Being About Action: Local Leaders, Global Futures: Semester in Dialogue

Belzberg Library welcomes students in the Undergraduate Semester in Dialogue to SFU Vancouver. This guide will help you to use our library to find and evaluate research material for your projects. If you have any further questions about library services, please contact Ebony Magnus, Associate Dean of Libraries, Academic Engagement at 778.782.3252 or


Research Sources for Being About Action: Local Leaders, Global Futures

Library research involves selecting your topic, identifying the best sources and appropriate research tools, accessing the items found and evaluating your results. Start Your Research Here is a brief guide that will help you with this process.

Start your hunt for information "at home" by visiting the SFU Library home page. This gathers all the best research tools, guides and research help in one place.

Books, ebooks, Films, Music, Sound, Slides

Search the Catalogue to find all books, reports and media materials in the SFU Library at all three campuses (Belzberg - Vancouver; Bennett - Burnaby; Fraser- SFU Surrey).

  • Searching by KEYWORD is generally the best way to start. Once you have found some good results with your keyword searches, use the subjects on those items to focus your search.
  • Browse search the following SUBJECT headings:
    • Leadership
    • Community leadership
    • Civic leaders
    • Community
    • Community development
    • Community development, Urban
    • Community organization
    • Social change
    • Social action
    • Social movements
    • Social advocacy
    • Organizational change
    • Local government
    • Municipal government
    • Sustainable development
    • Partnership
    • Political participation
    • Social participation
    • Civil society

Journal and Newspaper Articles

  • All print and electronic journals subscribed to by the SFU Library are listed in the catalogue. Electronic journals are also listed in the Electronic Journals Database by title, subject and by the association/organization who publishes the journal.
  • Connect to Article Indexes and Databases to find articles in academic journals, trade magazines and newspapers, as well as financial and statistical data. Many indexes provide online access to the full text of the articles or allow you to directly request photocopies of articles through the "where can I get this?" link. Use the appropriate subject lists to identify the most useful databases for your topic.
  • Good article databases for Being About Action: Local Leaders, Global Futures:
    • Academic Search Premier - multidisciplinary index to academic and popular journals.
    • Alternative Press Index - indexes alternative and independent media sources.
    • Business Source Premier - full text for over 3,700 business journals.
    • Canadian Newsstream - full text of major Canadian newspapers and Canwest's small market BC papers.
    • CBCA Complete - multidisciplinary index to Canadian journals and magazines.
    • Humanities and Social Sciences Index - Covers basic periodicals on all social sciences and humanities topics.
    • JSTOR - Searchable, archival collection of core scholarly arts, humanities and social sciences journals.
    • Sociological Abstracts - Theoretical and applied sociology, social science, and policy science.
    • Web of Science - excellent multidisciplinary source. Indexes thousands of social science and humanities journals in addition to science journals. Other features include cited reference searches and personal alerts.
  • Try the same subject terms as suggested for books, or check the thesaurus or list of subject terms within the database.
  • For help with searching databases, check Finding Journal Articles and/or Moving From Citation to Article.
  • For books and articles not online or at SFU, request an Interlibrary Loan.

Statistics and Government Information

Selected Internet Sources

In addition to the library catalogue and article indexes and databases, you will find much good information on the web. Governments, research institutes, non-profit organizations, industry and other associations and companies all have websites - many with publications freely available. Use one of the web search engines to find additional information, including the websites of interest groups and other organizations. 

Useful sites for Being About Action: Local Leaders, Global Futures

Sites of organizations profiled in the course text How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas by David Bornstein:

Research guides for related subjects

  • Subject Research guides are produced by SFU liaison librarians to point you to the best external sources as well as providing information about publication available in the library. Try these guides for further suggestions.

Ask Us!

If you would like any further assistance or information about the library or your research, don't hesitate to Ask Us! in person, by phone, email or interactive reference.