Climate Change; Finding Information
to be an Information Sleuth:
Finding and Using Information Related
to Climate Change
Incorporating Information Literacy
into Climate Change Teaching
This module is directed toward college &
university juniors, seniors, and new graduate students. It could be modified
for use with honors high school students.
This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
On the Cutting
Edge: More information on teaching climate change and other geoscience subjects.
Finding information on any subject can be an
adventure. In fact, it is useful and fun to use some of the same thought processes
used in detective work and forensics. You start with what is known, and the
more you know, the more likely there will be a successful resolution of the
mystery…in this case, finding the information you need. Information searching
is a skill that can be improved through frequent and intelligent use. Also,
the more you know about the research & publication process, the organization
of literature, and various search tools, the easier it will be for you to find
useful information. It is helpful to keep asking yourself “If I were this
piece of information, where would I be hiding?” It is also important to
know how to evaluate and organize information, and how to effectively report
information orally and in writing.
The subject of Climate Change reaches across nearly every
discipline: earth & planetary sciences, atmospheric sciences, life sciences,
social sciences, business & economics, law & public policy, even the
arts & humanities. Such interdisciplinary subjects offer special challenges
for information seekers.
The following exercises are designed to help you refine
your information seeking skills. They are geared toward Climate Change, but
the skills you gain and practice can be used for any subject.
Note: Some of the material below was taken verbatim
from previous web pages created by the author.
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1: Organization of Literature
Understanding the organization of literature can help us
find the type of information we need. It is important to know how publications
such as journal articles, books, meeting proceedings, encyclopedias, etc. differ
by the type and currency of information they contain. In the next section we
will consider a related topic, the Research & Publication Process, which
influences when as well as where different types of information are presented.
These resources were consulted for the following definitions:
Definitions - ELMS College (link no longer live)
ODLIS: Online Dictionary of Library and Information Science
Geological Society of America
Young, H., ed., 1983, The ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science:
Chicago, IL, American Library Association.
collection of leaves of paper, parchment, vellum, cloth, or other material
(written, printed, or blank) fastened together along one edge, with or without
a protective case or cover... (ODLIS)"
relatively short book or treatise on a single subject, complete in one physical
piece, usually written by a specialist in the field. Monographic treatment
is detailed and scholarly, but not extensive in scope. The importance of
monographs in scholarly communication depends on the discipline...in the
sciences ... where currency is essential, journals are usually the preferred
means of publication...
Monographs are sometimes published in monographic series and subseries.
Dissertations and Theses: A
dissertation is a lengthy, formal written account of scholarly investigation
or original research on a specialized topic, submitted to a university
as partial requirements for a Ph.D. degree. At the master's level, such
a work is known as a thesis. Dissertations and theses may be published
or unpublished. Copies are usually available via interlibrary loan or
document delivery, and some may be purchased from services such as Bell
& Howell in either print or microform formats.
term includes any publication in any format that is issued in successive
parts bearing numerical or chronological designations and that
is intended to be continued indefinitely. Serials include
periodicals, journals, memoirs, proceedings, transactions, annual reports
and yearbooks, newspapers, magazines, and numbered monographic series.
A periodical is a serial that appears at regular intervals, generally
more frequently than annually, and each issue is numbered or dated consecutively.
It is intended to continue indefinitely. General newspapers and publications
of corporate bodies related to meetings are not included.
journal is a periodical that contains scholarly articles and/or current
information on research and development related to a particular subject.
Journals include the following:
Journals: These are issued by, or under the auspices
of, societies, associations or institutions. They may or may not be
refereed. Examples: GSA Bulletin; AAPG Bulletin
Refereed Journals: These
are evaluated by one or more subject specialists in addition to the
editor before being accepted for publication. They may or may not
be published or sponsored by particular professional societies or
associations. Example: Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Trade journals contain information related to a particular trade or
industry and are usually not refereed. Not generally used in scientific
research. Example: Oil and Gas Journal.
