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Newsletter No.238


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FreePint 27th September 2007
No.238
 Contents


 About FreePint

FreePint is a global network of people who find, use, manage and share work-related information. Members receive this free twice-monthly newsletter, packed with tips, features and resources.

Joining FreePint is free at <http://www.freepint.com/> and connects information practitioners around the world with resources, events and answers to their tricky research and information questions at the FreePint Bar, our free online forum: <http://www.freepint.com/bar/>.

Please share FreePint with others by forwarding this message. The FreePint Newsletter is available online in several formats and can be read, saved and forwarded at <http://www.freepint.com/issues/>.

 Editorial

By Monique Cuvelier

Monique CuvelierMany years ago, I embarked on what in retrospect seems like a clearly fruitless and somewhat pathetic pursuit. I decided to learn Esperanto. It seemed like such a tidy language, with a consistent, perfectly phonetic alphabet accessible to everyone.

I started as any first year student would, by referring to the things around me in my new tongue. I would sit at the 'tablo' and eat with my 'forko'. I'd take the 'hundo' for a walk before talking with friends on the 'telefono'.

A forko by any other name ...I felt that if I could demonstrate to my friends and family that it was possible to learn this language easily, soon we'd all be communicating with people across the globe, creating a more empathetic 'mondo'.

What I overlooked were the facts that A) Esperanto sounds sort of stupid, and B) if we were to pull off this whole global Esperanto thing, everyone in the world would have to learn a foreign language.

It's an experiment I felt embarrassed about for years, but nowadays I'm wondering if the idea has merit. A more unified Europe is not only bringing more people with more languages closer together, but it's also opening up heaps of multi-lingual information that we information professionals must sift through.

But, as more people probably speak Klingon than Esperanto these days, we must find other means for coping. Adrian Janes helps with his report on performing research on the EU - part of our FUMSI Regional Research Series. And Anja Chemnitz Thygesen provides a helpful guide to conducting research in a foreign language. Check out Barbara Verble's Tipples for translation sites. Also, Mandy Webster reviews Sheila Pantry's book "Managing Stress and Conflict in Libraries".

And who knows? We might all be speaking Esperanto soon. Looks like it's taking hold in Ukraine <http://digbig.com/4tqjq>.


FreePint is a Registered Trademark of Free Pint Limited (R) 1997-2007

Down

Online Information





Online Information Exhibition

4-6 December 2007, Grand Hall Olympia, London

Discover how to find, create, manage and share information for competitive advantage at Online Information, the world's no.1 event for online content and information solutions.

Register for free entry at <http://www.online-information.co.uk>

ILI



What distinguishes you from the crowd?

http://www.internet-librarian.com/

Internet Librarian International, 8 & 9 October, London Everyone searches the internet in their work so what distinguishes internet librarians from the crowd? Can you prove the value of your search, management and delivery skills? Realities, roles and resources revealed in this global event focusing on the practical needs of FreePinters and information professionals.

 My Favourite Tipples

By Barbara Verble

The need for language translation has increased significantly as a result of globalisation, despite the fact that English functions as the lingua franca of international commerce. Translation needs are met by large and small translation agencies, but the Web also offers a number of translation sites and tools.

  • Omniglot <http://www.omniglot.com> is a portal listing language and translation-related resources. For translation, you can access online dictionaries as well as online translation and localisation tools, many of which offer some free use.

  • FreeTranslation <http://www.freetranslation.com>, from SDL International, offers text and website translation in several European and Asian languages. SDL offers a desktop translation tool for subscription - a good investment if you have an ongoing need for translation.

  • PROMT <http://www.online-translator.com/text.asp?lang=en> offers a free translation tool that enables you to translate text, websites and e- mail from and into English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian. The quality of the translation is comparable to that of FreeTranslation.

  • WorldLingo <http://digbig.com/4tqjr> provides free translation of up to 150 words for text, Web pages and e-mail covering 15 languages. In addition, you can direct the tool to use specialised online glossaries when generating the translation.

  • A very useful website is freelang.net <http://www.freelang.net/>, where you can download or access language dictionaries. The site lists translation resources, including tools for hand-held devices and free online translation software. The site also offers free human translation for smaller amounts of text.

** Submit your top five favourite web sites. See the guidelines at <http://www.freepint.com/author/>.


As an information developer, Barbara Verble writes technical documentation and curriculum materials for a global audience. She has spent several years translating a variety of materials from English into German. She also researches international business information.

