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International Human Rights (LAW 6886)

This guide was created for Professor Weissbrodt's International Human Rights course, Fall 2016

Books - Law

You should start your research in secondary sources.  They guide you to the applicable treaties, custom, and general principles in your topic.

Books & Book Chapters (and e-books and e-book chapters): best quality!  Books have toughest barriers to publication.

Journals (also called Periodicals) & Articles - Law

  • Journals & Articles: not as many barriers to publication as books, but still vetted.
    • MNCAT Discovery: provides access to print and electronic journals and articles.  
    • Westlaw or Lexis. Available only to law students.
    • Index to Legal Periodicals: Available only to law students UNLESS you are an UMN student who is accessing the database while physically at the law school.  Provides more coverage of journals + beauty of subject headings
    • HeinOnline: the best historical collection of journal articles - in PDF.
    • Footnotes of the articles you read - they lead you to the law and to other books and articles on your topic.  Find them.

Subject Headings

You should start your search with keywords and then find the subject headings that apply to the best results of your keyword search.  But, for fun, below is a non-exhaustive list of subject headings related to human rights:

  • international law
  • human rights
  • human rights - [name of country or region].  E.g., human rights - france
  • human rights - periodicals
  • civil rights (international law) 
  • civil rights - [name of country or region]. E.g., civil rights - indonesia - timor
  • transitional justice
  • women legal status, laws, etc.
  • women's rights
  • children (international law)
  • children's rights
  • indians of south america - brazil - civil rights
  • [individual organization]. E.g., Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
  • [name of treaty]. E.g., Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedom

Interdisciplinary Research

Some paper topics may require interdisciplinary research.  UMN libraries have hundreds of databases, below are some examples: 

  • MNCAT: the database for all UMN library books, journals, ebooks, and ejournals.
  • Academic Search PremierThe world's largest academic multi-disciplinary database. 
  • Columbia International Affairs OnlineComprehensive source for theory and research in international affairs. 
  • Gender WatchA database of unique publications that focus on how gender impacts a range of topic areas.
  • PAIS InternationalPublic Affairs Information Service (PAIS) chronicles issues in the public debate. 
  • Web of Science: this is how you "shepardize" a social science article.  Questions? Ask me! 
  • Women Studies International: A compilation of ten databases covering feminist writings in journal articles, books, anthology chapters, and reports.

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