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International Relations *

A guide to databases and scholarly online sources that support conducting research in international relations and comparative politics.

Environmental Affairs Research Resources

Below are links to databases and electronic resources that support the study of international environmental affairs and related areas of research. For additional resources, GO HERE.


Databases that offer multidisciplinary coverage of environmental affairs literature from scholarly and non-scholarly sources.

  • Credo Reference -- comprehensive collection of highly-specialized dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks across all subject areas. Good place to go for succinct definitions, explanations, and analysis of concepts, theories, or topics.
  • Google Scholar -- the scholarly part of the Google empire. To set up Google Scholar with access to full-text journals and databases, go here.
  • JSTOR -- a multidisciplinary archive of scholarly journal articles covering most major disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. Useful for identifying historical research on a topic.
  • Policy Commons -- platform for objective, fact-based research from the world’s leading policy experts, nonpartisan think tanks, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. The database provides advanced searching across millions of pages of books, articles, working papers, reports, policy briefs, data sets, tables, charts, media, case studies, and statistical publications, including archived reports from more than 200 defunct think tanks. Coverage is international in scope.
  • ProQuest Multiple -- comprehensive, multidisciplinary database of newspaper, magazine, and scholarly journal articles updated daily. Content is more focused and manageable in locating relevant research than Google Scholar.


Key Databases

  • ECOLEX -- this resource combines the environmental law information holdings of Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO], the International Union for Conservation of Nature [IUCN], and the United Nations Environment Programme [UNEP] in an easily accessible site. The ECOLEX database includes information on treaties, international soft-law and other non-binding policy and technical guidance documents, national legislation, judicial decisions, and law and policy literature. Users have direct access to the abstracts and indexing information about each document and to the full-text of most of the sources provided.
  • Environment Index -- provides access to articles from domestic and international journals, books and conference papers covering applicable areas of agriculture, ecosystem ecology, energy, natural resources, marine and freshwater science, geography, pollution and waste management, environmental technology, environmental law, public policy, social impacts, urban planning, and more. Good place to find environmental policy research.
  • GreenFile -- indexes scholarly and general interest titles, as well as government documents and reports. Focuses on offering a unique perspective on the positive and negative ways humans affect the environment, drawing on the connection between the environment and disciplines such as agriculture, education, law, and health and technology.
  • Pollution Abstracts -- offers coverage on scientific research and government policies for air pollution, marine pollution, freshwater Pollution, sewage and wastewater treatment, waste management and land pollution. It also covers effects of pollution on people and animals, and environmental action in response to global pollution issues.
  • Water Resources Abstracts -- provides summaries from 1967 to the present of the world's technical, scientific, and public policy literature on water-related topics covering the characteristics, conservation, control, pollution, treatment, use and management of water resources as well as the legal aspects of water supply, use, control, or management.

