Sustainable Communities: Research Techniques & Tools

Offers recommended research methods and tools for locating resources

Hints for Finding Information

To find books and articles about your topic, brainstorm a set of keywords for your topic that encompass the main idea.  Then think of synonyms for your keywords.  When searching the Libraries' collections or in a database, search for your keywords.

  • If you find you are not getting enough results use "or" and search using your synonyms.
  • If you find you are getting too many results use "and" to add more search terms, and also use some of the limiters available (such as publication date).

When you find a terrific book or article, look at the "subjects" or "subject headings" to see how the database categorizes your topic.  You can then search for the discovered subject.  Depending upon your topic within sustainable communities, the following subjects may help you get started:

  • sustainable agriculture
  • sustainable urban development
  • environmental aspects
  • sustainable development
  • environmental policy
  • urban ecology
  • city planning
  • nutrition policy
  • sustainable buildings
  • environmental justice
  • community networks
  • emergency management

Finding Books

When you search in Find It!, you're searching in the Library Catalog, Local Digital Collections (Special Collections' Digital Materials and Binghamton University-created materials), and a mega-index of scholarly e-resources including articles, book reviews, ebooks, and more. You can refine your search with the limiters on the left side of the search results page. These include such limiters as date ranges, location, subject headings, and languages.

To search for books in Find It!, follow these steps:

  1. On the Libraries’ website, click Advanced Search on the Find It! tab.
  2. For search scope, select Library Catalog.
  3. For material type, select Books.
  4. Enter your search terms.
  5. Click Search.

Steps for searching for books in Find It! (1) On the Libraries' website, click Advanced Search on the Find It! tab. (2) For search scope, select Library Catalog. (3) For material type, select Books. (4) Enter your search terms. (5) Click search.

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