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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Population, Health and Social Change in Eurasia: Relevant Collections

This guide is designed for the 2016 Ralph and Ruth Fisher Forum organized by Professor Cynthia Buckley

Print Resources

While databases and other online resources (at right) provide a wealth of information, they are far from comprehensive, especially for transitional periods such as the 1990s (see, for example, Murray Feshbach's 1995 Environmental and health atlas of Russia, above, which can be found in our Russian Reference collection at 614.4247 En89).  Most print holdings in U.S. libraries have catalog records that include Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSHs).  In many cases, these subject headings are an excellent way to navigate from one relevant resource to many others.  However, LCSHs use a restricted vocabulary that does not always follow current terminology, and they are required to be constructed in a certain order (i.e. "Public health--Russia, Southern--History--20th century").  This can take some getting used to.  Phrases you may encounter in LCSHs for items relevant to population, health and social change in Eurasia include:

Population policy

Social conditions

Rural conditions

Medicine, Rural

Population characteristics

Quality of life

Health and hygiene

Medical care

Public health

Vital statistics

Maternal health services

Voluntary health agencies

Health risk assessment

Environmental health

Sexually transmitted diseases

...and many others.


National Bibliography in print (and online)

Although the huge amount of material indexed in national bibliographic publications can slow down the research process, a knowledge of how national bibliographies are organized can help to make them effective research tools.  For example, the UIUC Library's unique copy of the Kazakh national bibliography from 2002-2010 (available in our Central Asian Reference section) is organized by subject, such that materials related to public health can always be found in Section 614 of any given issue of any given publication, whether it indexes journal articles (above), Kazakhstan-related materials published abroad (below), or other formats such as dissertations and Kazakh newspaper articles.

Statistical Information in Print Format

While the online availability of statistical information continues to improve, in some cases there is no substitute for print materials.  The UIUC Library, for example, owns a number of large-format bilingual Tajik-Russian statistical compendia, whose subject headings can be used to locate similar materials from other countries.  For example:



Tajikistan--Social conditions--Statistics.

Tajikistan--Economic conditions--Statistics--Periodicals

Tajikistan--Economic conditions--1991- --Statistics.


Tajikistan--Statistics, Vital--Periodicals.

Major Databases

In addition to the resources mentioned on the first page of this guide (Russian National Bibliography, INION, Sociological Abstracts, Social Sciences and Humanities Journals, Proquest Dissertations and Theses, Federal'nyi Obrazovatel'nyi Portal, and print sources such as SSSR--SNG--Rossiia : geografiia naseleniia i sotsial'naia geografiia, 1985-1996 : analitiko-bibliograficheskii obzor), the UIUC Library provides access to many other important databases, bibliographies, indexes, and statistical compendia.  Many of the databases described below simply provide references to articles and other materials that must then be tracked down individually.  Full-text databases such as East View's "Universal Databases" of Russian Central Newspapers; Russian Regional Newspapers; Newspapers of the North Caucasus, Abkhazia and South Ossetia; Ukrainian Publications; and others enable researchers to search the full text of the popular press going back to the mid-1990s in some cases. The University of Illinois Library also owns long runs of major post-1991 newspapers from the FSU on microfilm, and also subscribes to East View's databases of Russia/NIS Statistical Publications, Russian Governmental Publications, and the Kodeks Russian Law Database.

Not just hard sciences

While Scopus is primarily seen as a database for the hard sciences, it also contains a huge number of references to articles in the social sciences, including hundreds of peer-reviewed articles about public health for virtually every country in the FSU, from a highly multi-disciplinary range of journals, as can be seen in the example below.


As one of the two major U.S.-based indexing and abstracting services for sociology (Sociological Abstracts being the other), SocINDEX is an excellent source for English-language scholarship on certain aspects of public health in the former Soviet Union.  It also includes references to nearly 3,000 Russian-language articles.

EMIS Intelligence

Emerging Markets Information Service (EMIS), formerly known as ISI Emerging Markets, is a major source for full-text business-related information from the FSU.  Below are just a few of the hundreds of results for a keyword search for "health hiv" in EMIS's Ukrainian resources.  A large amount of Russian-language content from news agencies, TV and radio stations, and economic reports is also included for most of the countries in the region. 

PAIS International

One of the leading public affairs databases, PAIS International contains references not only to journal articles, but also to monographs, as can be seen in the third sample result below.

Additional Online Resources

With systematic web archiving for the former Soviet space still in its early stages, researchers cannot neglect the wealth of material freely available online at any given moment.  The sample organizations highlighted below are meant to point the way to some fruitful approaches for identifying and utilizing this content.

NGOs Online

Information and statistics from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can provide an important corrective to the official government sources referenced below.  Numerous directories of NGOs operating in the Eurasian region are available, including WANGO's Worldwide NGO Directory and Associations Unlimited (subscription only).

Official Statistics

Like most other countries in Eurasia, the government of Tajikistan provides a significant amount of statistical and other relevant information online.

Most governmental statistical agencies are easily accessible via a Google or Yandex searches such as "статистика беларусь", "statistică moldova", "სტატისტიკა საქართველო", "statistika latvija", etc.

Intergovernmental Organizations

Russia's "Eurasian" version of the European Union, the Eurasian Economic Commission, is one of several international organizations in the region that can serve as a source of statistical and legal information (the Commission's statistical department, for example, provides detailed statistics on international migration).  Statistical and legal information is also available via other regional organizations such as the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Unfortunately, the websites of organizations such as the Turkic Council and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (and its information portal) do not appear to contain any statistical information.