Developing Search Strategies
- Select keywords from your research topic
- Find synonyms or related terms for each of the keyword you identified above
- Use Boolean operators (AND, OR) to connect your keyword; Combine concepts using AND, and combine alternate terms within a concept using OR
- Select search tools (library catalogue, databases, etc.)
- Conduct your search
- Review your search results and revise your search if necessary
Develop your search strategies using the Search Strategy Worksheet in the Library Handout
Finding information on your topic
If you are new to your topic or would like to start by reading some more general background information, here are some good places to start:
Use Omni to find books (print and online) on your topic from Western Libraries and the Affiliated University College Libraries
CRCnetBASE offers e-handbooks and e-books in multiple disciplines.
Note: Review articles, an important source of background information, can be really helpful in getting started: They synthesize key research on your topic and normally are written by experts in your fields. Review articles are generally published in journals and can be found in databases.
You can find primary information sources, such as articles and conference papers, in the following databases:
Indexes scholarly journals, books, maps, US and Canadian dissertations, conference proceedings, reports, and government documents published worldwide on geology and other subjects within the geosciences. [1785 - present]
Web of Science
The Web of Science provides seamless access to current and retrospective multidisciplinary information from approximately 8,700 of the most prestigious, high impact research journals in the world.
Scopus is a navigation tool covering the world's largest collection of abstracts, references and indexes of scientific, technical and medical (STM) literature. Seamless links to full-text articles and other library resources make Scopus quick, easy and comprehensive.
The Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, in publication since 1973, covers significant developments in all areas of earth and planetary sciences, from climate, environment, and geological hazards to the formation of planets and the evolution of life.
EarthArXiv provides free, open access, open source archives for the Earth Sciences. It offers a preprint home for all Earth science domains and sub-domains as well as computational, data, and instrumentation research relevant to the Earth sciences.
The Earth and Space Science Open Archive from the American Geophysical Union was established to accelerate the open discovery and dissemination of Earth and space science early research outputs, including preprints and posters presented at major scientific meetings.
What if the library doesn't have an article or book you want? Use the Interlibrary Loan / RACER system to request it from another library (generally free of charge for Western users).