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Information Resources and Services for:
GEG 342: Geography Research Methods

Spring 2012
As you develop your research proposal, the resources and tools on this page may useful. If you want help brainstorming search strategies and searching for resources, feel free to visit the librarians at the Reference Desk, or e-mail librarian Anna Hulseberg at

Professor: Anna Versluis
Librarian: Anna Hulseberg

Table of Contents:

Student Research Guides
Research Guides students created during February 20 library session. The links below are coming soon! Getting Overviews
Reference works are helpful at two points in your research: when starting out (by offering overview articles of, say, a writer and her work) or when nailing down unfamiliar terms, concepts, and topics that turn up during your research. Many reference book articles are written by experts and offer not only information but excellent bibliographies for further research.
  • Encyclopedia of Geography
    Thousand Oaks, Calif. : Sage Publications 2010
    This 6-volume set includes more than 1,200 entries related to six broad subject areas in geography: physical geography; human geography; nature and society; methods, models & GIS; history of geography; and people, organizations, and movements. Includes index and bibliographies.
    • Location(s): Ref G63 .E554 2010 v.1-6
    • Includes references works on American regions and world regional geography.
Finding Articles
    The premier index of literature in geography, this database is available as a trial on campus only, and expires February 19, 2012.
    Additional details: A multidisciplinary database of indexed research literature on the earth sciences, including geology, human and physical geography, environmental sciences, oceanography, geomechanics, alternative energy sources, pollution, waste management and nature conservation. Covers thousands of peer-reviewed journals, trade publications, book series, and conference proceedings.
  • Academic Search Premier
    The world's largest academic multi-disciplinary database, Academic Search Premier indexes nearly 8,050 publications and provides full text for nearly 4,600, including more than 3,500 peer-reviewed journals. Coverage also includes many newspapers and popular magazines and spans virtually every area of academic study since 1975. Updated daily. Access is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM). View our Academic Search Premier tutorial.
    1975-present; updated daily
    • These key geography journals are indexed in Academic Search Premier:
      • Annals of the Association of American Geographers
      • Area
      • Geographical Review
      • Environment and Planning A-D
      • Journal of the American Planning Association (JAPA)
      • Geographical Analysis
      • Urban Affairs Review
      • Urban Studies (Sage Publications)
      • Progress in Human Geography
      • Progress in Physical Geography
      • Journal of Cultural Geography
      • Cultural Geographies
    Full-text backfiles to over 350 scholarly journals from more than 25 academic disciplines published between the 19th and 21st centuries in the JSTOR Arts & Sciences I, Arts & Sciences II, and Language & Literature collections. JSTOR provides complete journal backruns from the date of initial publication up to a "moving wall" of 3 to 5 years before the present year. To limit your search to full text articles, make sure that the option to "include links to external content" is turned off.
    1831-recent years
  • Web of Science (Web of Knowledge)
    The Science Citation Index Expanded, the Social Sciences Citation Index, and the Arts & Humanities Citation Index of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). Besides indexing a wide range of journals in the sciences, social sciences, and history, this resource allows you to search for articles that cite a specific author or published work. Coverage from 1997 to the present. Click on the "Web of Science" tab to limit your search to one or more specific citation databases.
Getting Your Hands on Books
So you know a book is out there; how do you get it? First try our catalog, then try the rest of world.
  • MnPALS Plus
    The online catalog to the library at Gustavus Adolphus College. It looks different this semester. We like to mix it up.
  • WorldCat
    If the book you want isn't in our library, look for it here and use the "find it" button to request a copy. Consider it like Amazon but without the credit card charges. Also, you have to give the books back.
    1000 CE-present; updated daily
  • . . . or use the serendipity factor by browsing

    Books are shelved in general subject categories using the Library of Congress classification system. You may want to supplement your use of the catalog with browsing shelf areas for your topic. Below is a brief listing of some of the subject locations in the field of geography.

    • CC Archaeology
    • D,E,F History
    • G Geography (General)
    • GA Cartography
    • GB Physical Geography
    • GC Oceanography
    • GF Human Ecology. Anthropogeography
    • GN Anthropology
    • HB Demography
    • HF 1-8000 Economic Geography
    • QC 851-999 Meteorology. Climatology
Getting Your Hands on Articles
Admittedly, this is confusing. We have some journals on paper, some electronically, many with only some issues electronically, and some that aren't here at all and have to be ordered through Interlibrary Loan. Sometimes you can find an article posted for free at a scholar's website or in an institutional repository, but usually not. We can get most things, though. It's just a matter of persistence and a little bit of advanced planning. And the link below. That's the key to what we can get right now. Finding Statistics & Maps Other Sources for Scholars
  • Google Books
    Google is in the midst of an ambitious project to digitize books from publishers and in libraries. Those that were published before 1923 are in full text; those still potentially under copyright can be searched, but not viewed in full. It offers an interesting way to locate very specific words, phrases, and citations, particularly in older books. Using the advanced search you can limit a search to books that are full text or published within a range of years.
  • Google Scholar
    This search engine points toward scholarly research rather than all Web-based sources. It is stronger in the sciences than in the humanities, with social sciences somewhere in between. One interesting feature of Google Scholar is that in includes a link to sources that cite a particular item. If you are using Google Scholar on campus, you will find articles available through the library's subscription databases linked. To view these links when searching off campus, use our Google Scholar Off Campus Link. Not all of the articles in Google Scholar are free; the library can obtain many of them for you through interlibrary loan.
Keeping Track & Citing Sources
  • Zotero
    Zotero, a Firefox plugin, lets you save, sort, and cite sources from library catalogs, databases, and the Web. Some assembly required.
Chat with a Librarian
Not in the library? Don't want to leave your laptop and pile of notes? No problem. Use this chat box to ask your question during hours the Reference Desk is open.

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