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Online Information





Information Management Solutions Exhibition

4-6 December 2007, Grand Hall Olympia, London

Register online for free entry at <http://www.ims-show.co.uk>

The leading event for business, marketing, web & IT professionals

Better information management, better business








FUMSI

Web-Based Resources In and About Europe

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 FreePint Bar

In Association with Factiva from Dow Jones

By Monique Cuvelier

<http://www.freepint.com/bar>

Freebies from The New York Times and reminiscences about Friday afternoon fun on the telly spark some lively and useful discussion on the FreePint Bar <http://www.freepint.com/bar/>. Stop by or post any issues that are flummoxing you.

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  • Whether or not libraries are using or misusing Web 2.0 technologies, they certainly have taken over many businesses. You've surely read about it in the papers. So has one Bar member, but he's wondering where those reports are finding their information. Ideas? <http://www.freepint.com/go/b182681>.

  • If the phrase 'It's Friday ... it's five to five ... and it's Crackerjack' brings back memories for you, you may want to stop by a discussion on a long-lost Leslie Crowther song <http://www.freepint.com/go/b179303>. It's stimulated some reminiscent discussion about who had what pencil and the spawning of British game shows.

  • Go to <http://www.freepint.com/go/b181731> for handy statistics on how many students in the UK graduate in agriculture at the Higher National Diploma level per year. Or, for that matter, statistics on all manner of students graduating in all manner of fields.

Sign up for the twice-weekly Bar Digest at <http://www.freepint.com/subs/>.


Monique Cuvelier is editor of the FreePint Newsletter. She has edited, launched and written for many magazines, newspapers and websites in the US and UK. Learn more about her at http://www.onopoly.com/support/team/.


The FreePint Bar is where you can get free help with your tricky research questions <http://www.freepint.com/bar>

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VIP

South of the Border: September's VIP Searches Latin America
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A economically growing region with different information sources and norms -- VIP summarises resources for Latin America business research.

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 Jinfo - Jobs in Information

<http://www.jinfo.com/>

The Jinfo service enables you to search and advertise information- related job vacancies.

The Jinfo Newsletter now features CV Makeovers, in which a job seeker's CV is critiqued and revised by specialists in the field as well as career tips for all experience levels. Read the latest edition and subscribe free at <http://www.jinfo.com/newsletter/>.

Jinfo Jobs in the FreePint Newsletter are supported through our partnership with Quantum2, an innovative skills development programme offered by Thomson Scientific. Learn more at <http://www.thomsonscientific.com/quantum2/>

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[The above jobs are paid listings]

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ResourceShelf

ResourceShelf Resource of the Week: Kids.gov ... and a few other resources for students and teachers

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Find free full-text reports put out by government agencies, NGOs, charities and other public interest organisations. Recent additions:

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Subscribe to the weekly ResourceShelf Newsletter for highlights, capture the DocuTicker RSS feed, or visit daily.

 Tips Article

Plain text | PDF | Contents

"Doing Research in a Foreign Language Market: Tips and Techniques"

By Anja Chemnitz Thygesen

Conducting research in another language can be tricky, especially if you speak only your mother tongue. Being a native Danish speaker with knowledge of English, French, German and Portuguese, I have the advantage of understanding written information in Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish and Norwegian. Still, I often struggle when it comes to specialised topics in which I may only know the business terms in either Danish or English. This article outlines some of the lessons I have learned from researching in foreign language markets.

Know the business in your own language

To understand and translate into another language, you have to know and understand what you are researching in your own language. Start out by gaining an understanding of the market structure and how the market is functioning. Are the competitors usually working in exactly the same field or is there an overlap? What does the value chain look like?

I recently worked on a competitor analysis for a company that provided direct mail and letter shop services. In my research, I discovered that the main competitors were actually the distribution companies (postal services) because they were moving into the market with heavy capital and systematically taking over the competitors. This kind of information about the wider market and what happens in it can help you, even if you're looking at another country with other competitors.

Translate key terms

One of the first things to do once you understand the business in your own language is to translate the key terms you are going to use in your research into the foreign language. Often you can do this by finding a homepage about the topic that is available in both English and in the foreign language. By going through the English version in detail and later the foreign language version, you may be able to get a good idea of key terms. Remember always to cross-check the information by looking up the word in a foreign language dictionary and checking more than one source.

Get a good dictionary or try automatic translation

If you have problems defining your key terms you may use dictionaries to help. There are many free Internet-based dictionaries that can help in your initial search. However, I often find that they offer little or no explanation about the terms and are completely lacking in context. This makes it difficult for you to verify if the word you find is the right one. In other words, you get what you pay for. If you want a good dictionary, it will probably not be free of charge.