Magazine is a periodical that contains general reading articles. Not
generally used in scientific research. Example: Discover
publications are issued frequently at stated intervals. They cover current
interest topics and events. No generally used in scientific research
Monographic Series: A
monographic series consists of a group of monographs, related by subject
and issued in succession. They generally have uniform style and a collective
title. They may be numbered or unnumbered.
Special Publication: Special
publications are issued by professional societies and associations.
According to GSA, they are generally state-of-the-art studies, and the
results may be altered or augmented by subsequent research. Example:
GSA Special Publications.
memoir is a report of investigations in a specialized field, often presented
to, or issued by a scholarly society. According to GSA, memoirs are
authoritative and comprehensive, and they are expected to be definitive
works for a decade or more. Example: GSA Memoirs.
are the published papers presented at a conference or meeting of a society
or association, and may include a record of what transpired at the meeting.
Example: EOS, Transactions [of the] American Geophysical Union.
are the published record of a conference, congress, symposium, or other
meeting sponsored by an association or society. They usually include
abstracts or reports of presented papers. Example: Proceedings of
the 8th International Williston Basin Symposium.
to GSA, reviews "summarize geological theory or present case histories"
related to a specific subject. Examples: Reviews in Engineering
Geology; International Geology Review.
book or long formal essay [or monographic series], usually on an abstruse
or complex subject, especially a systematic well-documented presentation
of facts or evidence, and the principles or conclusions drawn from them.
(ODLIS)" Example, Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology (GSA).
Field Guide: A
document prepared for a field trip, and distributed to participants.
The generally provide background information and information about individual
field trip stops. Most include a road log. Often, only a limited number
of guides are printed, and identifying and obtaining field trip guidebooks
can be very difficult. Example: Field Guide to New Zealand Active
annual compendium of facts and statistics of the preceding year, frequently
limited to a special subject" (Young, 1983). Example: Canadian
Annual Report: "An
official document describing and reviewing the activities, programs,
and operations of an organization or one of its divisions for the previous,
and usually fiscal, year" (Young, 1983). Example: United States
Geological Survey Yearbook.
Government Documents (USGS) (The
following descriptions are from the USGS Manual. A more up-to-date version
can be found at: http://www.usgs.gov/usgs-manual/1100/1100-3appendixa.pdf
"The Professional Paper series
includes comprehensive reports of wide and lasting interest and scientific
importance addressed to professional scientists and engineers. The
reports are characterized by thoroughness of study and breadth of
technical scope and/or geographic coverage; their length generally
exceeds 30 printed pages. Included are the results of resource studies
and of major topographic, hydrologic and geologic investigations."
"Bulletins, like Professional Papers,
contain significant data and interpretations and are reports of lasting
scientific importance, but they are generally more limited in scientific
scope and (or) geographic coverage."
"The Open-File series is designed
for immediate release of basic data, preliminary reports and a wide
range of documents that may or may not meet criteria for publication
in other Survey report series or in outside journals. The principal
requirement for release of an Open-File report is a demonstrable public
"Circulars present, quickly and at
no charge, technical or programmatic information to scientists, engineers,
planners, decision makers and the public. They disseminate primarily
programmatic and scientific information of an ephemeral nature...Circulars
are of wide, popular interest but are generally of little archival
"Fact Sheets are used to disseminate
timely information on scientific and
technical programs of the U.S. Geological Survey and are available,
cost, from U.S. Geological Survey."
"Water Resources Investigations Reports
(WRIR) present hydrologic data and interpretations that are mainly
of local interest to an interdisciplinary audience composed of scientists,
engineers, and officials of Federal and State agencies..."
"The Office of Water Data Coordination,
Water Resources Division, publishes several types of reports that
are products of interagency water-data coordination activities..."
"Water-Supply Papers are comprehensive
reports that present significant interpretive results of hydrologic
investigations of wide interest to professional geologists, hydrologists,
and engineers. The series covers investigations in all phases of hydrology,
including hydrogeology, availability of water, quality of water, and
use of water."
