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GEOG 300: Sustainability for the Common Good: Quick Start

GEO 300 library guide for on-campus sections of the course. Taught by Steve Cook.

Get Started with 1Search!

Connect to 1Search  (also available from the library's homepage)

Link to the eJournals list (find specific journal titles)

1Search is a great way to get started on your research.  It lets you search most of our full-text online journal content plus the library's print collection and several online research databases...all in one search. 

Link to OSU Libraries collection (the library catalog)

Style Guides

Here are two suggestions for style guides. There are other options available.  No matter which style you choose, be sure it meets the requirements of the assignment.  Check with your instructor if you are not sure about the style format you wish to use.

APA (American Psychological Association)
Book: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
Call number: BF 76.7 .P83 2010 (available at Reference and in the circulating collection)

Online: APA Documentation from U Wisconsin
Look for the APA Formatting and Style Guide under the "Research and Citation" section from The OWL at Purdue

MLA (Modern Language Association)
Book: MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
Call number: LB2369 .G53 2009 (available at Reference and in the circulating collection)

Online: MLA Documentation from U Wisconsin
Look for the "MLA Formatting and Style Guide" under the "Research and Citation" section from The OWL at Purdue

Additional Help

Overview of Citing (why, when, etc)
For more information about citing your sources, check out the citing sources section of the library's research tutorial.

Recommended research database

Academic Search Premier (search tips)

Understanding peer reviewed/ scholarly sources

Articles from scholarly journals go through the peer review process.  An expert (or several experts) in a field writes the article and then a group of the authors' peers (usually anonymous) reviews the material to make sure that it is of sound science and scholarship and suitable for the publication and its target audience. The reviewers often suggest changes to the paper that are necessary before the work is published.

Scholarly articles often take a long time (6 months -2 years) to be published from the time they are submitted to the journal.

Why use scholarly articles? They are authoritative, and often focus on a very specific area of research. They can also lead you to other experts in the field through citation tracking and cited references.

Watch a ~4 minute review (with audio) demonstrating how to distinguish peer reviewed journals from other types of periodicals (Developed and made available by Vanderbilt University Library).

Identifying Peer Reviewed Articles

Look for the usual characteristics of scholarly works, such as:

  • Easily identifiable author(s) that include author affiliation
  • An abstract, introduction, methodology, conclusions
  • Citation of others' works
  • A complete list of references

Still not sure? You may also wish to:

  • Look for information on the journal's website OR in a printed issue of the journal, often this information is included in the journal description or in the "information for authors" section
  • Ask an expert in the field (such as your instructor)
  • Take a look at Ulrich's Periodicals Directory (call # Z6941 U5, 6th floor) to see a comprehensive list of journals in your field and find out which of them are peer reviewed (somewhat cumbersome to use, but thorough)
  • Ask a librarian for help (