Cornell University

Catherwood Library

Catherwood Library, Ives Hall, 607-255-5435

Sources for Non-Academic Researchers


A portal to aid developing countries and institutions lacking funds

An ILR/Universitas Partnership Program

While many of these resources can be used to find information on a variety of subject matter, this research portal is specifically designed to help one find free key materials in disciplines related to Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR).

Should you need information not contained or addressed by this guide, the Catherwood Library has prepared other subject guides on specific topics. You may want to consult the Cornell University Library Gateway as well. Ask the Reference Librarians at the Catherwood Library for assistance.

By Stuart Basefsky; last updated August 2006

All Purpose Searching

The research web sites listed below can be a good starting point for any inquiry. Please note, however, that these are complex sites. The researcher is encouraged to take the time to understand the organization of these sites in order to use them effectively.

Web site from Cornell University and Human Resource Executive magazine. This index to other Internet resources is divided by subject area and is also searchable by keyword. Workindex is designed to provide a gateway to the best workplace-oriented web sites on the Internet. Broad range of subjects covered. Home page also features Today's HR News, Newsletter of the Week, Editor's Choice for best sites, and much more.

Library Databases

From the American Bar Association, a listing of public library database collections.  Many public libraries now offer extensive database collections free to their patrons. For most libraries these databases can be accessed from a remote computer with a library card ID number. Which means research can be conducted at home or at the office utilizing these powerful resources.

A free virtual library resource center for educators and students, librarians and their patrons, families, businesses and just about anyone exploring the Web for valuable research information.

Refdesk is a free and family-friendly web site that indexes and reviews quality, credible, and current web-based resources.
Search Engine Colossus

International Directory of Search Engines, which allows you to identify country-specific search engines.

Since its creation in 2001, Wikipedia has rapidly grown into the largest reference website on the Internet. The content of Wikipedia is free, written collaboratively by people from all around the world.

Article Databases

The list of free, full-text article databases below provides the equivalent information of a moderate research facility at no cost. A mixture of academic, trade, and commercial journals are listed in addition to newspaper articles. This is not comprehensive in terms of what is free. It is suggested that the researcher also consult the "all purpose searching" section above. is a directory based Internet search engine that strives to cover the topic of Business Publications.
Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

This service covers free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals.

FindArticles gives users free access to millions of articles from thousands of top publications.
ERIC - Education Resources Information Center

The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education, produces the world's premier database of journal and non-journal education literature. ERIC provides a public Web site for searching nearly 1.2 million citations going back to 1966 and, with contributor permission, accessing more than 110,000 full-text materials at no charge.

Provides links to more than 5,000 newspapers world-wide. One can select the country interest and the newspapers available online will appear. Choice of language will often be available to the user.

Books & Journal Titles

To find titles of books, journals, documents, archival materials, and other items available at Cornell University and other institutions specializing in workplace issues, go to the following freely available catalogs and sources.
Cornell University Library Catalog (Classic Version)

The CUL Catalog will help you locate books and journal titles available at Cornell. Special Note: On the far right of the screen, you may want to "Set Search Limits." For example, you may want to limit your search to materials found only in the "ILR Library" by selecting this under "collection location."
Digital Book Index

Digital Book Index provides links to more than 125,000 title records from more than 1800 commercial and non-commercial publishers, universities, and various private sites. About 85,000 of these books, texts, and documents are available free, while many others are available at very modest cost. See the following subjects for example:

eBooks: Economic History: Labor, Wages, Incomes, Employment, Cost of Living 

eBooks: Labor History, Reform (19th c U.S.)

eBooks: Labor, Labor History 

Other Subjects

Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Library

Features a specialized Digital Library collection of full-text documents from around the world on subject matter dealing with the workplace and social/political issues.
ILO: Labordoc

Summary: Provides international coverage of labour topics including employment, labour relations, labour law, working conditions, vocational training, social security, occupational safety and health, women workers, child labour, migrant workers, economic and social rights, and all labour-related aspects of economic and social development.

Labourline is a major reference source to European trade union information resources, mainly focusing on industrial relations and health and safety. Labourline gives access to a wide range of printed and electronic references related to the world of labour.

Citation, Evaluation, Writing

This section is devoted to (1) providing citation style guides to aid in referencing information found, (2) assisting one in evaluating the reliability and quality of Internet information, and (3) writing in good style and form.


