Building a Search
Think about your keywords, and their synonyms and variations, before constructing your search. Since different authors might use different terms for the same concept, searching with synonyms helps you find more articles related to your topic. Take advantage of database search techniques to find the most relevant articles for your research. Here's an example:
(global warming or climate change) and (agricultur* or farm*)
What search techniques are being used in this example?
- AND narrows your search by looking for articles with all of the words
- OR broadens your search by looking for articles with any of the words
- Truncation symbols (*) look for all variant endings for your search terms.
Here are two images from the Library Workshop 101 tutorial on Basic Search that further explain these concepts:
For a fuller explanation of these, view the Basic Search tutorial.
Search an article database to find citations (title, author, title of journal, date, page numbers) for articles on a particular topic. The Library gives you access to over 200 article databases covering different disciplines.
The two databases listed below are excellent starting points for your research. Earth and environmental sciences are very interdisciplinary subjects, however, so you might also need to try databases focusing on related disclipines. Check our Article Databases by Subject list to choose Recommended databases in appropriate subjects.
Academic Search Complete
A basic multidisciplinary database of articles in more than 10,900 journals and other publications, including full-text articles from for over 5300 journals.
Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management
Indexes over 6,000 journals, conference proceedings, books, and government publications covering all aspects of the environmental sciences.
Where's the PDF?
Once you've searched an index to find articles, you may need to use UC-eLinks to link to a PDF or html file if the full text is not immediately available. Each database is a bit different, but a good rule of thumb is this: when you see the UC-eLinks icon, click on it to view your article access options, which can range from full text to a call number to an Interlibrary Loan request:
For more information, here's a tutorial on using UC-eLinks.