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Geography and the Environment: Journal Articles

Guide to the latest and most useful research resources for geography and the environment

Guide: Searching the Journal Literature

SCOPUS (includes Geobase - see separate guide on this page)

ProQuest includes those databases formerly available via Cambridge Scientific Abstracts

  • Ecology Abstracts
  • EconLit
  • Environment Abstracts
  • International Bibliography of the Social Sciences
  • PAIS
  • Pollution Abstracts
  • Water Resources Abstracts
  • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts

Web of Science containing

  • Conference Proceedings Citation Index (both Science & Social Science with Humanities)
  • Science Citation Index (ISI)
  • Social Sciences Citation Index
  • Journal Citation Reports

Ovid SP containing

  • CAB Abstracts
  • Forest Science
  • GeoRef
  • Zoological Record

JSTOR contains the full-text of many of the classic journals, some as far back as the 1880s.

Guide: Citation Searching

Citation searching (finding out which scholarly papers have cited an article or book after publication) can be done on Web of Science or for articles published after 1996 on SCOPUS.

Google Scholar also has 'cited by' links but these are not yet fully reliable.

Find e-Journal


Guide: Journal Articles

For structured literature searching you should begin with SCOPUS (which includes Geobase).  SCOPUS is the world's largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature and quality web sources, offering tools to track, analyze and visualize research, with links to the full-text.  There are also various discipline-specific resources such as EconLit for searching the economics literature. The panel on the left lists other databases that you can use for your search that contain different collections of journals and other sources.

You can also search for journal articles in Google Scholar. However it should only be used alongside the databases listed to the left. This is because databases such as Web of Science and Scopus only include higher quality and peer reviewed academic publications. Google Scholar will also search lower quality publications and may not provide the same levels of coverage. In Google Scholar you must also ensure that you use the "Find it @ Oxford" links to the right of the articles, rather than the article title link to gain access to the full text that the library subscribes to. (If you are outside the Oxford network, select Oxford University in the Scholar Preferences screen).

If, rather than keyword searching, you are searching for a specific article for which you have the full reference then use SOLO. You’ll need to search by the journal title rather than article title, then navigate to the correct year, volume and issue number. SOLO also has an Articles and more tab which may provide a quicker way to search by the article title. However, at present this does not search everything that the Bodleian subscribes to, so you may have to use the method above.  For the same reason, although you can also search by keyword in Articles and more it’s not a reliable way of search everything within our databases. 

GeoBase (in SCOPUS)

GEOBASE is a multidisciplinary database supplying bibliographic information and abstracts for development studies, the Earth sciences, ecology, geomechanics, human geography, and oceanography. The database provides current coverage of almost 2,000 international journals, including both peer-reviewed titles and trade publications, and provides archival coverage of several thousand additional journal titles and books. It contains over 1.4 million records from 1980 to present, with more than 100,000 citations and abstracts added annually (almost 985 of all records include abstracts). The database is available online via SCOPUS.
Sample recent articles are given below (via RSS).

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10 Search Tips

1. Ask a clear research question.  Break the question down in to keywords.

2. For each keyword, consider relevant search terms (synonyms, alternative spellings, broader/narrower terms, etc.)

3. Apply truncation, usually * to find plurals/alternative word endings and ? to replace a single character.  

4. Quote marks are often used to specify a phrase.

5. Consider the relationships between your search terms using Boolean logic: use AND to narrow your search (records must contain both search terms); OR to broaden your search (records can contain either search term); and NOT to exclude from your search (records must not include a particular term).

6. Search strings may be joined using parentheses or run as separate search sets and combined at the end.

7. Consider whether filters should be applied to your search e.g. by date – try to be consistent between databases.

8. Where possible tap into the subject headings or thesauri provided by the databases to retrieve relevant records.

9. Bibliographies at the end of articles (citations) facilitate searching by the ‘association of ideas’.

10. ‘Related records’ (e.g. based on similar bibliographies) can be a good way to retrieve information from other disciplines that keyword searching may miss.

Guide: TOCs & Alerts


The JournalTOCs Tables of Contents service makes it easy to keep up-to-date with newly published scholarly material by allowing to find, display, store, combine and reuse thousands of journal tables of contents from multiple publishers.


Alerting service from the British Library provides   access to the British Library's Electronic Table of Contents of current journals and conference proceedings. The Zetoc database covers 1993 to date, and is updated daily.

You can search for journal articles and conference proceedings; set up, modify and delete email alerts; or set RSS feeds for journals.