Related Research Resources

  • ABI/Inform -- database that features access to full-text journals, dissertations, working papers, key business and economics magazines and trade journals as well as country-and industry-focused reports and downloadable data. Its international coverage gives researchers a complete picture of companies and business trends around the world. Excellent source of information concerning issues of corporate responsibility and industries such as renewable energy.
  • Agricultural and Environmental Science Collection -- provides full-text titles from around the world, including scholarly journals, trade and industry journals, magazines, technical reports, conference proceedings, and government publications covering such topics as the effects of pollution on people and animals, environmental action and policy responses, and issues related to food security and sustainable agriculture.
  • Applied Science and Technology Source -- resource for scholarly journal articles and trade publications in a wide variety of scientific areas. It is particularly useful for topics related to construction, engineering, waste management, or any fields with an emphasis on how science applies to society. Good source of research on scientific and engineering applications to environmental sustainability and related topics.
  • Earth, Atmospheric and Aquatic Science Collection -- provides full-text titles from around the world, including scholarly journals, trade and industry journals, magazines, technical reports, conference proceedings, and government publications focused on studying the critical issues affecting Earth’s air, land, and water environments.
  • EconLit -- provides thorough coverage of a wide range of economics-related literature derived from journal articles, books, working papers, conference papers, and research reports. Coverage if from the 1880s to the present. Important source of research on economic issues related to environmental affairs.
  • EnviroLink -- a non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing comprehensive, up-to-date environmental information and news. EnviroLink does not take any positions on any specific environmental issues and exists solely to act as a clearinghouse of current information for the environmental community.
  • Environmental Issues Online -- uses text, archival primary sources and video to address major past and ongoing environmental issues, including water challenges, air pollution, biodiversity, climate change, energy issues, consumption and waste issues, and land issues, in comparative, historical, global and interdisciplinary ways that lie at the intersections of the social sciences, the biological and earth sciences, the humanities, legal studies and policy.
  • HeinOnline Law Journal Library -- full text access to digitized content of more than 2,600 law and law-related periodicals that cover criminal justice, political science, technology, human rights, and more. Coverage for all journals is from first issue and volume through the current issue or volume for most titles.
  • International Environmental Agreements Database Project -- seeks to foster analysis of international environmental agreements by providing a single source repository for information related to agreements and the evaluation of their influence. IEAs, as defined here, include efforts to regulate human interactions with the environment that involve legally binding commitments ("agreements") among governments that have environmental protection as a primary objective.
  • MedLine -- comprehensive database that contains millions of citations derived from thousands of biomedical and life science journals. Excellent source of studies related to the medical consequences of pollution and environmental degradation.
  • Sociological Abstracts -- primary resource for accessing the latest research in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. The database draws information from an international selection of over 2,600 journals and other serials publications, plus conference papers, books, and doctoral dissertations.
  • United Nations Environment Programme -- leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an advocate for the global environment. The program works with member countries to address challenges on seven broad thematic areas: climate change, disasters and conflicts, ecosystem management, environmental governance, chemicals and waste, resource efficiency, and environment under review.
  • Urban Studies Abstracts -- research database essential to the study of cities and regions. It covers subjects of key relevance in the study of urban affairs, community development, and urban history, including the relationship between these topics and environmental affairs.
  • WTO Environmental Database -- contains all environment-related notifications submitted by World Trade Organization members as well as environmental measures and policies mentioned in the Trade Policy Reviews of WTO members. Documents are available from 1995 onwards. In addition, member nation profiles provide a platform to view the notification status of an individual country in depth. Essential source for examining the relationship between environment and trade.


Databases that offer the opportunity to understand and contemplate the implications of environmental affairs through the eyes of people who may be most impacted by changes to the environment.

  • AgeLine -- focuses exclusively on issues of aging and the population of people aged 50 years and older from individual, national, and global perspectives. Contents cover the social, psychological, economic, policy, and health care aspects of aging derived from journal articles, books and chapters, research reports, and dissertations.
  • Child Development and Adolescent Studies -- provides citations to current and historical social and behavioral sciences literature related to growth and development of children through the age of 21, including from scholarly journals, technical reports, books, book chapters, and theses and dissertations. Key database for locating studies about the effect of pollution and environmental degradation on children.
  • Women’s Studies International -- an interdisciplinary database that covers issues in women's studies including feminist theory and history and the areas of sociology, history, political science and economy, public policy, international relations, arts and humanities, business and education. Key database for locating studies about the role of women in environmental affairs and sustainability efforts worldwide.


  • Google Dataset Search -- facilitates searching approximately 25 million datasets provided by government, public, and private groups. Users can filter results based on the type of data desired [e.g., images or text]. Data availability is based on the original source being formatted using standards, an open discovery standard for data on the web.
  • National Statistical Offices -- a directory of country-specific statistical agencies maintained and updated by the United Nations Statistics Division. Also included is a list of countries and organizations which includes a brief history of the country's statistical system, legal basis, the statistical program and much more.
  • UNData -- searchable statistical database provided by the United Nations Statistics Division that provides access to current statistics. The database covers a number of different areas such as employment, industry, and trade. A single interface facilitates the creation of customizable tables and the use of various filters and search options to sort and locate specific statistical information.