Depository Maps for Geoscience
Links to Lists
Geologic Maps Database
USGS Store (print maps)
Geospatial Digital Data
The National Map
U.S. Geological Survey Science Data Catalog
See Topic 6
is a research article that is made available to the public before it is
formally published. Preprint servers are being set up for various scientific
disciplines such as physics, mathematics, and chemistry. These servers provide
free access to and archiving of a variety of types of scientific information.
Advantages include rapid, inexpensive, and broad communication of information,
including large amounts of supporting data. Disadvantages may include flooding
the literature with trivial and unverified information, and premature disclosure
of results. Some of the problems with this type of information are in the
process of being resolved.
Secondary, and Tertiary Literature
Definitions of these three terms vary. This is my understanding
of the terms: Primary literature consists of the first
places that information is available to the general population and includes
journal articles and conference proceedings. Peer reviewed journals are
especially important because the information has been judged worthy by other
knowledgeable scientists and generally consists of new information. Secondary
literature consists of primary literature that has been condensed
and included in books and review articles after having been judged important
after a period of time. Tertiary literature has been solidly
accepted by the scientific community and included in dictionaries, encyclopedias,
handbooks and other reference works. (Some consider tertiary literature
to be guides to literature such as bibliographies, indexing and abstracting
services and databases.)
Commercial Publishers vs. Open Access
The primary goal of a commercial publisher is to make
a profit. The primary purpose of a non-for-profit/learned society publisher
should be, first, to "establish, promote, and disseminate scientific
knowledge" (Tian 1998). There should be a commitment to "scholarship
first and publishing second". The distinction between commercial and
learned society publishers is sometimes blurred. Some Society publishers currently
act more like commercial publishers. And some society publications are actually
handled by commercial publishers. In general, society journals are more likely
to contain extra material such as meeting calendars, job openings, book reviews,
obituaries, awardees, etc.
The Cost of Information & The Open Access
Information is definitely not "free", and the
cost of information has been rising exponentially for some time. Scientific
journals are very expensive with some individual annual subscriptions costing
libraries thousands of dollars each year. Library subscriptions are nearly
always much more expensive than individual subscriptions. Electronic subscriptions
may actually cost more than print subscriptions. In addition, due to questions
of perpetual access, many libraries are reluctant to give up their last print
subscription, even if they have electronic access. The issues involved are
very complex, and too convoluted to cover here. If you have an interest in
this subject, your librarian will be happy to discuss these issues with you.
In addition to journal costs, there are many costs incurred
by the library which patrons may not realize exist. For example, each catalog
record costs money, as well as each search of the online catalog. Online index
subscriptions such as GeoRef are very expensive. Materials obtained through
Interlibrary Loan commonly cost $30 per article, and may cost more. All
of these issues become important to students, researchers, and teaching faculty
as libraries struggle to provide vital information.
The following is a good description and discussion of
Open Access: <http://www.library.uiuc.edu/scholcomm/openaccess.htm>.
I encourage you to become familiar with the issues of information cost and
the opportunities related to Open Access. There is a Directory of Open Access Journals in the area of Earth and Environmental Sciences.
Tian, Jie, 1998, Digital delivery of scientific
information to libraries - Perspectives on today and tomorrow: Serials Review,
v. 24, n. 1, p. 113-118.
1 (Instructor: Assign Group or Individual Exercise)
Instructor: Divide the class into groups
of 4 or 5 students. Set up stations with several examples of one of the
following types of information resources at each station. (It would be advisable
to enlist the help of a geology or science librarian to help provide the
literature examples). Examples should contain information related to Climate
Change and be as current as possible.
Scientific journal (see Topic 5)
Magazine (e.g. Discover, Time, Newsweek)
Special Publication or Memoir
Transactions or Proceedings
Assignment: Have the groups rotate
to the stations and compare the various types of publications. Individuals
should take notes to hand in. Have the group discuss their observations
of differences, similarities, and potential uses of the information sources.
