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MIF: Forestry Literature and Citations

Finding Journal Articles & Grey Literature

You can search for your topic using Summon. You may wish to limit your search to Scholarly & Peer Review.

You can also search one of these specialized databases to find journal articles and grey literature (e.g. conference proceedings, government and NGO reports, theses & dissertations). They offer more functionality than Summon.

Google Search Tips

Google can be useful for searching the websites of government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community groups and companies to find press releases, reports, etc.

Here are a few commands to focus your search. You can also use the Google Advanced search if you can't remember the commands.

  • Phrase search using quotation marks: “community forestry”
  • Keyword search in the webpage title only: allintitle:“community forestry”
  • File Format search (e.g. pdf documents only): filetype:pdf
  • Restrict search to a specific website or domain (e.g. FAO):
  • Other useful domains are country codes (ca), org, edu, com

Tips for Searching Databases

  • Search for a phrase using quotation marks, e.g. "community forestry"
  • Combine search terms with OR to expand a search, e.g. governance OR management
  • Combine search terms with AND to narrow a search, e.g. "community forestry" AND governance
  • Search variations of a word using truncation, e.g. forest* to search forest, forests, forestry
  • Put it altogether using search boxes or parentheses, e.g. "community forest*" AND (governance OR management)


Wildcards are signs that stand in for a letter and allow you to search various spellings. For example: 

col?r searches for "color" and "colour"‚Äč

Note: the question mark is used for the UBC Library catalogue, but other databases may use other symbols such as ?, #, and $.

See this wiki page for a more comprehensive guide.

Search Worksheet

Before diving into your search, it's a good idea to spend a few minutes thinking about how you're going to search. This worksheet will help you identify the key concepts and databases, and create a search strategy using techniques like AND, OR, quotation marks and truncation.