ATS: Secretariat of the Antarctic Treaty
The Antarctic Treaty was created on December 1, 1959 by the twelve nations active in Antarctica at the time. Designed “in the interest of all mankind that Antarctica shall continue for ever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord,” thirty-four additional countries have since acceded to the Treaty. The treaty operated without an institution until 2004, when the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat (ATS) was established in Buenos Aires. This resultant website provides a space to both make their information publicly available, and aid the work of the members, committees, and consultants of the treaty. The Resources section provides access to the bulk of materials on the website. The Antarctic Treaty database is a major gateway into the publications of the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting, with nuanced search limitations by date, category, topic, and keyword. The Final Reports from all meetings are also available in PDF format. The Documentation Centre is the searchable and browseable ATS online library catalog. Other publications available through the website include the CEP (Committee on Environmental Protection) Handbook, visitor guidelines for tour operators, and the ATS newsletter. Links to related websites and online resources are nicely organized and extensive. Environmental protection is a major area of cooperation between the treaty parties and a substantial portion of the ATS website is devoted to making related documentation easily accessible. On the website, information is heavily cross-linked, making navigation somewhat confusing at first. The site map provides a clearer picture of available content.
[Author: J Jones]
The Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) "conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women, promote public dialogue, and strengthen families, communities, and societies." Specifically, IWPR focuses on five program areas: poverty, welfare, and income security; work and family; employment, education, and economic change; health and safety; and democracy and society. The reports and documents on offer are categorized both into these five subject areas land also into various "Resources" sections on special topics including "Women and Social Security" and "The Status of Women in the States." Most of the reports are available for free as PDFs but also for purchase in hard copy. The subject area tabs include listings of both academic research reports and speeches -- many available in audio format -- given by Institute-affiliated scholars. The site has a Google-based search engine of limited usefulness, but the organization of the reports and other documents into subject areas or by format or year of publication provides a better means for locating relevant publications.
[Author: J.P. Cusker]
The United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN) a unique portal that promotes better public administration by the exchange of expertise and sharing of experiences and lessons learned at local, national, and international levels. UNPAN’s purpose is to support the development of efficient and effective public administration systems and competent civil services, especially in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. UNPAN’s website is well organized, brimming with information pertaining to seven global regions. Some of the resources that may be of interest to researchers are public administration news, documents, publications, websites, and directories. The Library section contains Major Publications, Documents, Technical Project Highlights, and Thematic Websites. A sophisticated search feature allows researchers to find documents by country, language, date (back to 1947), keyword, content type, contributor and author. There are many types of content to choose from, including training, conference papers, best practices, manuals/tools/guidelines, analytical reports, and case studies. The document collection can also be browsed by topic. The list of contributors is a bit daunting because nearly all of the organizations go by initials or other abbreviations. The 11 Thematic Websites such as Innovation in Public Administration in the Euro-Mediterranean Region are quite specialized and are not likely to be familiar to the general researcher, but each site is briefly summarized. The Directory resources are grouped into a searchable bibliography, journals, schools, training institutions, and UN research institutions. An interesting feature of UNPAN resources is the integration of Web 2.0 by allowing users to attach ratings, comments, bookmarks, and tags to the materials. UNPAN makes links to 10 tagging services prominent so it is a simple matter for registered users to add the site to de.lic.ous or Digg. A content management system extends Web 2.0 collaboration by allowing registered partner organizations to add to the site. Finally, UNPAN’s 16 online training courses on topics such as e-government, strategic planning, and knowledge management are available to anyone with Internet access and are provided free of charge.
[Author: J. Callihan]
WashingtonWatch.com is brought to the web as a public service by Jim Harper, the Director of Information Policy Studies at the Cato Institute. The site tracks bills in Congress with specific consideration of the fiscal impact the legislation would have by looking at predicted changes in spending, taxes, or regulation costs. From these predictions, a “net present value” is calculated, which is then divided by the population to arrive at figures that “convey the significance to average Americans — in dollars and cents — of proposed changes to the nation's policies.” From the main page, users may identify bills according to greatest cost or greatest savings. For each of the bills listed, a cost per family is stated. However, the site provides more than dollar figures. Bringing Web 2.0 to bill tracking, the site provides a blog, a wiki, and lets users comment on and vote for or against each bill. There is a wiki entry explaining each bill, and users with a free account may edit the wiki entries. The blog covers the gamut of Congressional matters, with recent posts on the U.S. financial crisis. Blog categories include bureaucracy, defense, energy, and health care.
[Author: M. Morrison]
InSITE contributors: J. Callihan, J.P. Cusker, J. Jones, M. Morrison, J. Pajerek (editor)
© 2008 Cornell Law Library
The contents of this publication and any recommendations therein are the opinions of the authors and do not reflect the views of Cornell University.