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Countries & Cultures: Selected Websites & Google Search Tips

Facts about the land, people, culture, customs, history, government, political conditions, economy, and foreign relations of countries of the world

Google search tips

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Length: 1:36. Hit play and then watch full screen or on YouTube.

Recommended websites for information about Countries & Cultures

Background Notes 
Facts about the land, people, history, government, political conditions, economy, and foreign relations of
independent states, some dependencies, and areas of special sovereignty. Published by the US State Department.
U.S. government portal to exporting and trade services; includes country and industry market reports, trade agreements and statistics, broad country information and more.

US Commercial Service Export Assistance by State
Offices in Illinois that assist businesses in exports.

 World Factbook
Published by the CIA the site provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities. Reference tab includes: maps of the major world regions, as well as Flags of the World, a Physical Map of the World, a Political Map of the World, a World Oceans map, and a Standard Time Zones of the World map.

World Bank's Countries & Regions
These online reports offer a collection of data from the World Development Indicators (WDI). Here you will be able to find data on agriculture, biodiversity and forests, emissions and pollution, water resources and infrastructure, environmental health and energy indicators for specific countries, regions and income groups.  

Economist magazine's Country Briefings

Country Studies
This Library of Congres site 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.

Global Legal Monitor
Online publication from the Law Library of Congress covering legal news and developments worldwide

Demography and Population Studies page from USA People Search

Country Profiles 
BBC's guide to history, politics and economic background of countries and territories, and background on key institutions.

Social Indicators data posted by the United Nations' Statistics Division

Market Research Library
US Dept. of Commerce Country Commercial Guides
Choose a country from the drop-down menu. Guides cover Leading Sectors, Trade Regulations, Market Research, etc. See also the best markets by industry and the regional guides.

International Statistics

Amnesty International's Country Reports

Statistical Agencies
Links to statistical agencies of foreign counties published by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Compilation of data from such sources as the World Bank, CIA World Factbook, UN, and OECD. Comparisons may be made between countries in thousands of categories.

Global Competitiveness Report
Published annually by the World Economic Forum.

Internet Public Library
Links to regional and country information.


How can I tell if website is worth using?

The CARS Checklist for Research Source Evaluation 

Credibility trustworthy source, author’s credentials, evidence of quality control, known or respected authority, organizational support. Goal: an authoritative source, a source that supplies some good evidence that allows you to trust it.
Accuracy up to date, factual, detailed, exact, comprehensive, audience and purpose reflect intentions of completeness and accuracy. Goal: a source that is correct today (not yesterday), a source that gives the whole truth.
Reasonableness fair, balanced, objective, reasoned, no conflict of interest, absence of fallacies or slanted tone. Goal: a source that engages the subject thoughtfully and reasonably, concerned with the truth.
Support listed sources, contact information, available corroboration, claims supported, documentation supplied. Goal: a source that provides convincing evidence for the claims made, a source you can triangulate (find at least two other sources that support it). 

From:                     Harris, Robert. "Evaluating Internet Research Sources."