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Human Rights Research: Google and Google Scholar Research

Finding primary and secondary resources related to human rights.

Google and Google Scholar Research

Google is an excellent tool for discovering primary documents from the U.S. government, international organizations, and foreign governments. Google scholar searches the full text of many peer-reviewed publications, searching capabilities that go beyond many of the capabilities of our library databases.

Searching Google Effectively:

Finding Primary Resources

The trick to searching Google effectively is to determine the Internet domain you wish to search, and then to perform a focused search using a site limit. To discover top-level Internet domains for other nations, you can consult Domain Name Registries Around the World.

Here are some sample searches.

1. To find documents from mainland China on human rights, you can use the Domain Name link above to discover that the top-level Internet domain for China is cn. Then, you can construct a Google search like this: site:cn human rights. Looking at the Google results you will notice that likely refers to government sites within China. You can refine your search this way: human rights. Further, since many substantive documents are created in PDF format, you can further restrict your results: "human rights" filetype:pdf.

2. The primary United Nations domain is You can search Google's indexing of UN documents following this example: "human rights" trafficking

3. The various agencies of the U.S. government can be effectively searched in the same manner:
"human rights" "indigenous peoples"
"human rights" "indigenous peoples" filetype:pdf "human rights" democracy africa


Searching Google Scholar:

Finding Scholarly Secondary Sources

A complete description of how to search Google Scholar can be found in the Research Guide Google Scholar: Finding Fulltext through U. of Denver Databases.

Reference Librarian

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Christopher C. Brown
University Libraries

University of Denver

(303) 871-3404