Search using keywords; avoid long phrases for best results. Put short phrases into quotes: "sustainable agriculture."
Consider synonyms for your keywords: pigs = swine. Consider broader terms: goats = ruminants. If your results are too broad, try narrower terms, add another term using AND, limit the date range.
When you find results you like, notice the subject tags, and use these terms to focus your search.
These databases provide topic overviews including concept maps, "pro" and "con" points of view, primary sources, and timelines. Recommended for starting research on any topic.
Agriculture topic search terms: "animal rights"; Biofuels; Factory farming search "factory farm"; "farm subsidies"; "food insecurity"; "food safety"; Genetically Modified Food search food AND "genetically modified" ; Globalization; Local Food Movement search Subject "local food"; Nutrition; "organic food"; "population growth"; "renewable energy"; "urban agriculture"; Water Pollution search Subject water pollution without quotes; Western Diet search "western diet" or search "western pattern diet"
Articles are relatively short publications that discuss a subtopic. They may be primary sources reporting original research; or secondary sources, or even tertiary sources reviewing the state of research. Articles are published more quickly than books, and thus represent more current research.
The articles in the databases below are mostly for experts rather than general interest. Trade publications are written by professionals for professionals, but may not be peer-reviewed. Peer-reviewed publications are checked for bias. In databases, you can limit your searching to peer-reviewed articles.
Need an overview article? Use a Reference resource
Recommended databases for agriculture topics are below. For some topics, trade journals may be better than peer-reviewed journals; check with your professor.
A book is a longer publication focused on one aspect of a topic. The introduction to a scholarly book usually offers an overview and is an excellent place to start your research. Books can be primary, secondary, or tertiary sources. Due to their length, books take longer to publish than articles. Scholarly books go through the same peer-review process as articles. The publisher will be a clue as to whether the book is scholarly, for specialists, or for general readers. Our library has books in print, online, downloadable, and even audiobook formats.
To find books in all formats, search in IvyCat. Notice the Subject tags in the search results; use these as keywords to focus your search. You can also search individual eBook databases.
Recommended Ebook databases for Agriculture topics:
Open Access Resources are freely available online. They may or may not be peer-reviewed. Searching is less controlled than in library databases.