APA Electronic Reference Formats

Excerpted from the 6th edition of the American Psychological Association (APA) Publication Manual. The material provided covers commonly asked questions regarding how to cite electronic media.

APA Format: Bibliography Styles Handbook

Citation Styles Handbook: APA

From the Cornell University Library guide to citations.
Citation Styles Handbook: MLA

From the Cornell University Library citation guide.

Online Citation Styles

How to cite online resources. Four styles are featured: MLA, APA, Chicago, and CBE.

Evaluation Evaluating the Quality of the Information on the Internet Evaluating the Quality of the Information on the Internet


Elements of Style

Classic style guide from William Strunk, Jr.
Olin: How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography (Cornell)

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.

Company & Industry Information

The following are key free sites that provide useful information on companies and/or industries. Since this is not comprehensive, one should consult the all purpose searching sites above to find additional resources. Free Annual Reports Service

The Annual Reports Service, a FREE Service provided by WILink and The Annual Reports Service provides you with quick access to annual reports and other information on selected companies.  Users can view companies by an alphabetical listing or by industry.

Sample company reports from CorporateInformation. Access to these sample company analyses does not require registration. To view the analysis pages on companies other that the ones found here users will need to register.

A free service that allows users to review an annual report in an easy and convenient manner; boasting the most complete and up-to-date listings of annual reports on the internet, provides instant access to annual reports in their actual format in one single location.
Researching Companies Online

This business research tutorial presents a step-by-step process for finding free company and industry information.

International Information

DOS: Country Offices (and Regional Offices) Contacts

Provides an alphabetical index of State Department Country Offices.

Country and Regional Desk Offices can be called for information,reference, and referral services on the country of your interest. The area code is 202 unless indicated otherwise.

Alphabetical index of State Department Country Offices.

The International Information links are designed to lead the researcher and practitioner to the most reliable and fundamental information sources available in matters related to Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). To assist in this process some sources have been grouped into categories such as: Best Regional Sites - including Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and Key State Department sites.

Africa - Best Regional Sites

Africa News

A directory of online African news sources organized by country of origin.
African Management Services Company (AMSCO)

AMSCO (African Management Services Company) was established to address the issue of management and management capacity building in private sector companies in Africa, enabling these companies to enter the global market competitively, profitably and in a sustainable manner. To achieve this aim AMSCO provides management and capacity building services to African businesses, particularly Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, promoting regional economic integration through trade and investment.
Economic Commission of Africa

Established in 1958, the Economic Commission of Africa (ECA) is one of five regional commissions under the administrative direction of United Nations (UN) headquarters. As the regional arm of the UN in Africa, it is mandated to support the economic and social development of its 53 member States, foster regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa's development. It reports to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
MBendi Information for Africa

The MBendi website, Africa's leading business, travel and tourism website, is also one of the world's top mining, energy, travel and trade websites.

Asia – Best Regional Sites

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, is the premier forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region.
ADB: Asia Regional Information Center

The Asia Regional Information Center (ARIC) provides an array of regularly updated information about the economic performance and prospects of 16 Asian nations.
ADB - Asian Development Bank

The work of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is aimed at improving the welfare of the people in Asia and the Pacific, particularly the 1.9 billion who live on less than $2 a day.

Europe – Best Regional Sites

Essential European Union Business web sites

This is a compilation of the best business web sites for the European Union as provided by the Delegation of the European Commission to the USA and its library.

Latin America – Best Regional Sites

Internet Resources for Latin America

Compiled and copyrighted by Molly Molloy, New Mexico State University Library.
LATCO Tools of the Trade

From the Latin American Trade Council of Oregon
Lanic - Latin American Network Information Center

From the University of Texas at Austin

Key State Department Sites

DOS: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor leads the U.S. efforts to promote democracy, protect human rights and international religious freedom, and advance labor rights globally.
Business Center

The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.
Country Background Notes

These publications include facts about the land, people, history, government, political conditions, economy, and foreign relations of independent states, some dependencies, and areas of special sovereignty. The Background Notes are updated/revised by the Office of Electronic Information and Publications of the Bureau of Public Affairs as they are received from the Department's regional bureaus.
DOS: Country Commercial Guides

