United Nations documentation reflects the complexity of the UN as an organization. The Regulations for the Control and Limitation of Documentation, ST/AI/189/Add.3/Rev.2, define documents and publications:
- "A document is a text submitted to a principal organ or a subsidiary organ of the United Nations for consideration by it, usually in connection with item(s) on its agenda."
- "The term 'United Nations publication' refers to any written material which is issued by the United Nations to the general public."
The UN Documentation Research Guide presents an overview of selected UN documents, publications, databases and websites:
- Official Document System (ODS)
United Nations official document system: provides full text search of documents issued since 1993; resolutions of all principal organ & Security Council plenary documents since 1946 ; older documents are added regularly. Includes the Daily Journals of New York and Geneva.
- Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs
Analytical studies of the decisions of the UN principal organs under each of the Articles of the Charter ; Comprehensive summary of the decisions of United Nations Organs, together with review of related material, organized by Charter Articles.
- UN Meetings Coverage and Press Releases
Available online from October 1995. Press Releases are not official documents but provide timely information on the current activities of the principal organs and subsidiary bodies, including summaries of meetings.
- UN Yearbook
The Yearbook of the United Nations is the principal reference work of the UN and provides a detailed overview of the Organization's activities during the course of a year. All the Yearbooks, 1945 to the most recent, are available online and provide citation to the documentation and include the full text of resolutions.
UN Info Quest (UN-I-QUE) provides citation to the symbols for documents throughout the history of the organization: each record within UN-I-QUE is historically comprehensive. UN-I-QUE does not provide citation to all documents, but to certain documents of a recurrent nature.
- UNBISnet - Bibliographic Records
UNBISnet is the catalogue of the UN Library in New York. In addition to the library's holdings it accesses multilingual versions of UN documents (1993-present), citation to documents (1979-present) ; metadata and online links to older documents are added regularly.
- UNBISnet - Index to Speeches
Provides access to meeting records of the Principal organs, beginning in the mid-1980s, by country or organization, speaker, document symbol, or topic.
- UNBISnet - Voting Records
Provides the recorded vote for all resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and Security Council, 1946-present. Documents can be searched by resolution symbol, keyword, or date.
Economic and Social Council