Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Geography: Articles and Databases

A general subject guide covering library resources for Geography.

Useful Databases

Scholarly and peer-reviewed journal articles cover narrow and clearly defined topics. Find journal articles by searching journal indexes and databases in your discipline and, if your topic covers multiple disciplines, search multidisciplinary databases for articles from various fields.

Geography Specific Databases

Multidisciplinary Databases

Search Tips

Narrowing Your Topic

A useful way to develop and narrow down a topic is to answer (in no particular order) who, what, where, and when. This is not a one-size-fits-all tool but can help you get started deciding on a topic.

Who: Which community or population (human or otherwise) do you want to focus on?

What: What issue or problem affecting this community or population will you focus on?

Where: Choose or narrow down the geographical region

When: Only needed if you are focusing on a specific time frame or era, otherwise it can be understood to be "currently"

Example:

Who: First Nations; What: Sustainable resource management; Where: British Columbia; When: (currently)

Example Topic/Research Question: Applying First Nations traditional knowledge and science to sustainable resource management practices in British Columbia

Developing a Search Strategy and Choosing Keywords

The library's General Search and article databases need key words and phrases to find relevant titles. These key words and phrases may or may not include or be limited to your who, what, where, and when, answers. From the example research question we can identify key words, phrases, and concepts to inform our search strategy, these have been underlined in the example below:

Example Research Topic: Applying First Nations traditional knowledge and science to sustainable resource management practices in British Columbia

To combine keywords, use AND.

First Nations AND traditional knowledge AND sustainable resource management AND British Columbia

To broaden search results, think of synonyms and add these to the search strategy using OR. Include " " around phrases to tell the database to look for the exact phrase rather than the individual words that make up the phrase.

"First Nations"
OR
Indigenous

 

AND

"traditional knowledge"
OR
"traditional science"

 

AND

"sustainable resource management"

 

AND

"British Columbia"
OR
BC
OR 
"Western Canada"

To apply this search strategy, put parentheses around the synonyms like (see the example below) when searching a database or the library's General Search. 

("First Nations" OR Indigenous) AND ("traditional knowledge" OR "traditional science") AND "sustainable resource management" AND ("British Columbia" OR BC OR "Western Canada")

This search strategy and keywords will likely change as you conduct your search and more synonyms or key concepts to include in your search. As your search continues to evolve, repeat this process with any necessary changes.

More Search Tips

Wildcards/Truncation: Wildcards/truncation refers to the placement of an asterisk at the meaningful root of a word to retrieve results containing that word and all of its subsequent endings. Use a * at the end of the root word or use a ? in place of a letter.
Examples: environment* polic*, wom?n
Boolean Operators: Use "AND" or "OR" or "NOT" to narrow or broaden your search:
Use AND to make your search more specific and narrow your search.
Use OR to search for clusters of related terms enclosed in parentheses to broaden your search.
Use NOT to exclude words to narrow your search.
Example: (First Nations OR Aboriginal OR Indigenous) AND Canada
Field limits: Field limits are often set to search for keywords but you can change the field limit to search only the specified field for the specified word(s). For example:
Field limit: Author: Samuel Beckett
Field limit: Title: Waiting for Godot
Grouping:  Keyword search results are usually grouped by relevance to bring the most likely titles to the top of the list. Each group represents a similar level of relevance and results are sorted within the group by date or title. To get an ungrouped result set, use boolean operators to form a complex query.

Subject Librarian

Profile Photo
Susie Wilson
Contact:
250-960-6607

Contact Us

Interlibrary Loans

Can't find a book or book chapter, article, thesis or dissertation, or multimedia that you need?

If we don't have the item in our collection, you can request it through interlibrary loan at no cost for students.