HeinOnline’s Tip of the Week: Searching for Country Reports on Human Rights Practices from a specific region?

Foreign & International Relations Database, Tips and Tricks
HeinOnline Blogger

Do you often search or browse the Human Rights, the Helsinki Accords, and the United States: Selected Executive and Congressional Documents in the Foreign & International Law Resources Database in HeinOnline? If so, you’ll find this week’s tip helpful as we focus on how to effectively search across specific regions within this title. If you don’t use this title often, you may still find this tip helpful as we briefly outline conceptually how to use and understand the table of contents to further build a search.

First, we’ll begin by explaining how this title was indexed and what you can expect to see in the table of contents. Throughout the series, the sections are tagged with the country name as well as the continent. The “Title” of each section contains the country/region and the “Description” includes the continent/area. When looking at the table of contents for a volume in this series, the title will appear first for each section in normal font types and the description will appear in italics. This will help us understand how to build our search. For example, understanding the table of contents will allow us to search across all country reports from East Asia and the Pacific, from the Western Hemisphere, or from Ecuador.


Let’s take a look at a few examples. First, we want to find discussions in the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices regarding human rights issues in the Dhaka Central Jail in Bangladesh. To do this search, select Foreign and International Law Resources Database from the list of subscribed collections on the Welcome Page. Click the Search tab, and then click Advanced Search. Select Title from the drop down menu of the first search box and enter Bangladesh. In the second search box, enter the term Country Reports and select Description from the drop down menu. In the third search box, select Text from the drop down menu and enter Dhaka.


This will return several results to the Bangladesh Country Reports within which human rights issues in the Dhaka Central Jail are discussed. The results include reports dating back to 1983. We could narrow our search even more to find more recent discussions, for example just the year 2000. To do this, click on “Modify search”. Now, add 2000 into the begin and end date fields and click search. This will return exactly 1 result:

Now let’s look at another example. Let’s say we want to find all discussions about Labor Code across Country Reports from the Western Hemisphere. To do this, we would search for the continent or area in the description field vs. the country name. Enter the continent/area into the first search box, “Western Hemisphere” and select Description from the drop down menu.Then enter “Country Reports” into the second search box and select Description from the drop down menu. In the last search box, enter “Labor Code” and select Text from the drop down menu. Click search.

This returns these results. Now, let’s narrow our results even further to find discussions about the Industrial Courts Act in Antigua. Click “Search Within These Results”. In the text box, enter the following:

“Industrial Courts Act” AND title:Antigua

Click search. This will return these results that match our search criteria:

Understanding the title and its electronic table of contents helps to build an efficient search in HeinOnline.