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University of Utah Library Guides
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Engineering-LEAP | Dale Larsen: FALL #3 Sustainability


Why does this not have a citation?  
What does that infer?

Social | Environmental | Economic

Who is talking about your technology -or even a component of the technology- in the context of whether or not it is sustainable?  Since talking about sustainability in an official way is a relatively new academic conversation, there's a lot to find in and outside of scholarly resources.  Today we'll cover how to go about searching for conversations about your technology in this context.


Not the biggest database -but on topic for today's class.  Until the body of literature grows over the years, we will have to supplement this environmental/sustainability database with other resources today -HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Sociological Abstracts
It is hard to describe Sociology in a short space, but to oversimplify -it is about people.  Look for your technology (in whole or in parts) in this database and you might find the elusive "social sustainability" piece of the puzzle (with attitudes, opinions and lots of feelings).

Business Source Premier
A major angle in sustainability is Economic -and this database is filled with people interested in your technology.  Some want to invest, some want to wait to see what develops -and much is written about both.  Again, try "sustainable, sustainability" as keywords, but also refer to "development", "efficiency", "outlook" and other synonyms.


Materials Connexion
What are the specific properties of specific materials being sold on the market today that may complement or make up a major part of your technology

Engineering Databases (search: "your tech" AND environmental (or economic, or social)
You'll have to be creative with your keywords and searches -the keyword "sustainability" doesn't pop up all the time.  Some synonyms to try are: efficiency, social responsibility, eco-friendly, profitable, etc.

The Library Catalog: USearch
Look for e-books on sustainability, your technology, the industry your technology comes from -and in the case of e-books you can search the entire book's full text or seek out chapters related to sustainability in the table of contents. (sample)


social sustainability
socially responsible
green (or "green technology")
"on the horizon"
ecology (ecological)
environmental ("environmentally friendly", "environmental protection")




1. Students will learn how scholarship is a conversation and how to make intellectual connections among disciplines, experiences & perspectives

2. Students will learn how to create a mind map (aka concept map) using sustainability resources

3. Students will learn about boolean operators search strategies

Recommended Web Sources on Sustainability

Using the open web for resources.

The open web is great for sustainability resources because there are organizations and companies that want you to discover what they've been working on -and how sustainable they are.  Try to avoid unedited comment boards, bulletin boards and political news sites as these may have problems with their intended purpose and authority to make accurate statements -ask me if you need a judgement call (


Here's some additional suggestions (not all, by a long shot) that may be worth a look.


Marriott Library Sustainability Campus Guide (tons and tons of links to try)


ISO 14001: Search the web for 'your technology' and the keywords 'ISO 14001'

The ISO 14001 Environment Management System (EMS) standard is… a systematic framework to manage the immediate and long term environmental impacts of an organization's products, services and processes.


B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk. B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.


Google Books (search the text of newer books in print)

While you can search the full text of many books that are now in print and e-book form -copyright law prohibits Google from presenting anything but the search results. If you find the perfect source -you can request it, a chapter at a time, via Interlibrary Loan.


Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library