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

Do you often search or browse the "Annual Human Rights Reports Submitted to Congress by the U.S. Department of State" 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 off, 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, we would open the Foreign and International Law Resources Database. Open the field search option. Enter the country into the first search box, Bangladesh, select Title from the drop down menu and click on word. In the second search box, enter the term Country Reports, select Description from the drop down menu, and click on phrase. In the third search box, enter Dhaka, select Text from the drop down menu and click on word. Click search.


This will return 20 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 your search". Now, add 2000 into the begin and end date fields and click search. This will return exactly 1 result to the Bangladesh Country Report from 2000, within which is a link to the page upon which Dhaka Central Jail is referenced.

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, select Description from the drop down menu, and click on phrase. Then enter Country Reports into the second search box, select Description from the drop down menu, and click on phrase. In the last search box, enter Labor Code, select Text from the drop down menu and click on phrase. Click search.


This returns 94 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 syntax:

text: "Industrial Courts Act" AND title:Antigua

Click search. This will return 3 results that match our search criteria.

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


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