That said, here are some of the better free-of-charge dictionaries:

  • EUdict <http://www.eudict.com/>. The number of terms in the EU dictionary is quite limited but it contains a lot of lesser-known languages

  • LOGOS Multilingual E-Translation Portal <http://www.logos.it/lang/transl_en.html>. The LOGOS dictionary is also interesting and translates a word into several languages at the same time. The dictionary offers a lot of languages but it seems to focus on the main European ones (Spanish, Italian, German, English)

  • If you want other alternative dictionaries you will find a more extensive list of dictionaries at EUROPA's Translation - Language Aids page <http://digbig.com/4tqjx>

  • If you are completely lost and have no other possibilities you may use an automatic translation tool, such as the one at Applied Language Solutions <http://www.appliedlanguage.com/free_translation.shtml>, to help you in getting an understanding of the texts and terms you are working with. I have tested it from Chinese to English and actually managed to get some sense out of the translation.

Use a local search engine

Once you start searching for information you'll run into problems if you limit your search to just international search engines. A local search engine can help you define your terms and also find relevant websites. Often you will also be able to browse through such search engines and find pertinent information.

You can find local European search engines at Network Technologies' European Search Engines, Directories and Lists <http://www.netmasters.co.uk/european_search_engines/>.

Another place to look is Search Engine Colossus <http://searchenginecolossus.com/>, which offers links to more countries, but is of a poorer quality.

Always remember to use advanced search features in the global search engines (such as Google). In some cases it may be useful to limit your search either by language or by geography to get exactly the sites that are relevant to your research work. Although these search features may not always work that well, it definitely does limit the breadth of your search.

English-only searching limits

It can be tempting to click on the English flag on a website and get information in a language that you understand. Company websites and websites of public services often have a portion of their site translated into English. Unfortunately the English pages often contain just a part and not the most recent information available. To get the most valuable and detailed information you will have to screen the pages in the local language and try to navigate through to the information you are looking for.

One of the big Web surfing paradoxes is that you often find information in English far down in the hierarchy of Web pages, and only after surfing through numerous pages in a local language. This makes it even more valuable to have at least some understanding of the key terms you are looking for in the local language.

Use languages you know as a gateway

As mentioned at the beginning, understanding two Latin-derived languages has been a gateway for me to understand other Latin languages as well. You often come across homepages where the English version is very slim compared to the pages available in the native language. This makes it necessary to be creative and try your luck with the pages in the local language (as long as the alphabet is more or less the same as the one you know). By guessing and trying to read with an open mind you will often be able to understand more than you may have thought.

However these lucky guesses should always be double-checked, either by finding the same information in a language you know or by getting a local language expert to confirm your assumptions.

Leverage your network

Perhaps you know someone who speaks the language in which you are researching ? Often they can help you and review what you have done to see if it is in line with their interpretation. I often get help from my colleagues, professional network, friends and family.

Make it a habit to ask people about their language skills even when you go out to dinner parties - it may be of great help to you later. Untrained researchers may not have your methodology skills but if you take your time and explain why you need the information, you can often get them to spend hours searching for you. A Polish friend once helped me find Polish companies within the telecom industry and actually continued sending me updates months after I had completed the research. In this way I managed to get very detailed and valuable information.

Remember the EU

The EU has a lot of material which has been translated into English. Often you can find it in local European languages as well. European Union A To Z Index is a gateway to the EU <http://eurunion.org/infores/euindex.htm>. Eurostat <http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu> collects statistics from all the national statistical offices and you may be able to find quite a lot of updated information through this source.

Grab your phone

It may be quite useful to email or phone people even though it may be difficult to understand them. Quite often local specialists can guide you to the right information about the topic you are researching. One of our best examples is the national statistics offices, which are often helpful in translating key terms or guiding you to the right information on their website (which may actually be in English). You can find the country profiles with national statistics offices at globalEDGE <http://globaledge.msu.edu>.

And accept limitations

Sometimes you may misinterpret things based on your limited understanding of a foreign language. So, accept that there are things that you CANNOT do in a completely foreign language. You may be able to get an annual report and understand parts of it, but do not start to translate entire articles. It will be a waste of your time and can be dangerous to your client, who may get an incorrect picture of things. If you start translating articles and longer texts, you must have a good knowledge of the language and may even double check your information through an English source to make sure that the direction of the translation is not totally wrong. I once attempted to translate an article from German into Danish, and reached the conclusion that the market was declining, only later to find in English language sources that it was increasing.