Which are primary, secondary, and tertiary literature? Which are peer reviewed?
Have the groups each elect a spokesperson to report their group's observations
to the class.
In this exercise, you will examine the differences between
primary, secondary, and tertiary literature in the
area of Climate Change. Using an online database (such as GeoRef, Web of
Science, etc.) find one recent example of primary literature on climate
change; using an online catalog, find one recent example of secondary literature
on climate change; using an online catalog, find one example of tertiary
literature on the subject. Try to find examples that cover the same area
of climate change (as you would if you were writing a paper). If you need
help finding these, consult a librarian. We will cover search strategies
in a later topic.
Examine the three examples looking for differences and
similarities in the types of information they contain. For example, look
at the references. How many are there in each? What are the dates of the
references compared to the publication date of the article, book, and encylopedia/handbook?
Write a half to one page summary of your observations
of the similarities and differences of the three pieces, including the potential
uses of the information contained in the items. Be sure to give full references
for the three items. There are no right or wrong answers. The purpose of
this exercise is to stimulate your thinking about the various types of information,
how to find each type, and realize potential appropriate uses.
Beyond the requirements of this exercise, you will profit
from looking at, and becoming familiar with the many different types of
publications listed above. Also, as a future consumer and producer of scholarly
information, it would serve you well to become familiar with the issues
related to open access versus commercial publishing, and the cost of information.
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2: The Research & Publication Process
Second, let’s see how knowledge of the Research &
Publication Process can help us find appropriate information.
Research & Publication Process [at
Nature of Science and the Scientific Method by Christine V. McLelland:
Geological Society of America
Group or Individual Exercise:
For Group Exercise, divide into groups of 4 or 5 students
and discuss the assignment below. Individuals should take notes to hand in.
Groups should select a spokesperson to report observations to the class.
Study the information above related to the Research &
Publication Process and Scientific Method. Write a one page paper on how the
process of Scientific Method relates to the Research & Publication Process,
and how the different types of publications from Exercise 1 fit into the Research
& Publication Process (use the more detailed types of publications such
as journal articles, proceedings, transactions, etc. rather than the three major
categories (primary, etc.). You don't need to cover every single publication
type, but give an overall indication of where different literature types fit
into the process. In addition, write a paragraph on how Scientific Method relates
to Climate Change research.
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3: Using the Right Tools: Indexes and Catalogs
old way versus new ways of searching for information
Before electronic indexes, it was necessary to consult print
indexes such as Bibliography and Index of Geology. This was a very tedious and
inexact process using "controlled language". It was first necessary
to determine subject or author terms, then to look through the indexes for each
year, and then to look at each bibliographic entry indicated by the index. Since
the current year was not yet cumulated, it was necessary to look through each
issue of that year. There was no way to search for key words in titles, descriptors
or abstracts. It is still necessary to consult the old print indexes for some
older or non-English materials, and every scholar/researcher should have a basic
understanding of how to use print indexes. However, most formerly print indexes
are now available online in electronic format. It is now possible to also search
key words, descriptors, and abstract fields, and it is becoming more common
to be able to search the full text of documents. You should still be familiar
with the old way of doing research with print indexes. [Instructor:
If possible, provide examples of a print index for the class to examine.]
considerations for interdisciplinary subjects such as Climate Change
As stated previously, the subject of Climate Change reaches
across many disciplines including earth & planetary sciences, atmospheric
sciences, life sciences, social sciences, business & economics, law &
public policy, even the arts & humanities. Such interdisciplinary subjects
offer special challenges for information seekers.
Different disciplines may use different terminology for
the same concepts, or the same terminology to mean different things. (For
example, think about possible meanings of the term "climate change"
in economics, social sciences or the humanities.) These differences must be
considered when searching for information in an interdisciplinary area. In
addition, the many different online indexes vary as to content, overlap and
uniqueness of information, the journals indexed, the currency of indexing
and updates, as well as many other factors.
