UCB Libraries

Resources for Geography 4173: Research Seminar

Starting Your Research

Search Tips

When starting your research, brainstorm the terms that can be used to describe this type of research. Some examples of keywords:

Location: name of country, name of cities, geographical place names such as mountain ranges or bodies of water
General: climate change, ocean science, hydrology, snow, avalanches, agriculture

Many of the databases you’ll be searching will also use descriptors or specific words or phrases that they have assigned to a particular topic (much like subject headings in the library catalog). Using these descriptors can help you find similar articles and get ideas for additional search terms. Use the Search Worksheet to record this information.

Secondary Sources


Searching for Books

To find books that the CU Libraries have, you'll want to search Chinook, the library catalog. Start with keyword searches. You can also use the subject headings provided in Chinook to try to narrow your search results. Some subject headings are listed below:

Book Chapters

Book chapters titles often reveal hidden treasures in a book. For an example, take a look at The Future of Arid Lands--Revisited : A Review of 50 years of Drylands Research. To search these book chapter titles you need to use the keyword search. If you want more chapter titles, check out WorldCat or Google Books.
Searching for Articles

Articles, especially peer-reviewed or scholarly ones, can form a good start for your research. If you are trying to figure out where to start, use Find Articles and More. The databases are arranged alphabetically by name, or you can find databases in a particular subject area by choosing a subject from the drop down menu on that page.

Click on the + next to Geology and Physical Geography and choose the link for Scholarly Sources.

  • Choose Web of Science CU, an interdisciplinary online index that provides bibliographic citations for high impact journals in the disciplines of science, social sciences, and arts. Start with keyword searches.

  • Not having luck?
  • For more resources for physical geography and geology, try GeoRef CU.
  • For more resources for environmental information, try Engineering Village CU
  • Here are a few other more-general resources (not focused on geography):
    • Academic Search Premier CU Index of nearly 4,000 academic journals, with full text available for many.
    • Google Scholar Uses Google search technology to search a wide variety of sources for academic material.
    Newspaper Articles
  • On the Find Articles and More page, click the + next to News and Newspapers.
  • Choose Current Sources. Choose Lexis/Nexis Academic CU for full text of national, international, and regional news, newswires, transcripts, magazine articles, legal and business information, public opinion polls, and other sources.
  • Need more foreign/international coverage? Try clicking on International Sources under News and Newspapers. Choose Factiva
  • .

    Primary Sources

    Research and Subject Guides Database

    This database provides a complete listing of guides in the library, it ranges from guides to finding primary sources and economic information to how to use particular databases and how to create a citation.

    Country Pages
    These pages link to information from individual countries, including links to government bodies. Each page is divided into sections featuring links to country profiles, articles and databases, health, diplomatic relations, peacekeeping and military information, government web pages for that country, and resources in Chinook.
    International Organizations
    This page provides links to international organizations and a custom search that only searches the websites of international organizations. Here you can try plugging in the same search terms that you used in Chinook and article databases, such as “agriculture” and “climate change,” to find current resources from such global organizations as Food & Agriculture Organization, United Nations Environment Programme, and United Nations Environment Programme.

    World Development Indicators CU

    This database contains data on the global economy from the World Bank, including statistical data for over 600 development indicators as well as time series data from 1960-present for over 200 countries and 18 country groups. Data are available in five categories: people, environment, economy, states and markets, and global links.


    Citing Your Work

    • RefWorks
      RefWorks is a database that lets you save your citations and then format them in the style of your choice. Check out this quick guide for help using this resource.
    • Citing Sources
      This guide goes over the various formats you can use to cite material as well as providing links to quick citation sheets.
    Need More Help?

    We are always happy to answer questions or set up appointments to have a more in-depth discussion of your research.

    Salem Martin Leanne Walther GovPubs Desk
    salem.martin@colorado.edu leanne.walther@colorado.edu govpubs@colorado.edu
    303-492-3900 303-735-3750 303-492-8834