1. Select keyword search terms for your topic
- Choose words that represent the key concepts of your research topic or question
- Sample: How can energy efficiency measures improve the campus living environment?
2. Create a search string using Boolean operators
Sample: "energy efficiency" AND (university OR college) AND campus AND environment*
- --> think of synonyms for each concept
- --> use AND operator to search multiple ideas and phrases
- --> use brackets with OR operator to group synonyms
- --> use truncation symbol * (asterisk) to replace word endings or variant spellings
- --> use quotation marks to ensure that words are searched together as a phrase
3. Select a Database from the subject-specific databases for Environmental Studies
4. Use database filters - to obtain high quality, academic literature, remember to refine your search by selecting the following filters:
- scholarly & peer-review
- content type - journal article
- subject (on your specific topic)
Tip 1: Filter your search to find scholarly journal articles. Note: many other sources are published in different formats and written for specific audiences and they do not all have solid authority as with the scholarly, peer reviewed literature.
Tip 2: Check the bibliographies of journal articles to find additional relevant sources.
Tip 3: If you are unsure if a journal is scholarly and peer reviewed, check Ulrichsweb. It is the definitive source that lets you know what type of journal you are using by 'content type'.