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NR 201: Managing Natural Resources for the Future

Library guide for research in natural resource management.

Identifying Journal Articles on Your Topic

If 1SEARCH is not working for you, there are many databases that index journal articles on natural resources topics.  Some are listed below -- others are findable using the "FIND IT" tab  on the OSU Libraries Homepage.  Click on "Databases" then use the pull-down menu next to "select by subject."   Choose "Forest and Natural Resource Management" to see an array of databases available to you.

Tips on searching databases

Keyword searching:

  • Most databases are very literal.
  • If you search for "logging" but an article only refers to the term "clearcuts" you will not get that article.
  • So, thinking about your topic and generating useful search terms is your first step

Controlled Vocabulary

  • Some databases (e.g. CAB Abstracts, library catalogs) have a "controlled vocabulary" (a thesaurus).
  • If available, this is database feature is useful because it provides a consistent way to retrieve references to books and articles on a topic that may have many terms all referring to the same concept.

Combine terms using the Boolean Operators AND/OR /NOT

  • AND narrows your search (fewer results)
  • OR broadens your search (more results)
  • NOT removes a word that connotes the wrong context (unpredictable results) 
  • If you have words that express different concepts use an AND
  • If you need a variety of words to get at the same concept, use an OR

Truncation and Wildcards:

  • Most databases allow for a symbol (often a  *  )to be used at the end of a word stem so that you don't have to type all the variant endings of that word.
  • This is known as a truncation symbol.
  • The symbols used for truncation may be different from one database to another.
  • Use the database's help menu to see what truncation symbol to use.
    (Example: forest* will retrieve forest, forests, forestry, etc.)

Search Strategy