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SOC 1030: Environment & Society

Sources

Vanderbilt University Library Search

Selecting the best search scope for your research needs:

Everything vs. Library Catalog vs. Articles

Search Scope What is included? When should I use it?
Everything
  • Broadest search scope
  • Results will include books and ebooks, articles, and media like DVDs
  • A great option when you are just beginning your research process.
  • Use Everything when you want to survey the research landscape for your topic
Library Catalog
  • Focuses on VU owned items, physical and digital
  • Results will include books and ebooks, and media like DVDs
  • Digital collections like the TV News Archive will also be included in your results
  • You have defined your information needs
  • Use Library Catalog when you are ready to create a tailored search for your topic
Articles
  • Content from selected VU databases
  • Popular and scholarly articles
  • Use Articles to find popular and scholarly articles on your topic.
  • The Articles scope does not search across all databases accessible to the Vanderbilt community.
  • Not finding the articles you need or want more database options?

For a more detailed explanation of your search scope options consult What am I searching?

 

1.  Use quotes around phrases

2.  Use the "Quick Filters" if you want just books, articles, etc.

3.  If you need peer reviewed sources, apply that filter

4.  Use "Format" for other types of sources such as newspaper articles, book chapters, etc.

5.  Use the date limiter

A complete list of limiters can be found on the left hand side of the screen below "Refine your results".

What is gray literature? Grey literature is information produced outside of traditional publishing and distribution channels, and can include reports, policy literature, working papers, newsletters, government documents, speeches, white papers, urban plans, and so on.  Many of our databases have "format" or "source" filters for gray literature such as "reports"  

You can also use Google to find gray literature.  

 

To find grey literature, try keywords such as report, "think tank," "white paper," policy, statistics, or limiting by domain to (.org, .edu, .gov)

screenshot of google search for "climate change" "policy brief"

 screenshot of google search for "climate change" site: .org        

Scholarly

News

Gray Literature

Scholarly articles publish original research on events related to a specific discipline written by professors, researchers, or professionals. These articles are written by an expert for other experts in the same field and generally go through a process called "peer review," in which they are vetted by other experts. Scholarly sources typically include references to other sources (bibliography) and are written with the assumption that the audience already has significant background knowledge in the topic.

Written by journalists. Events as they actually happened, reflect how people view a topic at a particular time, report on research for the lay person, provide stats, experts. 

Grey literature is information produced outside of traditional publishing and distribution channels, and can include reports, policy literature, working papers, newsletters, government documents, speeches, white papers, urban plans, and so on.  Many of our databases have "format" or "source" filters for gray literature such as "reports"