Biblioteca : Latin American and Iberian Resources at Georgetown

Non-profit/think tank sources in DC

July 16, 2012 · Leave a Comment

While I am constantly attempting to provide as many good resources as possible right here in Lauinger, at the same time I encourage students and researchers to take advantage of the university’s location in Washington, DC, to fill in any gaps that may arise. It is important to keep in mind that many of these organizations may have their own agenda, and you may want to check the report’s sources to verify its conclusions. This is true, of course, of any kind of source, but I recommended learning more about the history and purpose of the organization that created the document before considering it as a source for something you’re working on. I won’t get into a discussion of the intricacies of interpretation and objectivity here, but, in short, make sure to look up the stuff in the footnotes.

Keeping this in mind, many organizations hold talks, publish reports (often distributed for free at the talks), and have e-mail subscriptions that can also be useful for your research, and are often the first interpretation of the latest research on a particular topic in a particular country. I actually use them in my own work to find out more about a topic I’m less familiar with as a kind of starting point (again, keeping in mind potential bias issues) , or to identify possible primary resources.

If you want see what organizations are out there, stop by the Lauinger reference desk and have a look at the Yearbook of International Organizations. It has a subject index, so you can simply look up a topic and see relevant organizations. It’s faster than Google, I promise! 🙂

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