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Universiteitsbibliotheek – LibGuides

Training Public International Law: literature

Training Public International Law

Catalogue of the Peace Palace Library


The catalogue of the Peace Palace Library contains references to books and journal articles in the field of international law.

Given that the Peace Palace library (PPL) has copies of almost every public international law journal published (either on paper and/or electronically), the catalogue is at present the best bibliographical database for public international law available. The PPL uses an excellent and extensive classification system, which consists of around 5,000 keywords.The books and journal articles you may find through this catalogue are in any case available from the Peace Palace library, but a great number is also present or accessible in Utrecht. Read their introduction on searching the PPL Catalogue.

Several Research Guides provide a brief introduction, suggest certain books, articles, databases and other materials considered indispensable.

Please note!
- the Peace Palace library catalogue does also contain references to journal articles.
- Sometimes you can go directly to the full text via the hyperlink 'Plinklet', but usually you have to conduct a further search with the already found data in the UU list of electronic journals or in Worldcat (for the availability of a book or printed journal).

Utrecht University Library: Printed Books on Public Interantional Law and on International Human Rights

The collection of printed books is divided into ten fields of law, for instance:

Public international law, classification scheme (PDF)

International human rights, classification scheme (PDF)

The classification schemes show how the books are arranged on the shelves. Books on the same subject are placed together.

Searching books from the Utrecht University Library collection

The titles of the books held by Utrecht University Library can be found in WorldCat. Here you will also get information about where to find the book and if it is for loan.

There are several ways to search WorldCat. In the case of print books you can enter words from the title or keywords. In the case of e-books you usually search the table of contents and the summary. Need more help? There is a Libguide on Worldcat

More information about books can be found on Google Books, publishers' sites and on commerical sites, for instance of Amazon, or Bruna.

Google Books

Google BooksGoogle Books is a search engine in which you will find (data on) more than 20 million books. Books are included in Google Books via the scan programme that Google executes at >20 large libraries and via publishers taking care of their own uploads. That is why Google Books often contains the searchable full text of books. However, though you can search the full text you cannot always read the full text in Google Books. It depends on copyright issues and publishers' permissions. Mainly the older books which are copyright-free are full text available in Google Books.

Though it is difficult to find there is also an advanced search form for Google Books that you can use to do a more targeted search.

In addition to the catalogue, use Google Books for:

  • trying to find the title/author of books in which your subject is only a small part of the content (chapter, paragraph), because in the catalogue that only works in the case of e-books;
  • (if you are lucky) reading the full text of (parts of) books which the library does not hold (but you can also make a purchase suggestion with sometimes very quick results;
  • Finding more books on the same subject via the extra data that Google Books adds to a title (citations, related titles).

If you have found relevant titles in Google Books, you can look for the title in the catalogue of Utrecht University Library to get access to the book. Unfortunately, Google Books does not show the UBU link as Google Scholar does.

The special LibGuide Google Books UBU LibGuide Google Books offers more information about the pros and cons of working with Google Books.

Authoritative textbooks, research guides etc. in the field of Public International Law

Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law

The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (MPEPIL) is a comprehensive online resource containing peer-reviewed articles on every aspect of public international law.

Notice the hyperlinks at the top of the screen: Guided Tour – FAQs - Help

Google Scholar: fast and with full text search

Google Scholar is a large search engine for scholarly publications. It searches primarily journal articles and, contrary to almost all other search engines, searches the full text. From Google Books the data of a large number of scientific books are included in Google Scholar. Also in this respect Google Scholar differs from classical scientific search engines such as Scopus or Web of Science.

Google Scholar's special features listed:

  • you search articles as well as (a selection of) books
  • your search is full text, so you will also find sources in which your search terms are only touched upon
  • Google Scholar does not tell you what publications are included and what publications are not: you will have to find out by trial and error
  • the journal selection is less strict than in Web of Science or Scopus: as a result you will also find non-peer reviewed material
  • the order of results is also based on the number of received citations: that is why more recent publications are harder to find; always use the menu to filter on recent years!
  • if you want to have links to Refworks you must choose this as your Bibliography Manager in the preferences
  • only if you access Google Scholar via the Utrecht University Library website you will be shown the UBUlink next to the titles

In the special Google Scholar LibGuide UBU LibGuide Google Scholar you will find all you want to know about successfully using this remarkable search engine

UBU-link: links to full text and more options

In your search for scholarly literature you may sometimes find the UBU-link. This link provides information about the availability of the publication via the University Library, in digital as well as in paper format.

UBUlink, quickly to the publication

In the case of digital publications the UBU-link provides direct access. For print publications the UBU-link gives information about availability at Utrecht University Library. Sometimes the UBU-link is in the form of a yellow button, but it can also be a text link.

Nexis Uni: newspapers

Nexis Uni offers the full text of (many) articles from Dutch and international newspapers and newsmagazines. In addition Nexis Uni provides company information on Dutch and international businesses.

What will you find in Nexis Uni?

  • National news sources from 1990 onwards, for instance de de Volkskrant, NRC Handelsblad, Trouw, het Algemeen Dagblad, Het Parool, De Telegraaf, Het Financieele Dagblad and also (recent volumes of) regional newspapers and some  newsmagazines, including De Groene Amsterdammer, Elsevier Weekblad
  • Foreign news sources such as The Times, The New York Times, Le Monde, El País, but also hundreds of newsmagazines, for instance Fortune, The Economist
  • Company information about Dutch and international businesses, including financial information, annual reports and ownership structures.
  • In addition, Nexis Uni contains mostly American legal sources and caselaw.

How do you search in Nexis Uni?