INFO-SOUTH Fills Foreign Data Gap

Article excerpt

One of the great online trends in recent years has been the globalization of information. It has followed fast on the heels of the globalization of economies and markets, which has created urgent demands for information from places that not long before were neglected or unknown. The growth in foreign information available in new and existing databases however, has not been uniform. There is a flood of data on areas that are perceived as economically or politically volatile--Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia, in particular--while but a trickle on other places, such as Latin America. This reflects the attitude of neglect and complacency that Latin Americans have long felt the U.S. holds toward them. Latin American issues should loom larger in the United States for many reasons, not the least of which is the increasing Hispanic character of the U.S. itself.

With the appearance of the INFO-SOUTH database, North Americans can no longer blame lack of information for their ignorance of Latin American affairs. INFO-SOUTH: The Latin American Information System is a comprehensive abstract database on all aspects of society and change in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. It is produced by the North-South Center and the Institute of Interamerican Studies at the University of Miami, Florida. By drawing upon an exceptionally wide range of sources, INFO-SOUTH combines the elements of a current affairs monitor and a scholarly research database.

From the Rio Grande to Tierra del Fuego

INFO-SOUTH's conscientiously developed roster of sources is in fact its greatest asset. It includes over 1,600 publications, from daily newspapers to esoteric research quarterlies, which collectively reflect every facet of its subject.

INFO-SOUTH's most distinctive content comes from its collection of Latin American newspapers and news magazines. These includes 64 publications from 22 countries. Larger nations such as Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina are represented by several titles, but INFO-SOUTH also has at least one from nearly every other Central and South American country, as well as from the leading Caribbean nations. Many of these can be found nowhere else, and they are a significant and welcome addition to the online resources in international and Latin American affairs.

INFO-SOUTH also has selective coverage of important English and Spanish language newspapers in the U.S. The first category includes familiar names like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, the Miami Herald, and the Los Angeles Times; the latter includes Diario Las Americas and El Nuevo Herald.

All of these newspapers and news magazines give INFO-SOUTH its character as a news and current events database. A large number of journals make it a scholarly database for research in politics, economics, commerce, finance, development, law, social affairs, culture, military issues, and environment. INFO-SOUTH itself indexes over 200 journals dealing with Latin American and international affairs, including titles published in Latin America and elsewhere. These journals span a wide area of types, from technical and scholarly journals to general opinion organs like the New Republic, Nation, Economist, and the New Leader.

The remainder of INFO-SOUTH's journal references are obtained by scanning the Current Contents social and behavioral sciences database for articles relating to Latin America. This brings in coverage of Latin American topics from every leading journal in political science, economics, law, sociology, history, education, and international affairs.

Search Basics

INFO-SOUTH's records have a full set of bibliographic elements, including English language titles for non-English articles, descriptors, identifiers, and abstracts (See sample record.)

AL (America Latina), region "mas estable y confiable para las potencias" (Latin America, Region "Most Stable and Reliable for the Powers") Excelsior, sec. …