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Humanitarian and Disaster Leadership

This research guide is for students in the Humanitarian and Disaster Leadership program.

Accessing Library Resources from a Distance

Be sure to familiarize yourself with using the library to access resources when you are not on campus at and how to request services on the library web site.

Resources to Help at Each Step of Your Research Paper or Project

It is difficult to recommended one database for finding resources in Humanitarian and Disaster Leadership where many topics are cross-disciplinary.  

  • USE the search from the Library home page.  
    • This search will simultaneously search for books and ebooks as well as articles found in many of our library databases.
    • Use the facets on the left to limit your results to articles or ebooks.
  • USE Google to search for information from organizations. 
    • Limit your searches in Google to include only organizational sites by including "" with your keywords when searching. 
    • To remove .com sites from your search, include "" with your keywords.
  • USE Springerlink to access a large collection of scholarly ebooks in a wide variety of disciplines published by Springer along with journal articles from the journals they publish.  New titles are added on a continuing basis.
Whether you start with the "ALL" search, a specific database, or Google Scholar, the best research strategy is to use the iterative research process, where you perform multiple searches, refining your research criteria based on what you find.  Each iteration will take you closer to your desired goal. 

Consider installing and using Zotero, software that you can use to organize your citations and help with writing and citing.

Before using any information source in your paper, whether it is a book, article, or something from a webpage, you need to carefully evaluate the information to make sure it is both reliable and appropriate. Use this list of questions to help you evaluate information. Depending on your information need, different criteria will be more or less important

  1. Authority - Who is the author? What is their point of view? 
  2. Purpose - Why was the source created? Who is the intended audience?
  3. Publication & format - Where was it published? In what medium?
  4. Relevance - How is it relevant to my research? What is its scope?
  5. Date of publication - When was it written? Has it been updated?
  6. Documentation - Did they cite their sources? Who did they cite?

Additional information at - Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply & Questions to Ask  Steps and Guidelines for effectively evaluating websites. (UC-Berkeley).

It is not always easy to figure out if online sources are credible. Below are four short videos showing some tools you could use to help you determine if a source is credible.

  1. Watch a short introduction about sorting fact from fiction
  2. Tools to use to investigate the source
  3. Tools to find the original source
  4. Tools to find a trusted source

3:13 minutes

2:45 minutes

1:33 minutes

4:10 minutes

Consult the Qualitative Research Guide

The Guide provides:

  • An overview of qualitative research including data collection techniques and data analysis.
  • Links to free software like QDA Miner lite, and Taguette and purchased software like NVIVO.

Consult the Quantitative Research Guide

The Guide provides:

  • An overview of statistical analysis.
  • Links to free software options for doing statistical analysis and tutorials for using SPSS and R.


Consult these resources to help you write your literature review.

Short 3-minute video explaining how to synthesizing literature when writing a literature review

The Wheaton College writing center has resources to help you with writing and formatting your paper.

Video: Literature Reviews: A Guide for Graduate Students created by the North Carolina State Libraries.

Zotero is a reference manager that can not only hell you organize your research resource but it can also help you with formatting in-text citations and your bibliography.

Citation style guides

All Hazards

Search over 20,000 scholarly/peer-reviewed articles and 5,000 proceedings from academic, non-government organizations, and governmental conferences and workshops covering all-hazards topics.

Disaster Information Management Research Center (NLM)

Health information resources and technology for disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.

Disaster Lit

A database of links to free disaster medicine and public health documents.


Information on the human impact of disasters, disaster-related economic damage estimates and disaster-specific international aid contributions from the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED)


The Natural Hazards Center Library provides citations to hazards resources that focus on how society copes with natural hazards and catastrophic events.

Humanitarian Response

A specialized digital service of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) with Information Management tools, services, and a place for information exchange between operational responders during a sudden emergency. This site also provides access to country specific emergency sites.

National Academies

Free download of all their books. Click on Resources at the top of the page.

National Emergency Training Center Library

An online catalog and periodical index of articles in scholarly and trade journals serving the emergency management, fire, EMS, and homeland security communities.

PTSDpubs (Literature On Traumatic Stress)

The PTSDpubs Database (formerly PILOTS) is an extensive PTSD resource produced by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs although it is not limited to literature on PTSD among Veterans.


The leading humanitarian information source on global crises and disasters, provided by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).


Behavioral health resources that help responders prepare, respond, and recover from disasters.

National Academies Press EM eBooks

A collection of reports providing guidelines and targeted resources for all stakeholders in a disaster response and recommended improvements including post-disaster public engagement practices.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Emergency Preparedness and Response

CDC’s primary source of information and resources for preparing for and responding to public health emergencies. This site continues to keep the public informed about public health emergencies and provides the information needed to protect and save lives.

Google Crisis Map

A collection of national and regional-scale layers related to weather, hazards, and emergency preparedness and response, mostly for the US. (FEMA)

Ready is a national public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to get the public involved and ultimately to increase the level of basic preparedness across the nation.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Security & Intelligence Studies Research Guide: Georgetown University Library System

U.S. Department of Defense

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

United Nations: Security Council Counter Terrorism Committee

Datasets that are generated and held by the Federal Government. You will find descriptions of the Federal datasets (metadata) and information about how to access and use the dataset


Quick access to statistics on topics of public health importance 


Statistics and studies gathered by market researchers, trade organizations, scientific publications, and government sources on over 600 industries

​​UNISDR: Disaster Statistics

A collection of statistical databases sponsored by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.

World Development Indicators Online

A collection of development indicators, compiled from official international sources. Data is current and includes national, regional and global estimates.

Global Health Exchange

Catalog of surveys, censuses, vital statistics, and other health-related data available by country.


IndexMundi is a data portal that gathers facts and statistics from multiple sources and turns them into easy to use visuals. Find detailed country statistics, charts, and maps compiled from multiple sources and explore and analyze thousands of indicators organized by region, country, topic, industry sector, and type.


Provides economic and demographic indicators across 300 industry verticals (agriculture, consumer goods, ICT, pharma…) The database is composed of data from trustworthy sources such as national statistic agencies, governments, international organizations... (UNDP, UNESCO Institute for Statistics, UNCTAD, WTO, World Bank, World Health Organization, OECD and many others)

World Health Organization (WHO)

Health data and statistics by country and include descriptive and analytical summaries of health indicators for major health topics.


NGO Resources

Customized NGO Search Engine

Search all websites of NGOs affiliated with the UN Economic and Social Council, the University of Minnesota Human Rights Library, the Duke University NGO Research Guide, and The World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO).


Over 26,000 summarized documents from approximately 7,500 economic and social development organizations worldwide.

Free Resources for NGOs

Organization dedicated to providing free online resources for NGOs.

Information about and lists of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)

Site maintained by the University of California, Berkley library. Includes lists by category and additional information about NGOs as well as a custom Google search.


InterAction is the largest alliance of international NGOs and partners in the United States. Access free resources as well as a searchable library of press releases.

World Organization of Non-Governmental Organizations

You can also search the internet using Google and limit to only organizational or government sites by adding "" or "" with your search terms.