A study (Joseph, 2007) of 11 online indexes found that
there was unique information related to Quaternary research, a subject that
includes climate change research, in each of the 11 databases. This and other
studies emphasize the need to search multiple databases if comprehensive information
is needed, especially for interdisciplinary subjects. The study also found
that a large amount of information is still being added to most online indexes
many years after the publication year. This means that at the time of any
search, some or much information may be missed because it has yet to be included
in the indexes. It may be necessary to keep re-conducting searches over time.
Joseph, Lura E., 2007, Comparison of retrieval
performance of eleven online indexes used for Quaternary research, an interdisciplinary
science: Reference and User Services Quarterly, 46 (4), 36 p.
of online indexes useful for finding Climate Change literature
Meteorological and Geoastrophysical Abstracts
Web of Science/Web of Knowledge
Agricola (Agriculture) (free version)
Biological Abstracts (BIOSIS)
Engineering Village (NTIS, Compendex, INSPEC)
Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management
SciFinder Scholar (Chemistry)
USGS Publications Warehouse
Water Resources Abstracts
Search Multiple Journals for Full Text Articles:
(A subscription is necessary to access the full text of
the articles, or you will need to purchase the articles individually)
American Geophysical Union - Search AGU publications
American Meteorological Society
Ingenta - Browse or search publications
JSTOR (Includes older issues of
Science and others)
ScienceDirect - Elsevier Online
Search the Web for Scholarly Articles &
Scopus - by subscription (Elsevier)
The University of Saskatchewan Library has a web page of links to open access repositories. Some of the resources search across multiple repositories.
There are many other resources.
Examples of online indexes less likely to have literature
directly related to Climate Change research, but still useful, depending on what you are seeking
Art Abstracts (Art Full Text)
And many more
Sometimes people are confused about when to use online
catalogs and when to use online indexes to search for literature. Online catalogs
are useful for finding books and for finding the titles of journals, but NOT
for finding journal articles. Online indexes should be used to find journal
articles. Depending on the online index, some may also be used to find books
and book chapters; indexes vary as to the amount and types of literature included.
Some useful online catalogs include WorldCat from OCLC (covers material held
by many libraries worldwide, but a subscription is necessary; free
beta version), and many university and public library catalogs (http://www.librarytechnology.org/libwebcats/index.pl),
most of which can be searched without charge. Most university libraries offer
Interlibrary Loan service to primary patrons. This is an expensive service,
but many university libraries absorb the costs for the patrons.
Some references present special problems for information
seekers when using the online catalog to find them. For example:
Serefiddin, F., Schwarcz, H., and Ford, D., 2005, Use
of hydrogen isotope variations in speleothem fluid inclusions as an independent
measure of paleoclimate, in Mora, G., and Surge, D., eds., Isotopic
and elemental tracers of Cenozoic climate change: Geological Society of America
Special Paper 395, p.43-53.
Many people would try to locate this article by searching
the online catalog for the author "Serefiddin" and the title "Use
of hydrogen isotope variations in speleothem fluid....". In most cases,
the searcher would not find the item in the online catalog and conclude that
the library did not have the item. However, this is an article in a larger
work, therefore the search should be for the editor "Mora" and the
title "Isotopic and elemental tracers of Cenozoic climate change".
The trick is to read the whole reference, and look for clues like "in".
Another factor could keep a person from locating the above
item: Many libraries do not "analyze" all book series. That means
that the online catalog will only have the series title (in the above example,
"Geological Society of America Special Paper") and the volumes owned
(395, in this case), but not the author/editor and title
of the monograph.
Other hard-to-locate literature include field trip guidebook
series, which may be jointly issued by several societies and/or agencies,
and these may vary over time for the same series. Catalogers are restricted
regarding how items are cataloged by the information on the cover and title
pages of items, therefore depending on how the publishers of the guidebooks
include information on these pages, guidebooks can be difficult to find in
online catalogs. If you are having difficulty locating an item in the online
catalog, be sure to consult a librarian.
