PS 297 - Environmental Politics Research Guide
PS 297 - Introduction to Environmental Politics & Policy
This page should help you with your research paper for this course. Feel free to contact me with questions. You may also want to try the UO Libraries LibX Toolbar for your browser!
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Reference sources, such as these specialized, academic encyclopedias, can help you identify and narrow a topic for your research, provide an overview of a specific issue or topic, and suggest further reading.
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Short articles with brief bibliographies on a broad range of environmental topics. Includes a chronological list of U.S. Environmental Legislation.
Encyclopedia of Earth
An open, free, internet resource, but one with an editorial board and international advisory board, so it is a reputable source. See particularly the sections on 'Environmental Law & Policy', 'Environmental Humanities', 'Society and Environment', and of course you can just search it as well.
Encyclopedia of Global Change (Oxford Reference)
A wide-ranging encyclopedia covering a range of general research categories: altered ecosystems, climate change, food and water supply, population, politics and global change, institutions and policies, biographies, and case studies.
Major Acts of Congress. Macmillan Reference USA, 2004.
Examines landmark pieces of legislation, explaining the historical factors that led to the proposal of each act, looking at the adoption process and assessing each act's impact. Includes most (but not all) major environmental legislation, e.g. NEPA, CERCLA (Superfund Act), TSCA, Clean Air Act, more.
Review articles are another great way to get an overview of a subject and many references to scholarly and research articles.
Try the Annual Review journals; you can search within each one for specific topics. See, for example:
- Annual Review of Environment and Resources (previously Annual Review of Energy and the Environment)
- Annual Review of Law and Social Science
- Annual Review of Political Science
- Annual Review of Resource Economics
Search Web of Science (which includes the social sciences and humanities) and limit to review articles. There are two ways to do this:
- Enter your keyword terms in the first search box "Topic", then in the pull-down menu next to the second search box, select "Document type"--you'll get another pull-down menu in the search box: select "Review", and click Search.
- Enter your keyword terms in the first search box "Topic", and click Search. On the left side of your results screen, you'll see a "Refine Results" column. Under "Document Types", click the box for "Review", and then click the "Refine" button.
The above search box is searching the following databases which you can also search individually:
Academic Search Premier Good for its mix of popular, news, and scholarly articles. It is also a good starting point for Environmental Studies, because it is interdisciplinary. You have to exercise your critical evaluation skills to determine if an article is truly scholarly or not. (Do NOT rely solely on their limit to peer-reviewed feature--it is not reliable. Checking a journal on Ulrich's through FindText is better, although you still have to use your own judgment.)
GeoBase Covers worldwide literature in physical & human geography, hence environmental science and policy. Includes citations to journal articles, books, and conference proceedings from 1980 to the present.
PAIS Covers public affairs, public and social policies, international relations - journal articles, books, government documents, statistics, grey literature, research reports, and more, from 1914 to present.
Philosopher's Index If you're doing an environmental ethics topic, this will have the most coverage; it covers all major philosophy journals in western European languages and major books in philosophy.
Web of Science Interdisciplinary database that includes all the social sciences, as well as natural sciences and humanities. Special features include the ability to find articles that cite an article or author; also you can refine and manipulate results in many ways.
Worldwide Political Science Abstracts The best database for retrieving articles only from scholarly journals in political science and related fields such as international relations, law, and public administration / policy.
And of course, there's GoogleScholar.
in UOWorldCat (UO Libraries and beyond)
A few book search tips:
- Use more general terms, as opposed to the more specific terms used for searching for articles. E.g., if you want books about the politics of the marbled murrelet and logging old growth forests, you may want to expand your search to forest policy and endangered species, and the Pacific Northwest.
- UO WorldCat searches for articles, and many other formats besides books. To limit to books, click on 'book' under format on the left side.
- You may get more or better results if you do a Subject Heading search for a broad term. To do a search by Subject, go to Advanced Search and pull down the menu to Subject. You also can click on the subject heading links in the full record display for a book that you like, to get more like it. For instance, in the above search I found the subject heading "Forest policy" -- which found me more potentially relevant books. Here is a small selection of potentially useful subject headings:
- [Topic] - Environmental aspects (e.g. "Free trade - Environmental aspects")
- Climatic changes (used for Climate change); also Global temperature changes
- Conservation of natural resources (or [Name of resource] - Conservation)
- Deep ecology
- Environmental economics
- Environmental ethics
- Environmental health (i.e. effects of exposure to chemicals, pollutants)
- Environmental impact statements - [geographic name]
- Environmental justice
- Environmental policy (see also narrower term: Local government and environmental policy)
- [Topic] - Government policy (e.g. "Logging - Government policy")
- Green movement (used for Environmental groups; Environmental movements)
- [Topic] - Political aspects (e.g. "Power resources - Political aspects")
- Political ecology
- Pollution (or narrower terms: Air pollution, Water pollution, etc.)
- Social ecology
Proquest Congressional Searches all Congressional publications and retrieves full text; plus information on individual members and committees.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) The BLM administers more public land than any other agency in the U.S.--not a player to be ignored.
Energy Information Administration "Independent stastistics and analysis"--reports on many areas of energy production and consumption.
Natural Resource Conservation Service Think of it as the environmental arm of the Dept. of Agriculture.
NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) This is where you'll find research on climate, fisheries, coastal issues.
Department of State Lands Sort of the Oregon state version of the BLM - administers state forest, grazing, etc., lands.
OECD i-Library Publications and statistics from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development
More Government Information
See Libraries' Government Information page