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Sustaining Action: Research, Analysis and Writing for the Public (SAGE)

EnvRes 200/EarthSys 200 - Fall 2014 - Instructor: Hayden, T.
Last Updated: 8-Oct-2014

Course guide for EnvRes 200/EarthSys 200: "Sustaining Action: Research, Analysis and Writing for the Public" for their SAGE eco advice column.

Subject Librarians

Earth Sciences Librarian
(650) 724-6242
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Getting Started

A list of resources to assist with writing and publishing in the sciences.

2nd, comp. rev. ed. Weinheim ; Cambridge : Wiley-VCH, 2004.
Chemistry & ChemEng Library (Swain) » Stacks » QD9.15 .E23 2004
PRINT ONLY. Coming to the aid of all those wishing to improve the quality of their scientific writing -- established researchers and aspiring students alike -- three experienced authors / scientists from differing backgrounds and cultures have compiled this classic guide.
Boston : Pearson, c2012.
Earth Sciences Library (Branner) » On reserve: Ask at circulation desk » QE48.85 .C67 2012
PRINT ONLY. Instruction concerning the rules and styles of writing and speaking are addressed in relation to technical concerns specific to the Earth sciences, illustrating the importance of effective communication in geologic investigations. The book includes guidance on how to write an effective research paper, and the creation of PowerPoints, posters, a thesis, funding proposals, and more is covered in detail.
5th ed. Alexandria, Va. : American Geological Institute, c1995.
Earth Sciences Library (Branner) » Stacks » QE48.85 .G46 1995
PRINT ONLY. This introduction to writing, editing, and printing will help students and scientists cope with a process that many dread - the process that starts with a decision to write something for publication.
New York : Springer, c2011.
SAL3 (off-campus storage) » Stacks » T11 .B543 2011
ONLINE. This guide provides a framework, starting from simple statements, for writing papers for submission to peer-reviewed journals.

Resource Strategies

Try taking advantage of free and readily available resources for learning how to do effective research.

  • Google Lesson Plans offers free advanced research strategy modules, which include everything from choosing search terms to narrowing a search to get the best results using advanced field operators and Boolean searching strategies. You are certain to learn something you didn'y already know about Google searching.
  • Open data sets can bring you a weath of information that has already been gathered for you. This article from The Journalist's Resource talks about ways you can find open-source data. Also, Branner Earth Sciences Library holds classes in data visualization and using Google Fusion tables in the Stanford Geospatial Center.
  • Never underestimate thepower of real-time searching for information -- whether it is through twitter, blog searches, or late-breaking news.
  • This is a long list of tips from an investigive reporter on resources he uses for information-gathering: A journalist’s handbook of tips and resources
  • Google’s Search by image reverse-search engine allows you to search the web using just an image file. 

Organizing Your Research

There are many different types of free services you can use to organize your research.

  • Evernote: In addition to organizing Web research, reporting notes, source info and other raw material, Evernote helps for recording ideas in audio, picture and text form.
  • Google Docs allow you to collaborate internally on content.
  • Google Fusion Tables is a visualisation tool that mixes maps with data, making it a go-to platform for data journalists.
  • Google Alerts, which allows you to keep track of the topics that interest you by specifying words or phrases that appear in news stories and other articles online. 
  • Bookmarking services can be helpful. Pinterest offers those who prefer a visual pinboard a great way to store web pages that you would like to revisit when researching an article. Delicious and Pinboard are also popular bookmarking services.



 Not sure where to start? Try one of these databases.

Santa Fe, N.M.: Deep Web Technologies
Stanford University Libraries » Online resource » eResource
xSearch allows you to search multiple databases at one time. Resources searched include abstracts and indexes that cover articles, conference proceedings, patents, and technical reports. xSearch resources also include full-text resources (books, journals, and reference materials).
Alexandria, Va. : American Geological Institute,
Stanford University Libraries » Online resource » eResource
Covers worldwide technical literature on geology, geophysics and geochemistry. Coverage: 1785 - present
[S.l.] : Cambridge Scientific Abstracts, [199-]-
Stanford University Libraries » Online resource » eResource
Covers environmental sciences topics, including ecology, energy resources, and pollution issues. Coverage Dates: 1967 - present
[New York] : Elsevier, 2004-
Stanford University Libraries » Online resource » eResource
Updated daily, Scopus is the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature. It provides international coverage of literature in science, technology, and medicine, and social sciences plus related content in the arts & humanities. Also includes articles in-press. Coverage: 1996-present.
Stanford University Libraries » Online resource » eResource
Search 10,000+ journals across the sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities. Move backward or forward in time using cited/citing references. Updated weekly, covers Sciences 1899-present, Social Sciences 1898-present, and Arts and Humanities 1975-present.
[New York] : JSTOR [New York] : ITHAKA, 1995-
Stanford University Libraries » Online resource » eResource
Core scholarly journals in the humanities, social sciences, and basic sciences from the earliest issues to within a few years of current publication. 
Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, c1989-[2007]
SAL3 (off-campus storage) » Stacks » Z1236 .A495 V.44:NO.5 2007 INDEX
Historical article abstracts and citations of reviews and dissertations covering the United States and Canada.

From the bookshelf

Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press ; Milton Keynes [England] : Open University, 2009.
Engineering Library (Terman) » Stacks » Q223 .P73 2009
What is the impact of open access on science communication? How can scientists effectively engage and interact with the public? What role can science communication have when scientific controversies arise?
Your go-to guide for fact-checking help. The Fact Checker's Bible arrives not a moment too soon: it is the first—and essential—guide to the important but increasingly neglected task of checking facts, whatever their source.
In recent years governments and scientific establishments have been encouraging the development of professional and popular science communication. This book critically examines the origin of this drive to improve communication, and discusses why simply improving scientists' communication skills and understanding of their audiences may not be enough.
Dordrecht ; London : Springer, 2008.
Stanford University Libraries » Online resource » eResource
Science communication, as a multidisciplinary field, has developed remarkably in recent years. It is now a distinct and exceedingly dynamic science that melds theoretical approaches with practical experience.
Dordrecht ; New York : Springer, c2011.
Education Library (Cubberley) » Stacks » GE70 .S8748 2011
Modern and professional communication is required to realise the goal of sustainability in society. This book develops a theoretical and empirical framework, integrating interdisciplinary perspectives from communications theory, psychology, sociology, educational sciences, systems theory and constructivism.

Getting Help

This library is a great place to start for topics related to envirnonmental science and sustainability.

This library covers topics related to any type of engineering discipline. They also provide quicklinks to the most popular engineering databases.

This library covers the chemical and chemical engineering disciplines that are not covered at the Terman Engineering Library.

You have run into something in a field that you are unfamiliar with and want some help with it from a Stanford subject librarian.