The WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources - An Online Research Guide

The WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources - An Online Research Guide

Wayne A. Selcher

To facilitate and orient your Internet research in peace and conflict issues, international relations, or current affairs generally, try the WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources (, a cost-free website directory that is part of the WWW Virtual Library system, with over 2000 carefully selected, annotated links to quality, cost-free English-language resources in 35 international affairs categories. It is frequently maintained and is of practical use to students, professors, and professional researchers, among others. This site, supported by Elizabethtown College, gets worldwide use daily and is linked on hundreds of library, university, governmental, military, NGO, and IGO websites.

There is a substantial page dedicated to quality Peace and Conflict resources at Also of interest to SWJ readers are those pages for News Sources, Journals, American Foreign Policy, Research Institutes, and the regional and thematic pages.

It is wise to avoid the "Google search trap" (relying solely on Google to find search results). No search engine indexes more than a small fraction of the Internet, and most fail at retrieving valuable studies within large sites or databanks such as those of the European Union, the United Nations, the World Bank, or major think tanks. This shortcoming holds true particularly when general search terms are used. Use of a quality Internet directory supplements search engine results by helping users to identify authoritative, reliable, and ongoing sources of statistics, information, and analysis, worthy of regular use, rather than following the common tendency of “finding something quick.” Impatience, short attention span, and haste are the most common enemies of top-quality research results.

This Virtual Library’s index page features sources and tips for systematic and thorough online research in international affairs, going far beyond the usual mere use of the major search engines. For example, the practice of using rather little-known limited area or specialized search engines is recommended, to search only within the numerous sites covering one’s topic of interest. Key international affairs databanks and repositories of professional papers are also identified.

Professor Wayne A. Selcher

Editor, WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources <>

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