Country Commercial Guides (CCGs) are prepared annually by U.S. embassies with the assistance of several U.S. government agencies. These reports present a comprehensive look at countries' commercial environments, using economic, political and market analysis. GO TO REPORT TYPE. Use the pull-down menu and use COUNTRY COMMERCIAL GUIDES. Then search for the country in which you are interested.
DOS: Country Reports on Economic Policy and Trade Practices

Through 2001, the Country Reports on Economic Policy and Trade Practices were prepared by the Department of State in accordance with section 2202 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-418). They provided a single, comparative analysis of the economic policies and trade practices of countries with which the United States had significant economic or trade relationships. In fall 2002, Congress abolished the reports.
DOS: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

The Country Reports on Human Rights Practices are submitted annually by the U.S. Department of State to the U.S. Congress. The reports cover internationally recognized individual, civil, political, and worker rights, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Additional Resources

CIA World Factbook

The Factbook is a comprehensive resource of facts and statistics on more than 250 countries and other entities; includes maps.

LC: Country Studies (Library of Congress)

From the Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, the Country Studies Series presents a description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of countries throughout the world.

EIRO - European Industrial Relations Observatory

The European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO) is a monitoring instrument offering news and analysis on European industrial relations. A project of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, EIRO began its operations in 1997. Its aim is to collect, analyze and disseminate high-quality and up-to-date information on key developments in industrial relations in Europe.  Among the most useful sections of this site is the Comparative Information.

Eldis - Gateway to Development Information

Eldis is a gateway to information on development issues, providing free and easy access to wide range of high quality online resources.

Cornell Law School: Foreign and International Law Sources

For legal material available on the Internet by country and topic, this is one of the better places to go. Simply click on "search the guide" and enter the name of the country in which you are interested.

Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members of Foreign Governments

The Central Intelligence Agency publishes and updates the online directory of Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members of Foreign Governments weekly. 

DOL: Foreign Labor Trends (ILAB)

From the Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor, the Foreign Labor Trends (FLT) report series is designed to be an informative and authoritative source of information on labor institutions, practices, and recent key developments in the countries reported.
globalEDGE - Resource Desk

(Formerly known as International Business Resources Index)
This directory is being maintained by the Michigan State University - Center for International Business Education and Research (MSU-CIBER).

Globalization and Labor Standard (GALS)

The GALS Bibliographic Library contains abstracts of recent law journal articles exploring international labor standards and rights in the global economy. Taken from English language law journals from around the world, GALS provides an annotated bibliography categorized by subject heading. Current subject headings include: Codes of Conduct, Child Labor, NAFTA, WTO, Alien Tort Claims Act, ILO, European Union, Forced Labor, Trade Conditionality, Women's Rights, etc.
ILO: International Institute for Labour Studies (IILS)

The International Institute for Labour Studies (IILS) was established by the International Labour Organization in 1960 as a center for advanced studies in the social and labor field to further a better understanding of labor issues through education and research. It uses research networks, social policy forums, educational activities and publications to open up new perspectives for social policy; develop systematic exchanges between the ILO’s constituents and the external academic communities and practitioners; and familiarize future social policy-makers with the processes of tripartite consultations and policy formulation.

ILO - International Labour Organization

The International Labour Organization is the UN specialized agency which seeks the promotion of social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights. It was founded in 1919 and is the only surviving major creation of the Treaty of Versailles which brought the League of Nations into being and it became the first specialized agency of the UN in 1946.

The ILO formulates international labour standards in the form of Conventions and Recommendations setting minimum standards of basic labour rights: freedom of association, the right to organize, collective bargaining, abolition of forced labour, equality of opportunity and treatment, and other standards regulating conditions across the entire spectrum of work related issues. It provides technical assistance primarily in the fields of:
• vocational training and vocational rehabilitation;
• employment policy;
• labour administration;
• labour law and industrial relations;
• working conditions;
• management development;
• cooperatives;
• social security;
• labour statistics and occupational safety and health.

It promotes the development of independent employers' and workers' organizations and provides training and advisory services to those organizations. Within the UN system, the ILO has a unique tripartite structure with workers and employers participating as equal partners with governments in the work of its governing organs.

