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GEO 4860 Foundations and Methods of Geography: Home

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Research Methods

You can use these searching tips for your other classes too.

  • Article databases and the catalog don't recognize phrase searching, so break your topic into the main keywords or concepts.  For example, if your topic is the role of women nurses in World War I, don't type "what was the role of women nurses in World War I" in the search box.  Instead, type in "world war i AND women and nurs*" or something similarly structured.
  • Try to think of as many different ways to describe your topic as you can.
  • When you find a good article, look at their footnotes or endnotes to see what articles the author read--you might find a few good ones that you can use.  See box below for how to find articles when you have a citation. 
  • Use truncation to expand your search results, for example, if you type in "polit*" it will capture politics, political, politicize, etc.  Some databases do this automatically, but many do not. 
  • Click on linked author names, subject headings, or any other descriptive terms in book and article descriptions.

How do I find scholarly articles?

Below are suggested article databases where you can find peer-reviewed academic articles.  If you have any questions whether an article comes from a peer-reviewed journal, please contact me via the link on the right of this page.

Finding Full-Text for a Known Citation

How would you find the full text for the following citation?  This happens most frequently when you look in the footnotes or bibliography of an article--this is a great way to find primary sources on your topic as well.

Zhang, Hua, et al. " The geography of Zambia's customary land: Assessing the prospects for smallholder development."  Land Use Policy, 55  (September 2016): 49-60.

  1. Go to the library catalog search page.
  2. From the search box, select Journal Title from the drop down menu
  3. Type your journal title (Land Use Policy) in the box. Do not type your article title in the box.
  4. If WSU owns your journal, see if we have the year, volume, and issue number you need. Note: it might be in electronic form or paper form.
  5. If WSU doesn’t have the journal you want or doesn’t have the year/volume/issue you need, use Interlibrary Loan.

Background Sources

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Questions? Ask your librarian!

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Ran Raider
Dunbar Library 120
(937) 775-3521