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Finding Space, Understanding Place: Redesigning Our Region for Resilience: 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 Karen Marotz, Head, Belzberg Library at 778-782-5054 or marotz@sfu.ca.

Research Sources for Finding Space, Understanding Place: Redesigning Our Region for Resilience

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, articles and web sites on your course reading list or course outline can also provide a good starting point, particularly if the items include bibliographies, references or links to related material.

1. 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; Surrey - 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.
  • Try the following SUBJECT headings:
    • Cities and Towns Growth
    • City Planning Environmental Aspects
    • Community Development Urban
    • Environmental Protection Citizen Participation
    • Land Use
    • Political Ecology
    • Public Spaces
    • Regional Planning
    • Sustainable Agriculture
    • Sustainable Development
    • Urban Ecology
    • Urban Policy

Limit your search to items at Belzberg Library by selecting Belzberg Collection from the main search screen. You can also use ADVANCED KEYWORD search.

2. Journal and Newspaper Articles

  • All print and electronic journals subscribed to by the SFU Library are listed in the catalogue.
  • Connect to Journal Articles and Databases to find articles in academic journals, trade magazines, reports 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. Browse by subject area to identify useful databases for your topic.

    Suggested article databases for Finding Space, Understanding Place:

    • Academic Search Complete - multidisciplinary index to academic and popular journals.
    • Alternative Press Index - alternative and radical media; includes urban ecology and sustainability.
    • Agricola - Covers urban and rural agriculture research resources.
    • Art Full Text - covers architecture, city planning and urban design.
    • Canadian Newsstream - fulltext of major Canadian newspapers and Canwest's small market BC papers.
    • Canadian Public Policy Collection - monograph publications from policy and research institutes, think tanks, advocacy groups, government agencies and university research centres.
    • Canadian Research Index - Canadian government publications.
    • CBCA Complete (Canadian Business and Current Affairs) - covers news, business, and academic sources with a Canadian focus, including resource & environmental management and urban planning sources.
    • Geobase - key human and physical geography database with interdisciplinary coverage for researching environmental issues.
    • Urban Studies Abstracts - covers planning, transportation, land use, urban policy and social issues.
    • Web of Science - A multidisciplinary source that indexes thousands of social science and humanities journals in addition to science journals. It also includes cited reference searches.

3. Statistics and Government Sources

4. Selected Internet Sources

In addition to the library catalogue and databases, you will find a lot of good information on the web. Governments, research institutes, non-profit organizations, industry and other associations and companies all have web sites - many with publications freely available. Use a web search engine such as Google, Google Scholar or Ask.com to find additional information, including the web sites of interest groups and other organizations. Check the library's World Wide Web Research guide for additional help in finding and evaluating web sites.

Useful sites for Finding Space, Understanding Place:

5. 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 publications 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 a Librarian in person, by phone, email or interactive reference.