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INTA 295 ---- Spring 2009
CROSS-NATIONAL RESEARCH METHODS

Dr. Charles Blake
Miller 2123 – 568-6344 –
BLAKECH@JMU.EDU
OFFICE HOURS: Tu 1:30-3:30, W 9-11, Th 11-noon and by appointment

BLACKBOARD WEBSITE: Click HERE to go the Blackboard site for INTA 295

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Other Online Resources

The Internet can be an excellent source for basic background information, for contemporary news, and for government  documents & quantitative data relevant to the study of international affairs. That said, there is also a lot of bad information available on the Internet; please be careful out there...! Use the same rigorous standards that should be applied to printed materials in your evaluation of online information.

On this page, you will find links relevant to cross-national research listed in five major groupings: research methods, social research data archives, country & regional background information, contemporary online news, and government documents & statistics (both national & international).

Click on the heading below to move to the section of interest to you right now:

RESEARCH METHODS | DATA | COUNTRY BACKGROUND | NEWS | GOVERNMENT SITES

RESEARCH METHODS

bulletSurfStat Australia 
bullethttp://surfstat.anu.edu.au/surfstat-home/surfstat-main.html
This is an online statistics textbook and laboratory housed at the Australian National University.
bulletHyperStat Online
bullethttp://davidmlane.com/hyperstat/index.html
This is another online introductory statistics textbook created by David Lane of Rice University. It contains solid treatment of many statistical issues complete with supporting graphics. The glossary at the site is searchable and is fully hyperlinked to the text itself.

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Click on the appropriate link to move within this document:
RESEARCH METHODS | DATA | COUNTRY BACKGROUND | NEWS | GOVERNMENT SITES

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SOCIAL RESEARCH DATA ARCHIVES

bulletIntute
bullethttp://www.intute.ac.uk/socialsciences/
This comprehensive site is maintained by the Research Discovery Network, the largest supporter of social science research in the United Kingdom. This link takes you to the browsing menu where you can browse resources by subject area in the social sciences.
bulletSocial Sciences Data Collection
bullethttp://libraries.ucsd.edu/ssds/
This site maintained by the University of California, San Diego contains a variety of economic and political data as well a host of information on other sites that have online data archives; there is a search engine for this catalog as well as a links page with thumbnail discussions of the sites. Most of the economic data housed at the site itself are restricted to UCSD use only.
bulletInter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research
bullethttp://www.icpsr.umich.edu/ICPSR/simi/links.html
The ICPSR holds the world's largest archive of social research data. This link takes you to a links page maintained by the ICPSR to instructional resources. The ICPSR web site itself contains a searchable index for the archive complete with abstracts and codebooks. The data themselves cannot be downloaded directly from the site by general users; if you are interested in a particular data set, let me know.
bulletProgram on International Policy Attitudes
bullethttp://www.pipa.org/
Maintained by the University of Maryland, the PIPA website provides public opinion polls of U.S. residents regarding many international affairs issues as well as some cross-national polls (usually of 20 to 25 countries) regarding international affairs. This website also has a nice links page to other public opinion data available online.

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RESEARCH METHODS | DATA | COUNTRY BACKGROUND | NEWS | GOVERNMENT SITES

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COUNTRY and REGIONAL BACKGROUND

bullet CIA Publications Page
bullethttps://www.cia.gov/library/publications/index.html
This page contains links to online access of public domain CIA reporting. The CIA Factbook provides thumbnail physical, economic, & political geographies of every nation-state in the world. This page also contains links to CIA publications providing international economic statistics, lists of current political leaders, high quality maps, and a variety of historical information on the CIA itself. This site is very useful as a preliminary introduction to countries but not very useful beyond that purpose.
bulletU.S. Department of State Background Notes
bullethttp://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/
The State Department background notes contain some of the basic geographical information provided in the CIA Factbook but also provide short histories of a few international organizations as well as reports on most nation-states. This links page hold links to regions and to IGOs but the regional links take you to links pages for the country notes for each region. If you click on the publications link on the image map at the top of the background notes page, you can access a wide variety of additional State Department reports including such topics as anti-narcotic policy, counterterrorism, economic policy, and human rights.
bulletLibrary of Congress Country Studies
bullethttp://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/cshome.html
This page provides access to the online version of the country studies series conducted by the U.S. Library of Congress. Just over 100 countries are currently treated in the site. Each country study has a detailed, hyperlinked table of contents; most of the study is organized chronologically. This is a good site for finding a fairly comprehensive online history of many different countries but is cumbersome to read an entire history and even more burdensome (not to mention wasteful) to print one out. If you want to read the entire country study, go to the library and check it out!
bulletVirtual Library: The International Affairs Network
bullethttp://www.etown.edu/vl/
This site maintained by Elizabethtown College contains links pages organized by a variety of subject headings as well as an incomplete list of country headings. The area studies and subject links are generally more useful than the country links provided.

