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Check the main Geography resource page for links to library research guides prepared for specific courses (under Help with course assignments).
SFU Library Research Skills Tutorial: Up your academic game by completing this 50 minute tutorial.
Specialized encyclopedias for background information
- The International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology
- The International Encyclopedia of Human Geography (2019 edition, 2010 edition)
- The Oxford Companion to Global Change [online] [print]
- Companion Encyclopedia of Geography: The Environment and Humankind [online and print]
- International Encyclopedia of Housing and Home
- Encyclopedia of the City [online and print]
- Handbook of Cultural Geography [print]
- International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (IESBS) [online] [print]
- 21st Century Geography: A Reference Handbook [online and print]
- A Dictionary of Human Geography
- A Feminist Glossary of Human Geography [print]
Use the Library Catalogue to find books on your topic. Try a Keyword search first. Select a title to display the record for a book that matches your topic, then look at the Subject terms in the record. Click on a Subject that matches your topic to locate more relevant books.
These databases are the best places to start when searching for journal articles on Human Geography topics:
Web of Science
Major multidisciplinary database with excellent coverage of Human Geography topics. Includes forward and backward citation counts
Major database for journal articles in Human and Physical Geography as well as Environmental Studies.
Database containing environmental studies research, including Human Geography topics.
Canada Commons (formerly, Canadian Electronic Library from desLibris)
Canadian health and public policy documents, and Canadian e-books. Includes three major components: Canadian Health Research, Canadian Public Policy documents, and fiction and non-fiction e-books from Canadian publishers.
Searches scholarly literature across disciplines and sources and includes some grey literature. Search commands differ from those in academic databases, so use the Google search tips here.
Social Sciences Full Text
Coverage of both applied and theoretical aspects of the Social Sciences, including Economics, Environmental Studies, Gender Studies, Geography, Planning & Public Administration, Policy Sciences, Political Science, Sociology, and Urban Studies.
Database with coverage that includes International Health, Public Health, non-communicable diseases, nutrition, and much more.
Some coverage of health-related topics in Geography such as epidemics, global health, social determinants of health, and climate change issues.
Economics database with coverage of Economic Geography topics.
Academic Search Premier
Multidisciplinary database. Includes both scholarly and popular sources.
- To find a specific journal, search by journal title in the Library Catalogue.
- Current Geographical Publications: a list of current geography journals curated by the American Geographical Society Library at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Searching for grey literature
Grey literature is information produced outside of traditional publishing and distribution channels, and can include reports, working papers, newsletters, government documents, speeches, white papers, urban plans, and so on. This information is often produced by organizations "on the ground" (such as government and inter-governmental agencies, NGOs, and industry) to store information and report on activities without the delays and restrictions of commercial and academic publishing.
NGO Search is a Google Custom Search that searches across hundreds non-governmental organization (NGO) websites. NGO Search is a project of the International Documents Taskforce (IDTF) of the American Library Association (ALA). For more information on this project, including a growing list of NGOs included in the search, please see the IDTF wiki.
International governmental organizations (IGOs) are organizations made up of more than one national government—examples include NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and the WHO (World Heath Organization). The governments are the members. IGO Search is a Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) that searches across IGO websites. It is a project of the International Documents Taskforce (IDTF) of the American Library Association (ALA). For more information on this project, including a growing list of IGOs included in the search, please see the IDTF wiki.
Carleton University's Find Canadian Government Publications on the Web
A Google Custom Search that searches across Canadian government websites with the option to limit to federal, provincial, or municipal information.
For more information on finding grey literature, see the Library's Grey Literature: What it is & how to find it research guide.
Selected government pages: British Columbia
- Ministry of Agriculture
- Ministry of Energy and Mines
- Ministry of Environment
- Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
- Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Selected government pages: Canada
- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
- Canadian Heritage
- Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
- Environment Canada
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada
- Health Canada
- Industry Canada
- Natural Resources Canada
For information on additional government sources, see the Finding Government Resources & Information research guide.
Statistics and demographic sources
Official Canadian and U.S. Government statistics agencies
International statistics agencies
- Eurostat - Provides direct and free of charge online access to all its statistical databases and associated electronic publications. The Eurostat database is updated twice a day and covers the European Union, EU member states, the Euro Zone, Candidate Countries and EFTA States.
- Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations - Statistics
- FAOSTAT - Large time-series and cross sectional data relating to hunger, food and agriculture for 245 countries.
- United Nations Statistics Division
- United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) - Statistical Database
- International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO - Trade Statistics
- World Bank: Data
For more information on locating statistics and demographic information, consult the Library's Statistical resources research guide.
Putting it all together: Study, writing, and citing
- Making Sense: A Student's Guide to Research and Writing: Geography & Environmental Sciences [print]
- How to do Your Dissertation in Geography and Related Disciplines [online and print]
- Communicating in Geography and the Environmental Sciences [print]
- Study Skills for Geography, Earth and Environmental Science Students [print]
- Methods in Human Geography: A Guide for Students Doing a Research Project [print]
- Geography@university: making the most of your geography degree and courses [online] [print]
- SFU Library's guides to APA, MLA and Chicago/Turabian styles.
- Guides for citing maps and geospatial data
- Citation Management Software
The Student Learning Commons (SLC) provides writing and learning support to SFU undergraduate 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.
Related SFU research guides
See the following related SFU research guides for sources for special topics in Geography: