New UNESCO Transparency Portal
UNESCO introduced its Opendata site on March 16. The site includes data on 982 country projects, 430 regional projects, and 516 global projects that UNESCO has supervised since 1970. Here’s what its accompanying news release had to say:
“Opendata.UNESCO.org is intended to present comprehensive, quality and timely information about UNESCO’s projects, enabling users to find information by country/region, funding source, and sector and providing comprehensive project data, including budget, expenditure, completion status, implementing organization, project documents, and more. It publishes program and financial information that are in line with UN system-experience of the IATI (International Aid Transparency Initiative) standards and other relevant transparency initiatives. ”
Fact Sheets from SIPRI
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) is a well-known and highly respected organization for international security research, data, and commentary. While access to some resources is fee-based, SIRPI provides a number of data-rich resources (often labeled as “fact sheets”) at no charge. The Trends in International Arms Transfers, 2014 fact sheet was published online about one week ago and is a good example of what is available for free. This document runs eight pages. You can find more fact sheets published by SIPRI here along with links to all SIRPI publications (both free and fee-based).
Global Guide to Research and Academic Institutions
OrgRef is a free data set made available by a British company that consists of the names and locations of more than 31,000 research and academic organizations located around the world. Data provided includes name, country, and a link to the organization’s web site. OrgRef has the same Creative Commons licensing as does Wikipedia. The data is supplied in .CSV format and can easily be sorted and organized to meet your needs.
Research Reports by U.S. Congress and UK House of Commons
The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) is part of the Library of Congress and conducts research for members of U.S. Congress on any topic they request. Sadly, it’s not always easy to access these useful reports since they are not made officially available. The good news is that Steven Aftergood, director of the Government Secrecy Project at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), gets ahold of many of these reports and shares them on the FAS website. What follows are a direct links to recently published or updated reports from CRS.
The House of Commons Library Research Service plays a similar role in the UK. Below the CRS links you’ll find two new/updated reports from the House of Commons LRS.
From the Congressional Research Service (via FAS)
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses, March 18, 2015
Jordan: Background and U.S. Relations, March 17, 2015
Iran Sanctions, March 9, 2015
Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations, March 3, 2015
Military Service Records and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Sources, February 27, 2015
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources, by Topic, March 13, 2015
From the UK House of Commons Library
Egypt 2015, March 20, 2015
ISIS and the Sectarian Conflict in the Middle East, March 19, 2015
Searching the iTunes Store
The way most people find apps, music, books, podcasts, etc. from iTunes is by using one of Apple’s search tools. The search, however, is often slow and results are not easy to navigate. For these and other reasons I’m finding myself using a tool named Fnd.io to search the iTunes store.
It can be used with any country’s app store and, along with search results, provides direct links to browse the charts of the top apps, songs, books, movies, etc. sold in the store. If you’re an iOS user, I suggest giving it a look. Fnd.io is a free resource and works on all browsers.
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington, D.C., metro area. He is the author of INFOdocket (@infodocket) for Library Journal, and was a co-founder and senior editor at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker. Previously, Price served as a contributing editor to Search Engine Land and director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.