If you have problems or need professional help, always turn to the ones that know the market - the local information professionals:

AIIP, the Association of Independent Information Professionals <http://www.aiip.org/AboutAIIP/directory_home.asp>. Use their directory to find contacts in specific geographic locations or about specific topics.

You may also contact your embassy in the location you are researching and get their assistance.

Or you may even create your own network of researchers in which you can exchange services. This is a good way of learning from each other and avoiding wasted time on research that you suspect will end up giving a poor result anyway. All in all you can do a lot of research in a foreign language if you use the right approach, use your creativity, your network and the tools available. However you should always double check critical information or get a person with local language skills to confirm your assumptions.


Anja Thygesen is research manager with the Danish management consulting company Quartz Strategy Consultants. She and her team of researchers provide company and market information to internal consultants as well as external clients. She has 8 years experience in business research in management consulting. Anja has formerly held positions in information research and knowledge management in A.T. Kearney. She holds master degrees in economics and in communication and is a member of AIIP. You can reach her at <act@quartz.dk>.


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Jinfo

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 Review

Plain text | PDF | Contents

"Managing Stress and Conflict in Libraries"

Written by Sheila Pantry

While libraries are stereotyped as calm, quiet places they can also be particularly vulnerable to aggression and conflict. Dealing with members of the public, working with students experiencing stressful situations in their own lives and keeping late opening hours with reduced numbers of staff can put a strain on employees who still firmly believe in the ethos of trying to help their users. "Managing Stress and Conflict in Libraries" provides managers and staff with practical advice on what behaviours should be tolerated given the current health and safety legislation, reporting procedures, conflict resolution skills and risk assessments.

Managing Stress and Conflict in LibrariesSheila Pantry's style is eminently practical. Each chapter starts with a few bullet points indicating what it will cover and ends with a recap of the main points or, where appropriate, reflective questions to consider about the reader's own workplace environment. Helpful checklists are included throughout the text, and time-saving sample documents that could easily be adapted, such as the ratings system for reported incidents to help to identify triggers and solutions, are perfect for a practical guide.

The book's greatest strengths are its practicality and the author's obvious experience passed on in realistic advice, such as designing counters to protect staff and queue management to avoid aggression from queue jumpers. The bibliography is an extensive resource offering a good assortment of further reading. In contrast Appendix B, which lists recommended websites, feels lightweight and would have benefited greatly from brief annotations about what the site covers. For instance, the Carole Spiers Group may be unfamiliar to most readers. Appendix C reverts to a more useful format of an annotated list of advice centres, including contact details and opening hours.

The book is very up to date; URLs work as expected of a book written in 2007 and the statistics used are mostly from that year. Some concerns may be raised about the author's reliance on the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) as the recommended source of legislation throughout the book, without a disclaimer that the site only provides legislation as published. It means that there may have been amendments that were overlooked, such as the Human Rights Act of 1998, which was amended after the OPSI version was published.

As for target readership, managerial employees will be most interested in this book, but it would be a worthwhile read for all staff. The shocking instances of bullying and stress in case studies in chapter 10 are particularly compelling; managers will want to read this section and reflect on their own services. There are plenty of books about stress and bullying in the workplace but few specifically covering the library sector. Even fewer are so readable and full of practical suggestions.


Mandy Webster is Library & Information Services Manager at Browne Jacobson and co-author of BIALL Handbook of Legal Information Management and Knowledge Management: Social, cultural and theoretical perspectives, along with many articles and reviews.


Related FreePint links:

Related links:

Propose an information-related book or resource for review today. Send details to Monique Cuvelier, editor of FreePint <editor@freepint.com>.

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 Feature Article

Plain text | PDF | Contents

"FUMSI Report: European Research Resources"

By Adrian Janes

Adrian Janes[Editor's note: A new report from the FUMSI Regional Research Series aims to sketch some of the background to the EU's development, point out the functions of some of the key institutions and above all indicate useful sources of information, both on the EU and on Europe considered more broadly.

Below is an excerpt, but you can order the report in its entirety at <http://web.freepint.com/go/shop/report/european-research/>.]

Researching Europe

Researching Europe can be undertaken on several levels. Starting with the national, one finds significant government, mass media and academic sources. The UK perspective to this report should therefore be seen as representative of a pattern that can be found to a greater or lesser extent throughout all of the EU Member States, once an entry point for a country has been found.

