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International Studies information resources: Additional resources

Belzberg Library - your home branch

  • Most courses in International Studies are offered at SFU Vancouver; however many of the resources available to support the program are online or at the Bennett Library, SFU Burnaby.
  • Students at the SFU Vancouver campus may request delivery of books and journal articles from the Bennett Library (Burnaby Campus) or the SFU Surrey Library to the Belzberg Library (Harbour Centre building, SFU Vancouver).
  • If the item you want is not available at SFU, it can be requested from another library (Interlibrary Loan) for delivery to Belzberg Library. This usually takes one to two weeks. See Borrowing Materials From Other Libraries for more information on using Interlibrary Loan services.
  • All electronic journal articles and databases are available on Belzberg Library workstations and most are also available from home. For articles not available online or at Belzberg, you may request delivery of a photocopy.
  • Reserves (if any) for your courses are available at Belzberg Library.
  • Books borrowed from the Bennett Library or the Surrey Library (except for course reserves) may be returned to the Belzberg Library (and vice-versa).Check your due dates, holds or renew your books online. Alternatively, renew items via your SFU Connect email account.
  • All library notices for SFU students, including holds, recalls and overdue items, are automatically sent to your official SFU email address.
  • Reference librarians are available at the Belzberg Library to assist you. Please don't hesitate to come in or Ask Us online.
  • See the Belzberg Library web page for more information and take the virtual tour.

Government Information

  • Asian Development Bank - Is a multilateral development finance institution that promotes economic and social progress by fighting poverty in Asia and the Pacific.
  • International Monetary Fund - An organization that promote international monetary cooperation, exchange stability, and orderly exchange arrangements, to foster economic growth and high levels of employment, and to provide temporary financial assistance.
  • United Nations - Global association of governments facilitating cooperation in international law, security, economic development, and social equity. Is central to global efforts to solve problems that challenge humanity.
  • UN Economic and Social Council - Is the principal organ to coordinate economic, social, and related work of the 14 UN specialized agencies, functional commissions and five regional commissions.
  • The World Bank - Is an internationally supported bank that provides loans, advice, and an array of customized resources to more than 100 developing countries for development programs with the stated goal of reducing poverty.

Selected Internet Resources

Africa, Southeast Asia

Complex Emergencies

  • CE-DAT - A Database on the Human Impact of Complex Emergencies. The goal of the project is to improve evidence based policy on conflict prevention and response by providing standardized and comprehensive data on the human impact of conflict.
  • OCHA - United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs mission is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors.
  • USAID - The U.S. Agency for International Development is the government agency providing US economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for more than 40 years.
  • UNICEF - The United Children's Fund works for children's rights, their survival, development and protection, guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • World Economic Forum - Is an independent, international organization incorporated as a Swiss not-for-profit foundation. Its commitment is to improve the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Human Security

  • Conflict Barometer - Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research production, which describes recent trends in conflict development, escalations, settlements.
  • Human Security Gateway - A database of electronic and bibliographic resources on human security produced by the Human Security Research Project.
  • Human Security Report Project - Conducts research on global and regional trends in political violence, their causes and consequences and to make this research accessible to the policy and research communities, the media, educators and the interested public. It works jointly with the School for International Studies at SFU.
  • International Crisis Group - Is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization, with some 145 staff members on five continents, working through field-based analysis and high-level advocacy to prevent and resolve deadly conflict.
  • International Relations and Security Network - Works to promote a better understanding of the strategic challenges we face in today’s changed security environment. Provides products and resources to encourage the exchange of information among international relations and security professionals worldwide.

Try these guides for further suggestions.

Evaluating Information

Virtually all information has some sort of bias or inherent assumption about the world. Since you cannot avoid it, you need to practice looking for it and taking it into account when you form your own conclusions. Aside from watching for biases and assumptions, you also need to critically evaluate all information sources (regardless of whether the source was a book, an article, a Web site, or a person) for accuracy, currency, completeness, and several other criteria.The following list covers some key questions that you should ask when evaluating any information source and offers a few more sources for further information on evaluation. Don't despair that you will never find anything that meets all of the criteria: remember that decisions are made with such information all the time -- you just need to make a judgment call about how far out of line a piece of data is (e.g., is it so old as to be useless? is the bias extreme?) and about how much of it you can use. You should also try to find as many alternative sources/viewpoints as possible. Don't forget to clearly document any judgment calls or assumptions that you make based on the imperfect information you find.

    Why did they conduct this study, and precisely how did they conduct it? How does this match what you think should be done? What flaws do you see in how the information was gathered? Is any of this information available? (Possibly not if the report or data you found has been published by someone other than the original researcher.)
    What are the qualifications and reputation of the writer/speaker/publisher? Are they experts in their field?
    Is the information presented complete or does it seem that something might be missing? An information source that deliberately leaves out important facts, qualifications, consequences, or alternatives, may be misleading or even intentionally deceptive.
    Up-to-dateness is especially important for statistical or scientific data or political or socioeconomic studies.
    Does the book/journal/Web page explain the sources of its information and how the information was obtained?
    What units did they use? Are these the units you would have used?
    Are the facts presented accurately? You may want to cross-check statistics or other facts against other sources.
    Who is the intended audience for the information? Is the level of treatment academic or popular, expert, or novice?

Evaluation is particularly important when finding information on the Web. For more information, see the Evaluation section of the Library guide to Internet Research.