Questions & Answers

Q&A: NATO Troop Levels for Balkan Operations

Question:

I am looking for statistics on NATO's Implementation Force (IFOR), Stabilization Force (SFOR), and the Kosovo Force (KFOR), all of which took place in the Balkans in the early 1990s. I want to know how much money and troops NATO countries committed to those operations.

Answer: 

LexisNexis Statistical database is a good place to start. If you search it for "NATO" and "allied contributions," you'll find an annual report to Congress on allied contributions to NATO since 1985. There's also a table called "Defense Spending As A Percentage Of GDP, 1990-2001 [U.S., NATO Allies, Pacific Allies, And Gulf Cooperation Council, By Country]" issued by the Department of Defense.

You may want to look specifically into the individual NATO forces, which were established through various UN Security Council resolutions. These implementation force sites have varying amounts of information--e.g., NATO Kosovo Force (which shows a list of contributing nations); SFOR (which lists contributing nations); IFOR; UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

Also, NATO publishes a couple of documents similar to annual reports:

There is also documentation from the UN Security Council and reports from the UN Secretary General. The UN online document system (ODS) has lists of contributing nations to all three forces, and total troop numbers embedded in reports. Searching ODS will give you access to the same documents on the UN Security Council website. ODS may also bring up information on monetary figures, as this was usually reported to the UN General Assembly.

Additionally, the Global Policy Forum tracks UN policymaking, and their site includes statistics on UN Peacekeeping Operations Budget and UN finance. The Center for Defense Information, a security policy research organization, has background and statistics.

Finally, if none of these resources give you the exact numbers for which you're looking, search the secondary scholarly literature for journal articles with the data. Start with Worldwide Political Science Abstracts (Stanford only), and then check other article databases under "political science" or "history."


Q&A: Unpublished Congressional Hearings

Question:

I'm looking for the testimony of a Congressman before a subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee in September of 2006. I've tried Socrates and LexisNexis Congressional Publications and can't find it, though it's cited in a newsletter.

Answer: 

This is an unpublished hearing, so it won't be a federal depository item at Stanford, nor cited in LexisNexis Congressional Publications. Many hearings are unpublished, especially those before various subcommittees. The law does not require publication, and each committee or subcommittee decides whether to publish a particular hearing.

There are two additional resources to check:

  • The Federal News Service. Go to the databases and click on LexisNexis. On LexisNexis, click on the Sources tab at the top, then search for "Federal News Service." To get the testimony, do a full-text search with the Congressman's name and the date of the hearing. You can also access the Federal News Service via the E-Journals site on the library homepage--search for "Federal News Service" and click on the LexisNexis link.
  • The Federal Document Clearing House (FDCH), available through LexisNexis Congressional Publications. To access the FDCH, go to the Databases site and search for Congressional Publications. There, click on "advanced search," and set the search box to "All fields including full text." You can then search by last name of the witness (it's important to do this in a full text search), and can also restrict the date range.

Unlike the Federal News Service, the FDCH is cannot be searched as a separate database or electronic publication, only as full text within LexisNexis Congressional Publications. Also, the logic for searching LexisNexis is essentially full text, so if you enter two words together, they will be searched together in the order given. If you want to use multiple terms, use multiple search boxes or boolean connectors (and, or, not, etc.).


Q&A: Journalist Shield Laws

Question:

Can you help me find out about the history of journalist shield laws, and what the shield laws are in each state?

Answer: 

Start with a Socrates search using the keyword "shield laws" and you will see several relevant titles. Also, look at the subject headings in the records from that search. You'll see headings such as "Confidential communications--Press--United States and Freedom of the press--United States," and will find more relevant materials by using these subject headings.

For state shield laws, I'd recommend that you check with ponyter.org's Guide to Journalist Shield Laws. Also, at Vanderbilt University's First Amendment Center, you will find a section for shield laws that provides an overview, as well as information on various shield law cases.

Finally, we have various article databases in which you will find scholarly articles, law review articles, and media coverage on this topic. Below are a few to explore:

  • Academic Search Premier: full-text for over 4,650 scholarly publications, including topics in the social sciences, humanities, and general science
  • Alt-PressWatch: newspapers, magazines, and journals of the alternative and independent press
  • America's Newspapers: full-text content of local and regional news
  • Communication Studies: journalism, public opinion, political communication, mass communication
  • ComAbstract: abstracts of articles published in the primary professional communications literature
  • Lexis Nexis: transcripts of radio and television programs, law reviews, government documents

Q&A: United States Presidential Elections

Question:

Where can I find information on United States presidential elections?

Answer: 

To start, look at the Politics and Elections Resources page, which lists resources about elections.

For presidential speeches, check these news databases (available to Stanford users):

Finally, you'll find many relevant materials by simply doing a Searchworks under subject search under "campaigns United States." Here are a few listings to get you started:


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