  • AQUASTAT -- the Food and Agriculture Organization’s global information system on water resources and agricultural water management. It collects, analyzes, and provides free access to over 180 variables and indicators by country from 1960. AQUASTAT draws on national capacities and expertise with an emphasis on Africa, the Near East, countries of the former Soviet Union, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. AQUASTAT plays a key role in the monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goal 6 that sets out to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”
  • ArcticStat -- a permanent, public and independent statistical database dealing with the countries, regions, and populations of the Circumpolar Arctic. ArcticStat is updated periodically to contain, wherever possible, the most recent data available.
  • Climate Data Online -- provides free access to National Centers for Environmental Information's archive of global historical weather and climate data in addition to station history information. These data include quality controlled daily, monthly, seasonal, and yearly measurements of temperature, precipitation, wind, and degree days as well as radar data and 30-year Climate Normals.
  • Data Observation Network for Earth -- supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, DataONE is a community driven project providing access to data across multiple member repositories, supporting enhanced search and discovery of Earth and environmental data.
  • EarthTrends Maps and Data -- an online collection of information regarding the environmental, social, and economic trends that shape the world. The site offers statistical, graphic, and analytical data in easily accessible formats by gathering data from the world’s leading statistical agencies, along with maps and analyzes, into a single database.
  • Energy Information Administration -- federal agency that collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policy making, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment.
  • Envirofacts -- allows you to search topical or multiple environmental databases for facility information, including toxic chemical releases, water discharge permit compliance, hazardous waste handling processes, Superfund status, and air emission estimates. Search the database using any combination of the following criteria: facility name, geography, facility industrial classification, or pollutant. A search returns a list of facilities that match the criteria entered.
  • Environment Statistics Section of the United Nations Statistics Division -- engaged in the development of methodology, data collection, capacity development, and coordination in the fields of environmental statistics and indicators. Data collection started in 1999 and the ninth round of data collection on water and waste statistics is currently taking place. Areas of data collection include Air and Climate, Biodiversity, Energy and Minerals, Forests, Inland Water Resources, Land and Agriculture, Marine and Coastal Areas, Natural Disasters, and Waste.
  • Environmental Dataset Gateway -- provides access to EPA data sources, organized into topics such as air and water that are in easily downloadable formats. Data Finder points to data in downloadable formats to speed up environmental research. For each data source, you can see a basic overview, including the geographic scale and other contextual information, then access the data source itself.
  • Environmental System Science Data Infrastructure for a Virtual Ecosystem (ESS-DIVE) -- funded by various offices within the U.S. Department of Energy, this data archive portal provides access to information generated by field, experimental, and modeling activities worldwide in environments spanning bedrock through soil and vegetation to the atmospheric interface. Although primarily a data source for the environmental engineering community, the contents can also serve as a resource for students interested in scientific studies that support their research in public policy analysis, water resource management, climate change remediation, sustainability, and other social science studies of the environment.
  • Global Change Master Directory -- contains more than 29,000 Earth science data set and service descriptions, which cover subject areas within the Earth and environmental sciences. The project mission is to assist researchers, policy makers, and the public in the discovery of and access to data, related services, and ancillary information (which includes descriptions of instruments and platforms) relevant to global change and Earth science research.
  • Global Environmental Database -- created by the Center for Global Environmental Research in Japan, this system is built with the aim of providing long-term monitoring data, data analysis results, output of models in the areas of Atmospheric and Oceanic Monitoring and Terrestrial Monitoring. Quality controlled open data is provided in original format and NASA AMES format. And users are also able to overview the data by utilities plotting parameters. Refer to the documentation for data formats and protocols when using the data. User registration is required to download some numerical data that is included in the database.
  • National Centers for Environmental Information Archive -- the official archive for data collected by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists, observing systems, and research initiatives. The center manages more than thirty petabytes of data and information that spans the entire spectrum of Earth’s environmental systems and cycles. The archive is one of the most comprehensive in the world, and includes data, metadata, and products from a broad range of time periods, observing systems, scientific disciplines, and geographic locations.
  • OECD Environmental Statistics -- provides a comprehensive collection of policy-relevant environmental statistics that encompass issues related to biodiversity, eco-innovation, natural resources, outlook, bio-safety, climate change, transition economies, water, trade, indicators, chemical safety, environment, sustainable development, transport, economic policy, and waste. Data is available from 2015 to the present.
  • United Nations Statistics Division, Environmental Indicators -- disseminates global environment statistics on ten indicator themes compiled from a wide range of data sources. The themes and indicator tables were selected based on the current demands for international environmental statistics and the availability of internationally comparable data. Indicator tables, charts and maps with relatively good quality and coverage across countries, as well as links to other international sources, are provided under each theme. Statistics on Water and Waste are based on official statistics supplied by national statistical offices and/or ministries of environment (or equivalent institutions) in response to the biennial UNSD/UNEP Questionnaire on Environment Statistics.
  • Water Data for the Nation -- provides access to water resources data collected at approximately 1.9 million sites in all fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Online access to this data is organized around the categories related the occurrence, quantity, quality, distribution, and movement of surface and underground waters.
  • Yale Climate Opinion Maps -- based on data through Fall 2021, this site visualizes estimates of the percentage of American adults (age 18 and over) who hold particular beliefs, attitudes, and policy preferences about global warming using a geographic and statistical model to downscale national public opinion results to the state, congressional district, and county levels. Originally created in 2014, the data has so far been updated in 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.