At the national level it is less likely that one will find English language versions of the information given. (The website of the Swedish Parliament's EU information service <http://www.eu-upplysningen.se> is a partial exception to this rule; they will furthermore supply printed versions of additional information like fact sheets in English.) Also, at the current level of development, translation websites and tools are not capable of dealing with language of any great complexity or ambiguity. It would therefore be best to be fluent in the language of a non-English speaking country in order to get the best from the information sources available for it. To help locate such sources, there are specialised search engines for various European countries gathered together at Netmasters <http://www.netmasters.co.uk/european_search_engines> and Aniota <http://www.aniota.com/europa.html>. Phil Bradley <http://www.philb.com> (click on Country Search Engines tab for alphabetical groupings) and The Big Search Engine Index <http://www.search-engine-index.co.uk> are especially comprehensive, not just for European but worldwide coverage.

With the latter site, ignore the categorised section which produces basically sponsored results and scroll down to Pick A Country for the search engines. A good way into resources for a particular country is to see if its embassy has a Web presence. Many embassies now understand that part of their mission to present information on their country needs to be undertaken on the Web. Check Embassy World <http://www.embassyworld.com> for an extensive list. If the country or countries you wish to research have a physical presence, the chances are they will have a virtual one too, with information and links (eg official investment contacts) tailored to citizens of your country.

Another way to locate sources for a specific country is to incorporate its Internet suffix into your search terms when using a general search engine such as Google or Yahoo. A list of these suffixes (eg fr = France, es = Spain, etc) is provided by the Internet Assigned Names Authority <http://www.iana.org/root-whois/index.html>.

Beyond this level there is the regional (for example Western, Central or Eastern Europe) and organisations like the EU or the Council of Europe, which aspire to be more or less pan-European. With the regional and pan- European levels, awareness and public interest as reflected in the media seem lower, and sources that come into their own are university departments or faculties, think tanks (often with some sort of ideological slant to their work), and specialised commercial research organisations. It should also be observed that to some extent this division into levels is always artificial, so for example the EU's anticipated enlargement will take it further into the Balkans, and its developing economic and political power will inevitably have growing implications for Russia. Therefore research on an individual country often cannot remain restricted to that country because of the interdependence that is increasingly apparent in Europe.

General sources of information

The quality of information obtainable from and about the EU and its Member States matches its vastness. There has been a conscious movement by the EU in recent years to place much more online, as well as developing information networks to deal with enquiries from citizens and businesses. For pamphlets and books, including online versions, the EU Bookshop <http://digbig.com/4tqjs> and the EU Publications Office <http://publications.europa.eu/index_en.htm> are the best places to start. The Publications Office home page also serves as an immediate gateway to important publications like the Official Journal and EU Whoiswho.

Europa <http://europa.eu/index_en.htm> is the preeminent official gateway. All the main areas of activity are covered, from Agriculture to Transport, with links rapidly leading from the broad to the very specific.

Eurojargon <http://europa.eu/abc/eurojargon/index_en.htm> attempts to put into plain, concise language many of the activities and concepts that underlie the EU. This is a good quick reference.

Europe Direct <http://ec.europa.eu/europedirect/index_en.htm> has a clickable map to indicate centres for EU information in each of the member states. They are intended to be able to answer enquiries on all aspects of the EU, whether it is a question of policy or the practical exercise of rights.

In Britain, the European Information Network <http://www.europe.org.uk/info/> not only provides links to Europe Direct centres, but also includes networks aimed at specific audiences:

  • European Documentation Centres (academic)

  • European Information Centres (business)

  • European Public Information Centres (based in public libraries).

European Union Delegation of the European Commission to the USA <http://eurunion.org/infores/euindex.htm> maintains an extremely thorough collection providing links to many important EU sites. They are organised as Essential EU Sites, Essential Sites in Business, Education and Law, and sites for EU institutions and agencies. Since the workings of the EU are probably as mysterious to many Europeans as they are to Americans, it's also worth knowing about the PDF publication, 'The European Union: a guide for Americans' (included under Publications), which is a good introduction.

Even more comprehensive is the superb set of links maintained by the office of the European Commission in the UK <http://ec.europa.eu/unitedkingdom/links/index_en.h tm>. Some of the individual sites it collects will be referred to in the course of this report, but this is an essential jumping-off point. It includes such subject areas as European Institutions and Agencies; Consumers/Health; The Euro; EC Delegations around the World; and Business Advice. There are also particular links to UK Government departments which have a European dimension.

