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Internet resources

A good researcher can quickly search the internet for themselves. The small list of resources given here is one I have found useful as a starter pack for authoritative sources of information.

Access to some academic sites can involve a fee so subscription sites are indicated with an asterisk.

Collective learning

Knowledge, when used wisely, has proved beneficial to humanity and the world, so as a well-intentioned researcher you can regard your contribution to collective learning as a manifestation of progress!

Knowledge is cumulative: we are gathering more and more as time passes. In all disciplines, there is a refinement of our mental categories of understanding and explanation (names, classifications, definitions, descriptions, principles, theories, laws etc.) and the material; technologies we use. This is a routine part of disciplinary progress as knowledge is reconfigured into ever more efficient analytical categories and a collective worldview comes increasingly into focus.

The World Wide Web was a communications transformation that happened within a single generation as a continuing communications transition from spoken language to written word, to printed word, to electronic word. Anyone connected to the internet now has access to the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of mankind while just sitting on their bottom.

Scholarly research is being transformed as entire domains of knowledge become digitized. Pacing up and down library shelves is rapidly becoming a relic of the past: the world’s cutting-edge research can be accessed on a home computer, and experts in almost any specialist field can now be heard on Youtube expounding the latest principles, theories, controversies and advances in their respective disciplines.

Classical & Renaissance Literature & information

Perseus Digital Library – The Perseus Project is a digital library of Classics Department of the Tufts University near Boston, Massachusetts. The project assembles digital collections of humanities resources.

Theoi Classical Texts Library is a collection of translations of works of ancient Greek and Roman literature. The theme of the library is classical mythology and so the selection consists primarily of ancient poetry, drama and prose accounts of myth.
Thesaurus Linguae Graecae Canon of Greek Authors and Works. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.

The Livius website offers information on ancient history. There are currently 4317 pages. You will also find more than 10,500 original illustrations.

World Data

We all need basic and up-to-date information about the world if we are to be well-informed global citizens.

Today’s compendium of human knowledge – the encyclopaedia of the 21st century – is the publicly-generated Wikipedia. Because Wikipedia can be edited by anyone it has, among many people, a poor reputation. It is, however, monitored for both vandalism and quality: it is a good starting place in any investigation.

The following sites are useful sources of  up-to-date world data:

OUR WORLD IN DATA – ‘Research and data to make progress against the world’s largest problems’

GAPMINDER – ‘The basic global facts’

HUMAN PROGRESS – long-term global trends

Pictures, charts, diagrams

A picture is worth a thousand words. A map of the world indicates the surface area covered by each country. But surface area is generally of little concern. ? Worldmapper is a charting resource that expresses country size in relation to parameters other than surface area. – WORLDMAPPER – select a parameter to express in terms of relative country size – USEFUL CHARTS – wide range of subjects Map Archive

Natural history

WORLD HISTORY OF SCIENCE ONLINE (WHSO) – is an international bibliographical project aiming to become a major online resource for scholars who are looking for resources for their scholarly work. The website classifies and indexes online resources in the field of the History of Science and technology of scholarly merit and provides brief descriptions of these resources.

THE BIODIVERSITY HERITAGE LIBRARY (BHL) – gives free access to historical biodiversity knowledge: it improves research methodology by collaboratively making biodiversity literature openly available to the world as part of a global biodiversity community service.

SIR JOSEPH BANKS PAPERS an extensive archive held by the State Library of New South Wales. Section 5 contains 381 papers and correspondence relating to collectors and gardeners.


Trove – Australian and online resources at the National Library of Australia: books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music, archives and more.


* Early English Books Online (EEBO)
* Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)
Google Books


Best of web sites – EdTechTeacher –
The History Guide, Sources for Historians –
Web sites for world history –
World History Centre Resource Guie for historians –

Institute of historic research –


Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy
Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy
Other resources


*Ngram viewer – Googles calculator for historical frequency of word use


*Archive of ebooks


Atlas of Living Australia – All organisms. Australia’s most comprehensive data bank for biological research and based in Australia –
Encyclopaedia of Life – a Smithsonian collaborative encyclopedia compiling as much information as possible about the world’s species of plants, animals and microorganisms
GenBank – an annotated collection of all publicly available DNA sequences –
Plants of the World Online – Kew Botanic Gardens –
Annual Statement of Global Plant Statistics, Kew –
Tree of Life web project –
garden plant names – Royal Horticultural Society database of plant name sand information –
Global Plants – the world’s largest plant image database –
Plant List – all the known species of plants in the world
List of world herbaria
International Organization for Plant Information
The Global Plant Checklist c. 300,000 vascular plant species and over 1,000,000 names, is IOPI’s first priority. Eventually, the Checklist will also include non-vascular plants (mosses, lichens, algae, and liverworts). The taxonomic backbone to which users can append their more specialized information. Part of the Species 2000 coverage of all organisms. A provisional Checklist is in operation.
Species Plantarum Project is a longer term project aiming to record essential taxonomic information on vascular plants on a world basis. It may be likened to a World Flora.

