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FRST 100 : Sustainable Forests

Finding 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 and grey literature. They offer more functionality than Summon.

Finding Grey Literature

You will find grey literature in Summon and in specialized databases.

Google can also 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: “forest management”
  • Keyword search in the webpage title only: allintitle:“forest management”
  • File Format search (e.g. pdf documents only): filetype:pdf
  • Restrict search to a specific website or domain (e.g. Natural Resources Canada):
  • Other useful domains are country codes (ca), org, edu, com

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 (e.g. governance OR management)
  • Combine search terms with AND to narrow a search (e.g. conservation AND forestry)
  • Use quotation marks to search for a phrase (e.g. "british columbia")
  • Use truncation to search variations of a word (e.g. sustain* to search sustainable and sustainability)