Terms

  1. Break down your topic into discrete concepts that represent major aspects. These concepts can be used to develop keywords and subject terms that will be useful during your research.For more flexible searching, think of various ways to express these search terms:

    • synonyms (related terms)
    • broader terms
    • narrower terms
    The Search Strategy Process Worksheet can be helpful in helping you develop search terms for your own topic.

  2. You need to tailor the search terms to the type of material you are searching. When searching for:

    • Books
      • Broader terms tend to work better because the topics covered by books tend to be more general.
    • Journal articles,
      • Narrower terms tend to work better because the topics covered by articles tend to be more specific.
    • Statistics
      • Look for the specific terms used by the database or website to describe the numbers that you need.
      • Searching for statistics requires a lot of patience. Every website and database is different; take some time to familiarize yourself with the source, dates covered, and the datasets provided (this can usually be found in the "about us" or "help" section.
  3. Example:I am looking at Syrian Refugees who have been relocated to Jordan. What do I need?


    • Demographic information about my population (numbers, gender, employment status etc..)
    • Common diseases (statistics on prevelance, preventative measures, vaccinations etc...)
    • Information from the organizations who are working with these populations (NGO's and IGO's)
    • Think about the time frame and the availability of information. Consult national and international newspapers. Look at the websites for NGO's and IGO's that work in the region. Search for reports, tables, maps etc...

Helpful Background Information

Library of Congress Country Profiles

These reports include information on history, society, economics, the environment etc..

Syria: Country Profile

Gale Virtual Reference

Digital encyclopedia chapters and articles from various resources. Try searching for Syria AND Gender or Syria AND culture


Sage eReference

Search for a broad term like "Syria" and then search within the results for your specific topic; like religion.



An article database covering the humanities and social sciences.

Sample search: syria AND health

Helpful Information on the Crisis

United Nations High Comission on Refugees

Syria Regional Refugee Response Page


Health Information System

Articles, News, Reports, Statistics etc.. To manipulate the data, you need to download software

World Health Organization

The Syrian Arab Republic Crisis

United Nations

News Focus: Syria


Humanitarian Efforts

Articles and Library Resources


Example: "Refugee Health" = "Syrians flee violence and disrupted health services to Jordan" in the Bulletin of World Health, June 2013

Web of Science

Similar to PubMed. This database has many journal articles and reports on science, health, history, conflict, etc...

Congressional Publications

If it's in the news, Congress has debated, discussed or researched the topic. Check out CRS Reports or Congressional Hearings (limit your search on the right-hand side to CRS Reports or Hearings)

Gale Virtual Reference Library

Research a disease, health issue country, or concept (refugees, for example)

Chinook Classic These are just some example Subject Headings. Try your own! Pick a country, a disease, a concept, etc... When you find a good book in Chinook, look at the subject heading and follow the breadcrumbs.


Refugees -- Health and hygiene

Refugees -- Syria

Syria -- Politics and Government

World health

World Health -- congresses

Communicable diseases

Communicable diseases -- Epidemiology

Additional databases and websites are available on the Find Articles page. You can use one of the broad subject groupings at the top or drill down into resources by academic discipline further down on the page.You can also locate secondary sources for your research in the CU Libraries by searching the Chinook library catalog. Chinook is wherewant search for books, journals, microforms and other materials but not articles.The Advanced Keyword search in Chinook Classic is the most flexible way to search for titles on your topic. Notice that you can specify available items, electronic version, language, location, and material type, among other limits.


Websites and Organizations

World Health Organization

Global Health Observatory


Global Burden of Diseases

CDC - Global Health


United Nations Relief Web

Each country page has information specifically about Syrian refugees






Syrian Arab Republic


Maps and Graphics on the Syrian Refugee Crisis

United Nations State of the World's Refugees 2012 Report (pdf)

Country Profiles

Information about every country in the world from the Government Information Library. This is a good place to go for basic information


CIA World Factbook

Also a great starting point for basic information about each country with comparison tools


WHO Country Profiles

Statistics and current information about each country.

Includes links to regional and country offices (with even MORE information)

WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office

With a website on the health crisis in Syria

Information from IGOs


This custom Google search allows you to look for information, data, reports, and statistics from Intergovernmental Organizations


Good Resources to Start With...

University Library Data and Statistics Page

We have done much of the work for you. Look for Top Statistical Resources or browse for statistics by topic


World Health Organization Statistics Page

A wealth of data and statistics on global health and vital statistics.

This portal includes:


Questions to Ask Yourself


 ...would collect this data? Who would be interested in this topic?



...would this data be collected? Is my topic too new? Is my topic historical?



...other format might these statistics come in? Electronic? Paper? CD-ROM? Microfiche or film?

News and Current Events

Take a look at our guide to finding newspapers


  • Use the listing for News and Current Affairs from the International Affairs menu.
  • Try looking at International News sources

Lexis Nexis Academic

This resource has national, regional, and international news.

Use advanced search, it is much easier to limit your initial search this way.


Subscribe to News Feeds


Subscribe to an RSS feed through any number of IGO's.

The UNHCR has an rss feed specifically for the Syrian Refugee situation


Still need help after trying the strategies listed on this guide? Or can't figure out how to use a particular resource? Here are some options for further assistance:


+ From the Libraries


  • How Do I...? helpful web guides on a variety of research-related topics

  • Ask Us! email, chat, text, and phone reference services are available extended hours

  • Walk-up reference services at the Research Desk on the 2nd floor of Norlin Library as well as at some branch libraries (see "Hours Staffed")

Contact Information