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ENVS 210: Research Methods (Prof. Simokat)

Scholarly Journal Articles


How do we know a source we've found is a scholarly journal article? Look for these clues:

  • written by scholars (with affiliations to universities or research institutions)
  • written for other scholars and students (and therefore difficult to read)
  • published in an academic journal with a peer-review process
    • Here are some examples:
      • Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences
      • Environmental Conservation
      • Energy & Environment
  • structured format (abstract, introduction, etc...)
  • extensive references at the end

Most Useful

Also Useful

Tips Examples
Use keywords, not long search phrases

Instead of searching for "How do systemic inequities fundamentally affect natural ecosystems?" break down your search into the main keywords:

systemic inequities, natural ecosystems

To get more focused results:

Use quotation marks (" ") to keep phrases together

Use AND to combine different keywords

"systemic inequities" AND "natural ecosystems"

To get broader results:

Use OR to combine similar/associated keywords

Truncate words that have a variety of endings with a *

("system inequities" or racis*) AND (ecosystems or environment)



racis* = racism, racist 

Look for ways to limit your search in the database using the Advanced Search mode

You can often limit by type of article (editorial, front page) & year of publication