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RNG 341: Rangeland Ecology & Management

Library guide and writing resources for OSU students on all campuses taking RNG 341

Where should I look for sources?

I want to... Where should I start?

Get a broad overview of what's available on a range topic (both scholarly and popular viewpoints).

Questions to guide your search for background literature

Rangelands Gateway

OSU Extension Service - Rangeland Conservation & Management

1Search (OSU Libraries)

Google Scholar



Explore the literature in a specific academic discipline (e.g., Rangeland Sciences). Find scientific reports based on rigorous research.

Questions to ask about methods

Questions to ask about data

OSU Libraries Databases

Research Guides for Specific Disciplines

Find demographic facts, figures, or statistics, including opinion polls.

Facts & Figures

Government Information

National Agricultural Statistics Service

Natural Resources Conservation Service

Find statutes, laws, cases or other legal information  Legal News and Cases databases

Questions to guide your background literature search

  • What is the main idea?
  • What kind of research has been done on this topic?
  • What do I need to learn more about?
  • What language or special terms do people use to describe this topic?
  • Do I know what all of this language means? (if no – look it up)
  • Is there current research on my topic?
  • Is this topic still under discussion?
  • Is there enough here for me to keep going?

Tips for Revising Your Search

None or few relevant results? Go broader

  1. Think of the broader category your research ideas are situated in
  2. Be willing to read articles that don't match your research question exactly

Too many results? Go narrower

  1. Use the refining tools in the search tool to narrow by topic, date, or study type.
  2. Add in more keywords to your search
  3. Look for patterns in the search results to see which articles most closely match your ideas.

Searching Tricks

Here are some tricks of the trade to make your searches more effective (these work in most databases):

  • Use quotes to search for an exact phrase or name
  • Use an asterisk with word roots to expand beyond an exact word


Searching in Google? Try these tricks:

  • Search for a specific file type - filetype:pdf
  • Search within a particular website -
  • Look for related words with a ~

screenshot of google search bar

From: Hack College, Get More Out of Google