Select at least 6 online indexes and search
for articles using the phrase "climate change". Include at least
two databases that might be less likely to have information on the subject,
such as indexes specializing in social sciences or humanities (e.g. PsychLit).
Ask a librarian for help if you need to. For each of the online indexes, describe
and compare what you found (number of articles, subject matter, etc.). How
does the material found relate to the major subject area of each online index?
How might the search terms "climate change" return "false hits"
(irrelevant information) when using some online indexes, for example ones
emphasizing economics or sociology?
Select an online catalog from a university (http://www.librarytechnology.org/libwebcats/index.pl) and identify a current book on climate change. Use the same online catalog
to find a journal related to climate change (see Topic 5
Write several paragraphs summarizing what
you learned from this exercise.
Bonus Exercise: In the year
1883, the volcanic island Krakatoa erupted near Java, Indonesia, essentially
destroying itself (Winchester, 2003). Subsequently, due to the large amount
of ash that spread through the world's atmosphere, striking sunsets were experienced
worldwide. Artists such as William Ashcroft (England) and Frederick Church
(New York) recorded those sunsets in their paintings. If you wanted to research
atmospheric changes during that time period by studying those paintings, what
online indexes would be most useful for finding information on the subject?
Explain why. The purpose of this exercise is to consider interdisciplinary
research and the potential usefulness of seemingly unrelated indexes and information
Winchester, Simon, 2003, Krakatoa:
The day the world exploded, August 27, 1883: New York, Harper-Collins, 416
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4: The Search Process
Steps for Finding Information on Your Topic
Step 1. Select and narrow
One of the most common mistakes made by college students
is the failure to sufficiently narrow the topic of the paper. For example "climate
change" might be a good place to start, but needs to be narrowed.
Another common mistake is to narrow the topic to the point
that not enough material is available.
One strategy would be to search "climate change", look
at the material available, and then narrow the topic based on ideas gained from
the original search.
Step 2. Choose your search
Let's say you decided to consider writing a paper on climate
change related to changes in the thermohaline circulation of the Atlantic Ocean
possibly related to the influx of fresh water into the north Atlantic.
Use the main terms from your idea, and then think of synonyms
and related terms. You will add to your list as you search and evaluate your
search results. Example:
||north atlantic oscillation
Step 3. Define your search
Your search strategy will partly depend on the search engine
you use. Many search engines provide templates to
help users input search terms. Even when using these templates, it is helpful
to know how the computer program is using the input. It is usually also possible
to search in "command mode" rather than using the template, and this
is often faster and sometimes offers more sophisticated searches than the template.
Search engines are not yet standardized, and each will handle elements such
as Boolean operators, truncation, and so forth differently. Consult the help
functions for each search engine to ensure that you obtain the correct results.
It is helpful to know the following:
- Boolean Operators: and, or, not (and not, but
not). See figure. These are used to
connect search terms in order to widen or narrow the search.
- Truncation/Wildcards: *, #, +, !, ?, $, etc.
These are used as substitutes for characters within search terms. (Use with
care. For example, rock* would retrieve rock and rocks, but also rockets
and rocker, depending on the database. Examine your results and adjust your
search if necessary).
- Nesting: (....) Tells the search engine the
order to perform operations by using parentheses.
- Phrases: Treated differently by the different
search engines. With some search engines phrases must be enclosed in quotes.
- Adjacency: How close words must be within text.
Treated differently by the different search engines.
- Stop words: Common words such as "a", "the",
"of" that are not included in a search by the search engine. Treated differently
by the different search engines.
- Fields: Some search engines, such as GeoRef,
allow limiting the search to specific fields. For example, "hydrology in
ti de ab" limits the search to the title, descriptor and abstract fields.
This is useful when unwanted hits are resulting from terms in an institutional
field or such.