Plant (and animal) species numbers (Australia) –
Historical and ancient texts –
Trees & shrubs –
British biography – The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Trees Beech, E. et al. 2017. GlobalTreeSearch – the first Complete Global Database of Tree Species and Country Distributions. Journal of Sustainable Forestry, DOI: 10.1080/10549811.2017.1310049
Kew’s State of the World’s Plants 
Weeds – Global Compendium of Weeds –
Kew’s State of the World’s Plants and Fungi 2020
Crop profiles – NewCROP provides crop profiles listed by Purdue University Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Center for New Crops & Plant Products

Scientific Research

Researchers keen to network with co-workers, look for jobs, and gain exposure for their work, use the following sites:

Google Scholar –
ResearchGate –

Environment, Sustainability, & Conservation

Global statistics

World Bank Data

GLOBIO calculates local terrestrial biodiversity intactness, expressed by the mean species abundance (MSA) indicator, as a function of six human pressures: land use, road disturbance, fragmentation, hunting, atmospheric nitrogen deposition and climate change. The core of the model consists of quantitative pressure-impact relationships that have been established based on extensive terrestrial biodiversity databases.

The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is a multilateral treaty. The Convention has three main Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) including: the conservation of biological diversity (; the sustainable use of its components; and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources. In other words, its objective is to develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.

GBO-5 (2020) provides global summary of progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and is based on a range of indicators, research studies and assessments (in particular the IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services), as well as the national reports provided by countries on their implementation of the CBD. The national reports provide rich information about the steps taken in countries worldwide in support of biodiversity conservation, sustainable use, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits. This body of Information provides a wealth of information on the successes and challenges in implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and in reaching the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. GBO-5 draws on the lessons learned during the first two decades of this century to clarify the transitions needed if we are to realize the vision agreed by world governments for 2050 ‘Living in Harmony with Nature’.

We are heading into the year 2020, when the world will review its progress on sustainable development by means of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization is a 2010 supplementary agreement to the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The Paris Agreement – signed in 2016, is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) addressing greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance. The agreement’s was adopted by consensus on 12 December 2015. As of February 2020, all 196 members of the UNFCCC have signed the agreement and 189 have become party to it. Of the seven countries which are not party to the law, the only significant emitters are Iran and Turkey.

Australian Climate – BOM and CSIRO State of the Climate 2020 is a report on the impact of climate change on Australia indicating that Australia is experiencing these impacts now

Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO) is the flagship publication of the CBD that summarizes the latest data on the status and trends of biodiversity and draws conclusions relevant to the further implementation of the Convention.

The global scene is carefully documented in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
United Nations Environmental Program – World Conservation Monitoring Centre 

Our World in Data 

Media Gallery

State of the World’s Plants and Fungi 2020

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – 2020 – 1:10

Bitesize Guide: Living Planet Report 2020 | WWF

WWF-UK – 2020 – 4:31

5th Global Biodiversity Outlook

Convention on Biodiversity – 2020 – 0:45


First published on the internet – 1 March 2019
. . . revised 3 November 2020


The Anthropocene. World land surface resized by its population overlaid with data related to human action and interaction on the planet. Each transformed grid cell in the map is proportional to the total number of people living in that area.

The major human communication and infrastructure links are shown in this map as an image of built-up areas & the light pollution of cities (white/yellow over land), roads (green), railway lines (orange) shipping routes (white/blue over sea), pipelines (red), transmission lines (blue) and submarine cables (yellow over sea).

This map uses population estimates for the year 2020 based on data from the Gridded Population of the World (GPW), v4 at 0.25 degree resolution, released by SEDAC (Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center). The information of an interconnected world redrawn in this map was assembled by Globaïa. The following datasets were used (accessed October 2016): – Roads, railways, pipelines, transmission lines: – Submarine cables: – Air routes: ICAO stats – Shipping lanes: NCEAS data – Built-up areas: NaturalEarth and SAGE  – Earth at night: NASA
This Worldmapper work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial – ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Anthropocene map
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