International Reform Monitor

This site gives a wide range of well-selected information on social policy (health care, pensions provision, family policy, state welfare), labour market policy and industrial relations in 15 OECD-countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States of America. It is part of the "International Reform Monitor" project by the Bertelsmann Foundation.
ITA - International Trade Administration is the Web site of the International Trade Administration of the Department of Commerce. Their mission is to create prosperity by strengthening the competitiveness of U.S. industry, promoting trade and investment, and ensuring fair trade and compliance with trade laws and agreements.  Particularly helpful is their site map.
SSA: Social Security Programs Throughout The World

This publication highlights the principal features of social security programs in more than 170 countries: old-age, survivors, and disability; sickness and maternity; work injury; unemployment; and family allowances. A set of tables in each volume provides information for each country on the types of social security programs, types of mandatory systems for retirement income, contribution rates, and demographic and other statistics related to social security.
Census: Statistical Agencies by Country

Provides links to statistical agencies of most countries.
United Nations Web Site Locator

Alphabetic Index of websites of the United Nations System of Organizations and alternate finding aids in the left margin. This site serves as a portal to web sites of the United Nations, its funds and programs, and specialized agencies. It also includes links to key projects and initiatives and to various joint programs of the UN System.

USAID Development Experience Clearinghouse

USAID's Development Experience Clearinghouse (DEC) is the largest online resource for USAID funded technical and program documentation. Search their online database, download USAID documents in PDF format for free, and sign up for DEC Express, their bi-weekly e-publication that lists recently acquired documents.
ILO: World Labour News (WLN)

Produced by the ILO Library using the NewsNow monitoring system, World Labour News is a current awareness service providing up-to-the-minute headlines with corresponding full text of news articles focused on labor issues particularly relevant to the work of the ILO. Some 17,500 news websites located in countries throughout the globe are scanned every five minutes for labor subjects based on specific terms in English, French and Spanish found in the Keyword List. Because most of these news sources are electronic versions of indigenous newspapers or other local news services, WLN offers the advantage of breaking news articles on labor developments often not covered in the international media, presented from a local perspective. International coverage is also included.

Public Policy Resources

CRS - Congressional Research Service (Open CRS)

The U.S. Congressional Research Service is where Members of Congress turn for confidential, nonpartisan research and analysis on a range of issues. CRS provides this information and analysis as an extension of, or supplement to, the Member's own office staff -- a relationship that affords CRS staff a level of access uncommon The U.S. Congressional Research Service is where Members of Congress turn for confidential, nonpartisan research and analysis on a range of issues. CRS provides this information and analysis as an extension of, or supplement to, the Member's own office staff -- a relationship that affords CRS staff a level of access uncommon to most other public policy groups in Washington. Currently, these materials are only available through third parties. For specific workplace information, see the specific section of KEY WORKPLACE DOCUMENTS that contains CRS materials.
The Public Policy links are designed for researchers and practitioners who need reliable information. is an online resource guide designed to provide legal and regulatory information to America's small businesses. Because laws and regulations affect every aspect of business strategy, topics covered on the site range from the most basic and crucial, such as choosing a business structure or hiring a lawyer, to highly specialized issues such as e-commerce and exporting. The site also acts as a gateway to federal, state and local information that affects small businesses. From the site, Business owners may quickly check zoning codes for their local area, or file a complaint with the Office of the National Ombudsman.
CBO - Congressional Budget Office

The Congressional Budget Office is a small nonpartisan agency that produces policy analyses, cost estimates of legislation, and budget and economic projections that serve as a basis for the Congress's decisions about spending and taxes.
GAO - Government Accountability Office

The Government Accountability Office is the investigative arm of Congress. GAO exists to support the Congress in meeting its Constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and accountability of the federal government for the American people. GAO examines the use of public funds, evaluates federal programs and activities, and provides analyses, options, recommendations, and other assistance to help the Congress make effective oversight, policy, and funding decisions. Legal Research Guide: Labor and Employment Law (U.S.)

Legal research requires the use of special tools and publications. The Virtual Chase informs about Web sites and research strategies for finding the law.
Public Agenda Online

Public Agenda provides unbiased research that bridges the gap between American leaders and what the public really thinks about issues ranging from education to foreign policy to immigration to religion and civility in American life.

Political Science Resources: Think Tanks

Think tanks tend to advance the debate on issues both practically and theoretically and often allow for a broader spectrum view. Individual research institutes may have a policy or political bias that reflects their ideological positioning.  Links are provided by the University of Michigan Library Documents Center.
Workplace Issues (for U.S. Citizens)

Free guides on Pay & Compensation, Discrimination, Medical Leave, On-the-Job Safety, Lunch and Other Breaks, Pension, and Workplace Posters from the Federal Citizen Information Center, Pueblo Colorado.

