Encyclopedias & Reference Resources

CSU Libraries has many encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference materials available both online and in print.  These can be excellent places to begin your research, since they provide an overview of the issues surrounding a topic.  Pay special attention to any words or phrases that you could use to find more information.

Books & More

Books often approach a subject more broadly than journal articles do, so it can be beneficial to include them in your research.  Search the catalogs listed below for books, government documents, theses & dissertations, journals, and more.

Journal Articles & Databases

Library databases are great places to search for journal articles.  Databases may also include newspaper articles, book chapters, conference proceedings, and other types of materials.  No single database will contain all of the information that is available on a topic, so it is a good idea to search in at least two.  Pick databases that include the subject areas and types of materials that you hope to find.

Recommended Databases for FRS

Find the Whole Article

Many library databases only include abstracts, or summaries, of articles.  If you don't see a link that says "PDF full text" or "HTML full text" in a database, look for the FindIt@CSU icon. This will link you to the full text of the article.

Find it at CSU

Searching Effectively

Search Terms

A single concept can be described in many different ways, so use a variety of words when you are searching to retrieve more information on your topic.

Boolean Operators

Boolean operators can help you to find exactly the information that you need.  Learn more about how to use them by watching this video from the University of Alabama Libraries.

Video by UA Libraries.  CC BY-ND

More Search Techniques

Two other search techniques work in most databases.

  • Truncation:  Place an asterisk at the end of a word stem to search for other forms of that word
    • Ex)  bicycl* - finds bicycle, bicycling, etc.
    • Truncation expands the results
  • Phrase searching:  Put short phrases in quotations to search for results which contain that phrase
    • Ex) "bicycle commuting"
    • Phrase searching narrows the results

More Information Sources

The tips and information sources on this page are useful for most topics in forest and rangeland science.

For additional information sources recommended for specific topical areas, visit these tabs:

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