Database of the Month: Global Issues in Context

Gale Cengage has a great product with Global Issues in Context (GIC).  It is especially relevant to expository writing and classes discussing cultures, current events, and politics.

GIC serves up information on a broad variety of topics including:

  • Conflict diplomacy, society, and world politics (true to its namesake of ‘global’ there are 80+ issues)
  • Science and epidemics, such as ebola and vaccination
  • Technology, i.e., medical breakthroughs and space exploration triumphs
  • Human interest stories, such as literacy, ethics in cell genome research
  • Environmental topics, i.e., oil spills, Kyoto Protocol, fracking

They publish their material in two formats, both with inviting graphics and clickable links: the Portal page and the Results page. Presentation type depends on the timeliness, volume or persistence of the topic.

Global Issues In Context portal page
Note on this Portal page for ebola, the video option on the upper left and the “related portals” on the lower left. [Click to view larger]

Be wowed by Global Issues in Context and search it!

  1. Savor the depth of topic treatment and the varying degrees of scholarliness in the content. For example, go to Browse Topics > Conflict and Diplomacy  from the front page and activate “Iran: International Relations”.
  2. Slice it the Google way by entering keywords in the search box. Try  “Pollution” for an example of a good Results page with rich returns; don’t rush through it.
  3. Chase your topic by geography as an alternative. From the main page choose the path Browse Issues and Topics > Browse Regions > Asia. Choose “China” and then pick from an array of Portal pages.
  4. Sample the world map from the main horizontal menu. Focus on a country of interest and then activate the pin icon displayed visually in your target.

One last thing, the great navigation.  GIC’s main menu at the top persists on every page to make for predictable, easy wayfinding.


Database of the Month provides a very brief introduction to a database available from the Library’s website, highlighting key features of the database that you should know about. If you would like more information about this database (or any of the library’s databases), please Ask a Librarian. If you would like a demonstration of this database for a class, please contact Adam Williams, Research Instruction Coordinator at