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CONS 200 : Foundations of Conservation

Finding Journal Articles

You can search for your topic using Summon. Remember to limit your search under Content Type to Scholarly & Peer Review.

You can also search one of these specialized databases to find scholarly (peer reviewed) articles. They offer more functionality than Summon.

Steps to Finding Journal Articles

The Library has many resources to help you learn how to create your search strategy and find sources that will help you answer your research questions. 

Before you can start searching databases to find resources, you will need to take the following steps:

1) Write your research question. What are you trying to find out?

2) Identify 2-4 key ideas from your research question. What topics do your resources absolutely need to talk about in order to answer your question? Your key ideas should be described in one or two words each. 

3) Identify synonyms for each of your key ideas. For example, if your key idea is "climate change", a synonym could be "global warming".

4) Combine your concepts with AND and your synonyms with OR. Example: ("climate change OR "global warming") AND "invasive plants".

5) Input your search string into appropriate databases. See recommendations in "Finding Journal Articles and Grey Literature" above.

Tips for Searching

  • Combine search terms with OR to expand a search: fires in the brazilian (rainforest or amazon)
  • Combine search terms with AND to narrow a search (e.g. conservation AND forestry)
  • Use quotation marks to search for a phrase (e.g. " forest fires")
  • Use truncation to search variations of a word (e.g. sustain* to search sustainable and sustainability)