I am researching UN documents. When should I use UNBISnet? When should I use ODS?
Last Updated: May 09, 2018     Views: 909

The right database can make research on UN documents quicker and more rewarding. 

If you are just starting research, check out the FAQ How do I start research on UN documentation? (linked below).

If you have some experience, and want to optimize your search by choosing the best search option, here are some hints.

Choose UNBISnet to:

  • search by topic
  • search on metadata (information about the document)
    • title
    • author
    • document symbol
    • agenda item
    • subject
    • UN body name
  • search for a certain type of UN document, even if there is no distinctive symbol pattern
    • resolutions
    • meeting records
    • annual/sessional reports
    • reports of the Secretary-General

Choose ODS to:

  • search by symbol
  • search on the full-text of documents
  • search for documents that cite previous documents

Choose UN-I-QUE to:

  • find the document symbol for a recurrent document, such as:
    • annual or sessional reports of UN bodies to their parent organ
    • statements at the general debate of the General Assembly
  • especially useful for older documents
  • please note that this database has not been updated since 2014

Choose the UN Yearbook to: 

  • start historic research
  • find document symbols
  • find additional information about a document and the context in which it was considered

Choose the Index to Proceedings to:

  • find all documents related to an agenda item in a given year or session
  • find the meeting number and symbol for a meeting held on a certain date
  • find statements prior to 1983

Each researcher develops personal strategies for working with UN documents: there are many approaches that get results. All the tools listed can be used in many additional ways-- this list highlights some of the key ways to use the various resources. 

May 09, 2018     909


Disclaimer: answers are prepared by library staff using resources available at the time of writing. This site may include links and references to third-party databases, websites, books and articles, this does not imply endorsement by the United Nations.


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