Statistical Resources & Data


These databases are produced by the Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Select one of the 10 SUBJECTS using the PULL-DOWN MENU in order to find your area of interest. Otherwise you may find many of the statistics using this link:

ILO: Statistics Portal

Single source for ILO Statistics created by the ILO's Bureau of Statistics. The above is supplemented by the ILO Library's How To Find Labor Statistics.

OECD: Stat Web Browser

OECD.Stat is the OECD's statistical data warehouse. It provide a single access point for statistical data and metadata across the Organisation. Validated statistical data and metadata are replicated from the various directorates' "production" databases into OECD.Stat. See--USER GUIDE
OECD: Worldwide Statistical Sources

One can browse by Country or seek statistical sources of International Organizations or find Other Data Sources selected by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Date (OECD)
The key sites listed below allow the researcher to pursue data on any given topic.
Eurostat - Statistical Office of the European Communities - Home Page,30070682,1090_33076576&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

From the Statistical Office of the European Communities, whose mission is to gather and analyze figures from the different European statistics offices in order to provide comparable and harmonized data to the European Institutions so they can define, implement and analyze Community policies.  Site provides direct access to the latest and most complete statistical information available on the European Union, the EU Member States, the euro-zone and other countries.

Choose Dutch, English, or French. Choose online statistical publications and indicators for statistics about European Union countries. View press releases, statistical news, and on-line catalogues. Find out about the statistical information service provided.


Provides access to statistics and information produced by more than 70 U.S. government agencies. Searchable through an A-Z subject index, keyword searching of agency web sites linked to Fedstats, "fast facts" linkage to frequently requested tables from the Statistical Abstract, as well as direct links to agency contacts, news releases, and other navigational and organizational aids.
Green Book

The Green Book is compiled by the staff of the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives from many sources and provides program descriptions and historical data on a wide variety of social and economic topics, including Social Security, employment, earnings, welfare, child support, health insurance, the elderly, families with children, poverty, and taxation. It has become a standard reference work for those interested in the direction of social policy in the United States. Past issues can be found at -
OECD: Glossary of Statistical Terms

The Glossary contains target definitions, based on existing international statistical guidelines, of the main variables collected by the OECD. It also contains key terminology and concepts used in OECD publications as well as commonly used acronyms.
International Statistical Institute (ISI)

The Institute is an autonomous society which seeks to develop and improve statistical methods and their application through the promotion of international activity and co-operation.
ILO: Labour Force Surveys Online

Labor Force Surveys by country can be found at this site developed by the ILO Library.

A Labour Force Survey is a standard survey of work-related statistics.Countries and territories included on this page make their Labour Force Surveys available online.
Statistics and meta-data for some countries are also available from the LABORSTA database.

OECD: Statistics Portal,2639,en_2825_293564_1_1_1_1_1,00.html

This source organizes statistical data by topic including labor, education & training, health, social & welfare statistics, industry & services, and more.
Population Reference Bureau

U.S. population issues, trends, and statistics, in graphics and text, are presented in an easy-to-use format. Selected topics include Marriage and Family, Population Estimates and Projections, Education, Race and Ethnicity, Income and Poverty, Migration, Foreign-Born Population, Children, Older Population, Political Arithmetic, Fertility, Labor Force and Employment, and Mortality. Sources are cited and links to other Web sites provided.
Census: Statistical Agencies by Country

Provides links to statistical agencies of most countries.
Statistics in Africa

This site brings together information and resources related to statistics in Africa, both from within the World Bank and from many other sources identified by World Bank staff.
World Wide Web Virtual Library: Statistics

From the University of Florida’s Department of Statistics, this source includes a listing of government departments, divisions, and schools of statistics by continent. In addition, one finds online educational resources, government statistical institutes, statistical research groups and associations, and other related matter to statistics and statistical sources.

Translation Tools

Search specific languages or countries or translate text and web pages.  Also allows users to set the Google homepage in their selected language via their Preferences page.
Babel Fish - AltaVista

Enables you to translate short passages to and from English to a number of languages and to and from several specific pairs of languages (for example, German to French, French to German). You can also translate Web pages.
Google: Language Tools

Search specific languages or countries or translate text and web pages.  Also allows users to set the Google homepage in their selected language via their Preferences page.

Related Guides

Research Help

Related ILR School Pages