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RESEARCH METHODS | DATA | COUNTRY BACKGROUND | NEWS | GOVERNMENT SITES

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NEWS

bulletYahoo! online newspapers list
bullethttp://www.yahoo.com/News_and_Media/Newspapers/By_Region/Countries/
Back in the hazy past of, say, 1992, people interested in reading foreign newspapers waited 1 to 2 weeks to read foreign daily newspapers -- that is, if the newspapers were available at all either in a nearby library or via a (costly) personal subscription. Now, literally hundreds of daily newspapers around the world are available online before they hit the streets in newsprint. Increasing numbers of online papers provide 24-hour updating of major stories. This site, maintained by Yahoo!, provides a comprehensive list of foreign & domestic newspapers available online. Please take advantage of this resource in following contemporary events in the countries of special interest to you. Many newspapers have internal search engines and/or archives with past online editions.
bulletThe Economist
bullethttp://www.economist.com/
This is the online site for what many people consider the best international weekly news magazine in the world, the London-based The Economist. Right now, this site provides very limited services to those who are not subscribers but it does have a very useful full-text search engine for issues published in the last few years. You can use this search engine to identify issues to read in printed copies available in the library. If you have a keen interest in world affairs, you should consider going to current periodicals every week and spending some time with The Economist.
bulletCNN's World News Section
bullethttp://edition.cnn.com/WORLD/
This site maintained by CNN provides coverage of major news stories from around the world. CNN will occasionally publish background reports on major stories.
bulletNew York Times
bullethttp://www.nytimes.com/
This site is listed here mainly to encourage you to use the printed version rather than the online version. The 365-day, full-text search engine is dynamic, but you need to establish one (free) account to use the site at all and, in turn, a second account to use the search engine.  All past editions of the newspaper, a printed index, and a searchable database are all available in Carrier Library.
bulletThe Washington Post
bullethttp://www.washingtonpost.com/
In contrast to the New York Times site, this one provides free full-text searches of the past 14 days' editions. The online version of the newspaper is also a little easier to use and much quicker to download. The politics and world online sections provide a host of information on major continuing stories (listed as special reports) as well as links to other online sources of political news. There is also an informative online column on polling trends and issues in polling.

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Click on the appropriate link to move within this document:
RESEARCH METHODS | DATA | COUNTRY BACKGROUND | NEWS | GOVERNMENT SITES

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GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS and STATISTICS

bulletHere are a few starter links to official sites of national governments:
bulletUSAGov
bullethttp://www.usa.gov/
This is the official web portal of the U.S. government. The full site is organized by government branch but also contains several topically oriented links pages.
bulletFOREIGN GOVERNMENT RESOURCES on the WEB
bullethttp://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/foreign.html
This links page is maintained by the library at the University of Michigan. It is organized first by regions and then by national governments. For each nation-state listed there is a brief discussion of official government web sites.
bullet FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS
bullethttp://www.library.northwestern.edu/govpub/resource/internat/foreign.html
This links page is maintained by the library at Northwestern University. It is (large) single page organized alphabetically by nation. It is perhaps more exhaustive for many countries than the above Michigan site, but the links are not annotated and the site is not searchable.
bulletHere are a few links to official sites of intergovernmental organizations:
bulletINTERNATIONAL AGENCIES and INFORMATION on the WEB
bullethttp://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/intl.html
This site is maintained by the library at the University of Michigan.  It is a searchable site with a detailed, annotated list of web sites for IGOs. This is a very useful links page.
bullet INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
bullethttp://www.library.northwestern.edu/govpub/resource/internat/igo.html
This links page is maintained by the library at Northwestern University. It is (large) single page organized alphabetically by organization. It is similar to the Michigan site, but each contains quite a few different links.  This site is not annotated, but does provide a series of distinct URLs for many organizations.
bulletUNITED NATIONS
bullethttp://www.unsystem.org/
This is the site locator for all web sites maintained by the United Nations and the multitude of organizations in the U.N. system. The site also contains a links page for other international organizations.
bulletTHE WORLD BANK
bullethttp://www.worldbank.org/
The World Bank posts online economic and social data for countries around the world.
bulletORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT (OECD)
bullethttp://www.oecd.org/
The OECD provides detailed statistical information on its member countries as well as a variety of economic analyses available online.

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Click on the appropriate link to move within this document:
RESEARCH METHODS | DATA | COUNTRY BACKGROUND | NEWS | GOVERNMENT SITES

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This page was last updated on: 1/5/09
If you have comments or suggestions about this site, please send an e-mail to Charles Blake at blakech@jmu.edu.