University of Utah Library Guides
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Air, Water, Health Capstone (ENVST 5559): Library Research

Help with research

     A benefit concert series' first event in 1970 that still runs today (I think!), It was
     founded to clean up the Hudson River in New York (and it worked!).
     Savage, S. (1970, August 30). "Clearwater" fundraising event in Nyack, NY
[Photograph]. New York Heritage Digital Collections.

How do we know when something is sustainable? There are millions of voices citing opinion and evidence to support their arguments about sustainability and libraries can offer many different ways of getting into primary and secondary sources, but we are in that remarkable bridge era between published print things (like books) and born digital or digitized objects: which can be confusing.  Don't give up, I'm here to help!

While my info is in the column on the right (Dale Larsen) -please contact me, I'm stoked to help!

Validating Keywords and Concepts with Text Mining and Background Info
Finding just the main ideas and context helps frame your own research ideas -make a point of recording jargon, technical terms, names, populations, etc.  

Library Catalog (look in books -and sort by date-newest -how do they organize the topics in the table of contents?)

CQ Researcher (What is important to U.S. voters right now: Brief)

Nexis Uni (news, law, business, people)
US Newsstream (newspapers all across the U.S. -lots of local info, opinion, policy commentary)

How to Stay Current & Discipline-Specific Research
(note: these are a mix of scholarly and non-scholarly -take care)

Use these to discover articles in specific social science disciplines that work well for your topic (or aspects of the problem or solutions presented).  These can contribute to your literature review, so document your searches and download good results.  Note: my favorites are bigger :-)

GreenFile (Environmental scholarship from myriad disciplines from STEM to Social Science)
Education Full Text + ERIC (Education practice, policy, student populations, community research, etc.)

Sociological Abstracts (sociology & social work -one of my favorites)
Business Source Premier (business)

PAIS (public policy and analysis)
Worldwide Political Science Abstracts (politics)

Medline (medical practice, but also theory & research)

Good mix of disciplines (generic)
Academic Search Ultimate (big mash of everything)
‚ÄčLibrary Catalog: USearch (everything -highly recommended)
JSTOR (classic and mostly scholarly)

High Level Systematic Search Tools
(note: these are typically the high-end of academic scholarship)

Scopus  AND Web of Science -Amazing/Awesome databases, all scholarly:
            tip 1: select "social sciences & humanities" at the search page (unchecking the others).
            tip 2: Do a search and in the results, click "cited by" as the sorting option (right-hand side).  The most cited, most influential articles will now appear at the top.

Google Scholar (fun discovery too, not always complete, but a worthwhile additional place to use)

Government and Open Web search tips
Lots of governments around the world publish the things they're doing to mitigate pollution problems -these are typically backed up by evience-based reporting, although it isn't peer reviewed. -has federal, but also state, city & county records dating back 20 yrs-ish
   -also within this are, Dept of Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, etc. (is also indexed/searchable from

United Nations
-or just about any other entity has good stuff to see (ex. India, Japan, Chile, etc.)


in google you can do what I call a contextual search -first you pick a 'context':then your keywords
air pollution:salt lake city
air pollution:mexico city
air pollution:agriculture

clean air:automobile industry
clean water:jordan river utah

air pollution:green wall

and so on and so on :-)





Primary & Secondary Sources

Keywords to try out:

"air pollution" OR "air quality" 
"water pollution" OR "clean water"
sustainability OR conservation

assessment OR criteria OR evaluation

"living wall" OR "vertical garden" OR "green wall"

as you find one search works better than others -write it down and keep a record of where you have searched.  This will help you keep track of your research, but also help you know when you're done :-)

more help

Expanded Videos are Below:

undefinedLibrary catalog fundamentals (12m53s)
description: Performing research using a body of millions and millions of things; how can we manage that and even use it like a pro!
usage: research projects, accessing required readings, basic library research skills

undefinedDatabase(s) research basics (11m59s)
description: How to use the best features of an Ebsco database to gather secondary sources in a research project/paper -includes boolean operators, keywords selection.
usage: this is probably the most popular resource in a class where research is required, but it can be used for class discussions, annotated bibliographic entries, and more (see 'greatest hits' below for ideas).

undefinedResearch Guides: who can help, curated guides to topics (5m36s)
description: Research using a body of 3-4 million books, then narrowing down to current e-books on your topic -and how to get access.
usage: research projects, accessing required readings, basic library research skills

undefinedHow to use interlibrary loan (5m43s)
description: A walkthrough on how to request/receive items via ILL -plus one cool trick!
usage: a core academic library resource to know about for all students.

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Dale Larsen

I love to help with your research: from just seeing the assignment, to wrapping up with citation management -drop me a line or come by 1726C on the first floor of the Marriott Library

Send me an e-mail -I'd love to hear from you!

Citation Help

Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library