Example of a complex search strategy using Boolean
operators, truncation and nesting with GeoRef:
((global climate change) or (rapid climate
change) or (cold reversal) ) and (atlantic
or thermohaline circulation or north atlantic oscillation)
and ( fresh water or heinrich
event* or ice rafting)
This search could be conducted in steps. For example:
First, search: climate change
Then search: #1 and (global or rapid or cold reversal),
Then search: #2 and (atlantic or thermohaline circulation
or north atlantic oscillation)
Then continue adding search sets, until you have sufficiently
narrowed the search.
Searching in sets helps you understand the results.
For example, if you end up with zero hits, there may be a typographical
error. You may expand or narrow your search after any step. Searching
with one string of text can be faster, but searching in steps gives more
Example of problems using truncation: rock* (returns
rock and rocks, but also rockets, rockers, etc.)
Step 4. Choose your database
Here are descriptions of a few databases, but there are
many more appropriate for the subject of Climate Change, as you discovered in
the last topic. The search tools will depend on the vendor of the database.
Consult the online help sections of the databases.
- Indexes geological information published from 1700's
to present; includes government documents.
Web of Science
- Web of Science is the online equivalent of print
citation products, such as Science Citation Index. Citation searching
enables one to track lines of research forward in time by determining citations
to older, important articles.
Meteorological and Geoastrophysical Abstracts
- Covers the world's literature on meteorology, climatology,
atmospheric chemistry and physics, astrophysics, hydrology, glaciology, physical
oceanography and environmental sciences. Indexes over 600 journal titles,
as well as conference proceedings, books, technical reports and other monographs.
- Indexes the worldwide literature on geography, geology,
- Indexes thousands of journals in all disciplines
- Updated every few weeks
- 1996 through present
Engineering Village (NTIS, Compendex, INSPEC)
- Deals with applied science and engineering
Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management
- Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management
is a multidisciplinary database covering literature of the environmental sciences
published from 1981 to present. Topics related to geology include energy resources,
environmental engineering, and pollution of land and water.
U.S. Government Documents (GPO Monthly Catalog; MoCat)
- The Catalog of United States Government Publications
indexes print and electronic information published by Federal agencies. Many
of these publications are distributed through the Federal Depository Library
Program. The Catalog via paid subscription contains records from 1976 to present.
A free index contains
records generated since January 1994 and is updated daily. A print index,
Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications, contains earlier
Publications of the U.S. Geological Survey:
Many other databases are available (see Topic
Step 5. Conduct your search
Step 6. Evaluate search
results, note additional terms and unwanted terms.
Step 7. Refine search and
Step 8. Find out whether
your library has the material by using the library online catalog; if not, use
Interlibrary Loan if it is available.
- To find out whether your library has a particular book,
use the online catalog.
- For journals:
- Use the online catalog to find the call number. You
can use the ISSN number from database output (For example, the "IS" field
- Connect to online journals if your library has access
to online journals.
- If your library doesn't have what you need, and
it isn't available full text on the Web, use WorldCat (by subscription,
or try the free beta version) to find
out if other libraries have it. Use Interlibrary Loan, if you have that
service at your school. Check to see whether there is a charge for the
service. Make sure you leave plenty of time to
receive material through Interlibrary Loan!
- Many people make the mistake of searching a library
online catalog for the title and author of an article within a journal
or larger work (such as memoirs, proceedings, transactions, field guides),
and get frustrated when they can't find it in the catalog. The individual
articles are not found in library online catalogs. Instead, you need to
search for the publication that contains the article; you need to search
for the journal title or the title and author/editor
of the memoir, transaction, special paper, etc.
- Note: To add further confusion, many libraries are beginning to offer what is known as "federated searches" as options to their online catalog. These federated systems search across resources and may include the online catalog, as well as various indexes available to the institution, enabling simultaneous searches for both books and journal articles. Easy Search from the University of Illinois is an example of a federated search system. The caveats in the bullet point above still apply if you are attempting to find out whether your library has a print copy of a specific article.
