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This guide was created for the use of students in Geography 428: World Forests.
SFU Library research skills tutorial - Up your academic game by completing the 50-minute tutorial.
Getting started: background information in specialized encyclopedias
Extremely useful for overviews of concepts and for the Further Reading / References lists at the end of entries. Also excellent for identifying the vocabulary surrounding your topic.
- International Encyclopedia of Human Geography -- See especially the entries in the section Nature / Environment.
- The International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology
- Oxford Bibliographies Online -- Browse topics under Geography and/or Environmental Science. See especially: Forest Transition (under Environmental Science) and Carbon Cycle and Anthropogenic Climate Change (under Geography).
Start with the class readings. Use the Library Catalogue to find books. Keyword searches are useful for finding chapters in edited books on broader topics. They can also lead you to some good subject headings, which will allow you to do precise searching.
- Possible Subject Heading searches:
Use these databases to search for academic journal articles. Read the description to see what content is in the database—each has unique content.
- Web of Science: the major multidisciplinary scholarly database with excellent coverage of the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Includes backwards and forwards citation linking as well as citation counts.
- GEOBASE: Scholarly research in geography.
- Environment Complete: Search journal articles from over 1,900 environmental sciences journals.
- Google Scholar: Searches scholarly literature across disciplines and sources. Use the Google search tips handout to have greater control over your searches.
- Academic Search Premier: Academic articles from across disciplines.
Searching for grey literature
Grey literature is information produced outside of traditional publishing—reports, working papers, government documents, urban plans, etc. This information is often produced by organizations "on the ground" (such as government agencies and NGOs) where dissemination of information and reporting on activities precedes publishing an academic article or book. If the source is a Google Custom Search, use the Google search tips.
- NGO Search - Google Custom Search of NGO websites for reports and other publications.
- IGO Search- Google Custom Search of IGO websites for reports and other information.
- Carleton University's Find Canadian Government Publications on the Web - Google Custom Search that searches across Canadian government websites with the option to limit to federal, provincial, or municipal information.
- OECD iLibrary - Provides full-text access to many OECD publications, including country studies, forecasting publications, reports, and socio-economic databases. Topics covered include agriculture, developing economies, education, employment, energy, environment, migration, social issues, and sustainable development.
- Canadian Electronic Library -Publications from Canadian public policy institutes, government agencies, advocacy groups, think tanks, university research centres, nonprofits, and public interest groups. Includes conservation and forestry research and information.
Relevant, forest-focused websites
- UN-REDD Programme - Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD)
- Global Forest Resources Assessments (FRA) - United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
- Global Forest Watch
- NFI - Canada's National Forest Inventory
- Rainforest Action Network
- Canadian Forests: Directory of Canadian Forest Research Institutions
- Treesearch - US Forest Service
Maps and geospatial data
- SFU Library Map Collection
- Geospatial Data
- USGS National Map Small-Scale Collection
- United Nations Cartographic Section
- David Rumsey Historical Map Collection
- Web Soil Survey (WSS) - Sources of soil data from USDA.
- U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) - Maps, Imagery, and Publications
- MIT GeoWeb - Search for geospatial data and scanned map. Click "Continue" to bypass the login.
- Canadian Newsstream: contains the full text of articles in major Canadian and small market BC newspapers.
- PressReader: Canadian and International newspapers, with coverage of the last 30-60 days only, in full colour. (Note that only 3 people can use this resource at a time).
- See also: the Alternative News Sources research page. The Alternative Press Index will connect you with news articles from alternative, radical, and left publications.
Writing and Citing
The Student Learning Commons (SLC) provides writing and learning support to SFU students of ALL levels, whether you are an A student or a student who is struggling. You can book a consultation and/or attend a workshop.
Writing handouts from the SLC: These handouts are excellent! They will guide you through the mechanics of academic writing and help with things like grammar, citing, transition words, and style. See especially the three handouts on integrating sources. Immensely helpful.
How-to books on academic writing: These are extremely useful books that will demystify the academic writing process.
- Science Writing: Lab Report, Research Paper, Essay Exam [print]
- Making Sense: A Student's Guide to Research and Writing: Geography & Environmental Sciences --see especially Chapter 5: "Writing an Essay" [print]
- They say/I say: the Moves that Matter in Academic Writing [print]
Citation style: Use APA style when citing sources. Please refer to the following guides:
- OWL - APA Formatting and Style Guide
- SFU Library APA Citation Guide
- SFU Library Guide to Citing Images
- Citing maps and geospatial data