The Library of Congress has a series of Portals to the World. The European one is at <http://www.loc.gov/rr/international/european/euro.html>. This brings together categorised links by country (although there is also a set of links for the European Union) in such areas as Business, Commerce, Economy; Education; Recreation and Travel. Search engines for each nation are a further category. The British Library takes a national approach for Western Europe, and a somewhat more regional one for Eastern Europe. For example, resources related to France are at <http://www.bl.uk/collections/westeuropean/france.html>, but many links for Central and Eastern Europe are at <http://www.bl.uk/collections/easteuropean/slavonicinternet.html> (especially useful is the section Information sources on Central and Eastern Europe). There is a further layer of links to resources for individual countries such as Bulgaria or Poland. Typically these gather together official, academic and news sites.

Berkeley University's European Union Internet Resources <http://digbig.com/4tqjw> is particularly well-organised and comprehensive. Each of its broad subject areas - EU Institutions and Bodies, EU by Subject, EU Documents by Type, and Other Items of Interest - is in turn logically broken down, enabling a researcher to quickly find potentially relevant sites for an enquiry. Indeed all of the library collections noted here share these qualities. There is also an inevitable degree of overlap between them, but being aware of these various gateways maximises the chances of finding useful sites.

Academia is an important source of European information, not least because the study of the EU, an organisation unique in terms of political science, is a burgeoning field. The British Library gateway noted above includes an extensive list of academic links.

This academic interest has produced valuable Open Access material. Some indicative examples are:

  • Journal of Contemporary European Research <http://www.jcer.net>, covering areas like international relations, economics and sociology

  • European University Institute at Florence (Italy) <http://www.iue.it>, which publishes the European Journal of Legal Studies as well as a range of papers via its Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies

  • Palgrave Macmillan <http://www.palgrave.com> publish a large range of books on Europe. From the standpoint of this report, what is most interesting is that many of them have companion websites which bring together useful links and update material.

One of the best of these is Tim Bale's European Politics Guide <http://www.palgrave.com/politics/bale/guide.htm> which has chapter by chapter links for his book 'European Politics: a comparative introduction'. These relate to chapters on issues like 'Federalism, devolution and the European Union' and 'The Media: player and recorder', so are good for keeping informed on important issues. More broadly, the same site's EU Resource Area <http://www.palgrave.com/politics/eu> has contributions from other authoritative writers, producing features such as guides to 'The European Union on the Web' and 'European Union Environmental Legislation', along with a chronology of European Union integration.

Most of the websites in this chapter are pan- European in scope (although quite often providing the opportunity to drill down to national-level sources). However there are some which take a more regional view. WESSWEB, <http://wess.lib.byu.edu/index.php/Main_Page> maintained by the Association of College and Research Libraries in the US, is a clearly laid-out site concentrating on Western Europe. Some countries have their own section (eg Dutch Studies), others are grouped into regions (eg Iberian Studies). In each case they lead on to Subject Resources, a Reference Shelf (dictionaries, guides and directories) and Newspaper and Other News Sources.

A good equivalent for Central and Eastern Europe is Slavophilia <http://www.slavophilia.com> whose range extends from the Czech Republic up to and including Russia. Entry is either through broad subject areas (Computers and Internet, News and Media, Science, etc) or through the Country Focus section. Coverage of some countries is significantly better in some cases than others, but this is probably as much to do with the relative underdevelopment of the Internet in those places as any other factor. Slavophilia does at least provide a starting point for researchers which, given the nature of the Internet, inevitably leads to further links.

Taken altogether, the above resources should give useful information on many areas of life for just about every European country, whether or not it is an EU Member State or a candidate country, or not in the EU at all. The following chapters in this report will concentrate on resources for more specific areas of interest. However the general sources should always be kept in mind, as they constitute an enormous and well-organised treasury of information.


After several years as a musician and songwriter, Adrian Janes began his career in information in academic libraries. Subsequently he moved into public libraries with the London Borough of Havering (UK). He currently works as an Information Services Librarian in the borough's main library, where he has particular responsibility for European Union information and British Official Publications. He is also closely involved in the continuing development of a "Recommended Websites" page, and trains library staff and members of the public in the use of electronic reference resources. He has contributed a number of book reviews and articles to FreePint. This is his first research report for Free Pint Limited. He is married with two sons, and enjoys sharing his continuing passion for music with these young Beatles, Monkees and Ramones fans.


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