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ENMT 303: Library Research

A Library Subject Guide

Journal Articles

Library Databases to Use

To search for journal articles, use these library databases, at least to start:

(Here is a more complete list of environment-related databases.)

Setting Up a Keyword Search

Use keywords related to your topic, plus AND. For example:

  • groundwater AND policy

You can use OR, with parentheses, to expand a search by adding equivalent keywords:

  • groundwater AND (policy OR regulations OR legislation)

If you're using keyword phrase of two or more words, you can make the search more exact by putting the words inside quotation marks, for example:

  • "environmental policy" AND advocacy

You can also use the * symbol to find alternative endings for keywords. For example, if you search like this:

  • "storm-water runoff" AND regulat*

the * symbol is telling the database to search for the keywords regulate, regulating, or regulations.

Limiting Your Search

When searching for journal articles, look for two handy "limiters" in the database--usually they will be checkboxes. 

  • Full text only
    • This lets you limit your search to full-text articles only. That means the results you get will be primarily complete articles that you can read right away (as opposed to just article summaries). 
  • Scholarly (peer-reviewed) only
    • Some assignments require you to use scholarly articles (as opposed to magazine or newspaper articles). You can limit your search results to find only articles from scholarly (also known as peer-reviewed) journals.