Semester in Dialogue (Summer 2017): Semester Outside in the City

Belzberg Library welcomes students in the Summer 2017 Semester in Dialogue to SFU Vancouver. We would like to acknowledge that this course and this institution are on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.

This research guide will help you to use our library to find and evaluate research material for your projects. If you need further help don't hesitate to Ask a Librarian in person, by phone, email or online chat reference.

Dialogue resources

Information Resources for Dialogue
The library guide to the best resources for the study of dialogue. See also the Semester in Dialogue home page and current course.

Books, ebooks, films, music, sound, and more

Search the Library Catalogue to find all books, reports, and media materials, both in print and online, in the SFU Library.

Journal and newspaper articles

Use Journal articles and databases to find articles in academic journals, trade magazines, reports, and newspapers, as well as financial and statistical data. 

For help with searching databases, check the guides Finding journal articles and/or Moving from citation to article.


Canadian Newsstream
Full text of major Canadian newspapers and small market BC papers.

Canadian Electronic Library
Public policy documents from Canadian institutes, think-tanks and research groups

CBCA Complete (Canadian Business and Current Affairs)
Covers news, business, and academic sources with a Canadian focus.

Environment Complete
Major database on environmental topics.

Key human and physical geography database with interdisciplinary coverage of urban topics.

Research database focusing on the relationship between human beings and the environment.

SimplyAnalytics (formerly SimplyMap Canada)
Allows users to map demographic information using a postal code or census track. (Note: can log in as guest)

Sociological Abstracts
Collection of academic journals and other resources with a focus on the sociological aspects of business, environment, law, public policy, racial interactions, and more.

Web of Science
Multidisciplinary source and citation index - particularly useful for finding out who else cited an article that you have found relevant.

Subject research guides

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

Government resources

News resources

Political Science

Public Policy

Resource and Environmental Management


Sustainable Community Development

Urban Studies

Statistics and government sources

City of Vancouver
Provides information and links to city projects and initiatives, including projects undertaken by the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation. Check out: 

Environment and Climate Change Canada
Federal Ministry of Environment and Climate Change; see the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.

LiveSmart BC
Provides links to organizations and information related to climate change and education and to energy planning and saving.

Metro Vancouver
Community planning and development information, including an overview of Metro Vancouver's Sustainable Region Initiative. Check out:

Statistics Canada: Statistics by Subject
The main source for Canadian statistical information, including statistics on the environment. Search the 2011 Census for city and community-level statistics. Statistics Canada has also prepared a customized 2011 Census local area dataset for the City of Vancouver, using the City's 22 local planning areas.

Selected internet sources

Governments, research institutes, non-profit organizations, industry, and other associations and companies all have web sites -- many with publications freely available.

General websites:

Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education
Association providing opportunities in the field of outdoor recreation and education in order to exchange information, promote the preservation and conservation of the natural environment.

EnviroLink Network
A non-profit organization with links to thousands of online environmental resources.

Environmental Literacy Council
An independent, non-profit made up of scientists, economists, and educators striving to connect teachers and students to science-based information on environmental issues.

International Living Future Institute
This foundation's goal is to inspire special programs that enrich communities and emphasize a positive impact on our ecology and environment.

North American Association for Environmental Education
Association focused on environmental literacy and civic engagement through the power of education.
Professional online resource that provides a rich community for professional outdoor and experiential educators to come together and share their knowledge, ideas, questions, and issues.

Possible Canadas
A partnership that encourages public dialogue around a variety of futures among thought leaders and across campuses.

Rewilding Institute
An essential source of information about the integration of traditional wildlife and woodlands conservation with conservation biology to advance landscape-scale conservation.

Local websites

Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication
A charitable association that works strategically and collaboratively to advance environmental learning for all Canadians.

Portal for initiatives/programs organized by sustainability-driven organizations in the Vancouver area.

A non-profit organization focused on creating greener, more sustainable cities. The website includes information and resources. For example, check out Urban Naturalization in Canada: A Policy and Program Guidebook.

Institute of Urban Ecology
Based at Douglas College, the Institute lists resources on urban ecological sustainability.

Nature Vancouver
A non-profit society dedicated to promoting the enjoyment of nature, fostering public interest and education in the appreciation and study of nature, and promoting access to, and maintenance of, natural areas in the vicinity of Vancouver.

NewCity Institute
Promotes best practices research and implementation focused on cities, sustainability and citizen participation, and includes links to local projects.

This SFU initiative is centred on envisioning a future for our university community that is ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable.

SFU Sustainability Reporting Initiative
The Sustainability Reporting Initiative is designed to complement the development of SFU's next Sustainability Strategic Plan and the SFU2021 community engagement process.

Vancouver Public Space Network
A non-profit, advocacy organization that champions the importance of public space to the overall livability of Vancouver.

Evaluating information

Evaluation is particularly important when finding information on the Web. The Finding and evaluating resources guide has more information. Explore the How to spot fake news guide for a complete checklist of what to look for when evaluating sources for validity.

Writing and citing

The Dialogue research guide has resources for academic writing, study strategies, understanding plagiarism, and help with citation.

Please see the Publication options section for additional information on publishing.

Belzberg Library -- your home branch

Hours for Belzberg Library | See Hours: Opening & Closing Times for hours information for all SFU libraries.

See the Belzberg Library web page for more information. Also check out the list of new books added to the Belzberg collection.

Ask a librarian

For more research help, do not hesitate to ask a librarian! Please note that you can book one-on-one research help consultations with reference librarians at all three campuses.