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.
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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. (These do NOT count as scholarly sources, but they can lead you to them.)
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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.
Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization
Useful for any environmental policy topics that cross borders, e.g. treaties, environmental groups that are active globally, resource issues between countries (e.g. shared water sources, drifting pollution, fisheries, climate change)
Review articles are another great way to get an overview of a subject and many references to scholarly and research articles. A review article DOES qualify as a scholarly source.
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
Or, search all Annual Reviews here.
Search Web of Science (which includes the social sciences and humanities) and limit to review articles. To do this:
- Enter your keyword terms in the 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 is better, although you still have to use your own judgment.)
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.
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.
You may also want to try:
GeoBase Covers worldwide literature in physical & human geography, hence environmental science and policy. Includes citations to journal articles, books, and conference proceedings from 1973 to the present.
GoogleScholar. Searches articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web. It is also a good source for finding NGO, "think tank" and government reports.
in LibrarySearch (UO Libraries and beyond) Don't forget to Sign in!
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 + endangered species + Pacific Northwest.
- LibrarySearch finds articles, and many other formats besides books. To limit to books, click on 'book' under 'Resource Type' on the left side. Note: you may need to click on "More options" to limit to books.
- 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 Browse Search and pull down the menu to Subject. Or,
- click on the subject heading links under 'Details' for a book that you like, to get more like it.
- For instance, in the above search I found and clicked on 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 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.
- TRID A database providing access to more than one million records of transportation research worldwide.
Geological Survey (USGS) Research areas include energy and mineral resources, water, climate and land use change, ecosystems.
- Search USGS publications here
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
Data-Planet A comprehensive, searchable data source, including datasets on energy, agriculture, natural resources, population, and more. Stronger in U.S. statistics than international.
Environmental Statistics (links to sources of statistics in all formats, including statistical reports)
Environmental Data Sets (links to sources of downloadable data sets only)
UNdata Statistical data, by country, from the UN
- If you can't find what you need, ask Victoria.
Popular vs Scholarly (articles)
Evaluating Sources (generally)
The Peer Review Process
A very short video on what it is and ways to recognize peer-reviewed journals.