GEOG 428: World Forests

This guide was created for the use of students in Geography 428: World Forests.

If you need help, please contact Sarah (Tong) Zhang, Librarian for Geography, GIS, & Maps at 778-782-9704 or or Ask a librarian.

SFU Library research skills tutorial - Up your academic game by completing the 50-minute tutorial. 

Getting started: background information in specialized encyclopedias 

Extremely useful for overviews of concepts and for the Further Reading / References lists at the end of entries. Also excellent for identifying the vocabulary surrounding your topic.


Start with the class readings. Use the Library Catalogue to find books. Keyword searches are useful for finding chapters in edited books on broader topics. They can also lead you to some good subject headings, which will allow you to do precise searching.

Journal articles

Use these databases to search for academic journal articles. Read the description to see what content is in the database—each has unique content. 

  • Web of Science: the major multidisciplinary scholarly database with excellent coverage of the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Includes backwards and forwards citation linking as well as citation counts.
  • GEOBASE: Scholarly research in geography.  
  • Environment Complete: Search journal articles from over 1,900 environmental sciences journals.
  • Google Scholar: Searches scholarly literature across disciplines and sources. Use the Google search tips handout to have greater control over your searches. 
  • Academic Search Premier: Academic articles from across disciplines. 

Searching for grey literature

Grey literature is information produced outside of traditional publishing—reports, working papers, government documents, urban plans, etc. This information is often produced by organizations "on the ground" (such as government agencies and NGOs) where dissemination of information and reporting on activities precedes publishing an academic article or book. If the source is a Google Custom Search, use the Google search tips.

  • NGO Search - Google Custom Search of NGO websites for reports and other publications.
  • IGO Search- Google Custom Search of IGO websites for reports and other information.
  • Carleton University's Find Canadian Government Publications on the Web - Google Custom Search that searches across Canadian government websites with the option to limit to federal, provincial, or municipal information.
  • OECD iLibrary - Provides full-text access to many OECD publications, including country studies, forecasting publications, reports, and socio-economic databases. Topics covered include agriculture, developing economies, education, employment, energy, environment, migration, social issues, and sustainable development.
  • Canadian Electronic Library -Publications from Canadian public policy institutes, government agencies, advocacy groups, think tanks, university research centres, nonprofits, and public interest groups. Includes conservation and forestry research and information.

Relevant, forest-focused websites

Maps and geospatial data

Newspaper articles

  • Canadian Newsstream: contains the full text of articles in major Canadian and small market BC newspapers.
  • PressReader: Canadian and International newspapers, with coverage of the last 30-60 days only, in full colour. (Note that only 3 people can use this resource at a time).
  • See also: the Alternative News Sources research page. The Alternative Press Index will connect you with news articles from alternative, radical, and left publications.

Writing and Citing

The Student Learning Commons (SLC) provides writing and learning support to SFU students of ALL levels, whether you are an A student or a student who is struggling. You can book a consultation and/or attend a workshop

Writing handouts from the SLC: These handouts are excellent! They will guide you through the mechanics of academic writing and help with things like grammar, citing, transition words, and style. See especially the three handouts on integrating sources. Immensely helpful.

How-to books on academic writing: These are extremely useful books that will demystify the academic writing process. 

  • Science Writing: Lab Report, Research Paper, Essay Exam [print]
  • Making Sense: A Student's Guide to Research and Writing: Geography & Environmental Sciences --see especially Chapter 5: "Writing an Essay" [print]
  • They say/I say: the Moves that Matter in Academic Writing [print]

Citation style: Use APA style when citing sources. Please refer to the following guides:

Avoiding plagiarism: Questions about what constitutes plagiarism? Please read the SFU Library's What is Plagiarism? page and then take our Plagiarism Tutorial.