Starting with the concept of "climate
change", narrow the topic (other than the example above), and conduct
a search using the steps outlined above. Document your search strategy
and process, and discuss your results.
[Return to top]
5: Journals Related to Climate Change
The following journals are rich sources
of information related to Climate Change:
In addition, the following journals may contain
useful information related to Climate Change:
BALTICA yearbooks were published between 1963-1982 followed by a 7-year
hiatus, and then reinstated in 1994. BALTICA is published biannually since
2004, and is sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic
of Lithuania. BALTICA is peer-reviewed and "publishes papers within
the field of geoscience dealt with the Baltic Sea and its cachment area.
Particular emphasis is given to the history of the Baltic Sea, shore morphology
and dynamics, Quaternary geology, climate and ecosystem change, palaeogeography,
environmental geology, as well as tectonics, sedimentology and surface processes.
The aim is to solve geoscientific problems through the integration of a
wide range of modern scientific methods." ISSN: 0067-3064. Full articles
available online at no charge since 2002, and abstracts since 1994.
1972- ; quarterly; ISSN 0300-9483; publisher Taylor & Francis A S
Bulletin of the American Meteorological
1920- ; monthly; ISSN: 0003-0007; ISSN: 1520-0477; American Meteorological
1972- ; [Current frequency: 40 no. a year, in 4 v., (2002- ); Past: Bimonthly,
Jan. 1972- Monthly, 24 no. a year]; ISSN: 0045-6535; Pergamon Press/Elsevier
(Previous title: Chemosphere - Global Change Science; 1999-2001;
Climate Diagnostics Bulletin <http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/CDB/CDB_Archive_pdf/pdf_CDB_archive.shtml>; 1983-
; monthly; ISSN: 1048-6747; Climate Analysis Center (U.S.); National Centers
for Environmental Prediction (U.S.); Climate Prediction Center (U.S.)
Climate Policy <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/14693062>;
2001- ; [Bimonthly, 2005-; Past: Quarterly, 2001-2004]; ISSN: 1469-3062;
Cuaternario y Geomorfologia (AEQU and
1987- ; AEQU & SEG; indices 1987-2001: <http://tierra.rediris.es/CuaternarioyGeomorfologia/>
Di si ji yan jiu = Quaternary Sciences 1989- ; bimonthly (formerly quarterly); ISSN 1001-7410; Ke xue chu ban she
Earth and Planetary Science Letters <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/0012821X>;
1966- ; semimonthly; ISSN 0012-821x; Elsevier
Eiszeitalter und Gegenwart: Jahrbuch der Deutschen
1951- ; annual; ISSN 0424-7116; Verlag Hohenlihesche Buchhanklung
Estudos do quaternário: revista da Associação
Portuguesa para o Estudo do Quaternário = Quaternary Studies:
Journal of the Portuguese Association for Quaternary Research: 1997- ; biennial;
ISSN 0874-0801; tables of contents on association web pages.
Geographie Physique et Quaternaire
(Published as Revue Canadienne de Géographie from 1947-63 and as
La Revue de Géographie de Montréal from 1964-1976): 1977-;
three times per year; ISSN 0705-7199; Presses de l'Universite de Montreal;
some full text via <http://www.erudit.org/revue/gpq/>.
Geological Society of America Bulletin <http://www.geosociety.org/pubs/>;
1889- ; monthly; ISSN 0016-7606; GSA
1973- ; monthly; ISSN 0091-7613; GSA
Geophysical Research Letters <http://www.agu.org/journals/gl/>;
1974-; Semimonthly; ISSN: 0094-8276; American Geophysical Union
Glacial Geology and Geomorphology;
A Journal of the British Geomorphological Research Group <http://boris.qub.ac.uk/ggg/>;
; irregular; ISSN 1085-0554; British Geomorphological Research Group > British Society for Geomorphology [Links dead as of 16 Feb 2016]
Global Biogeochemical cycles; <http://www.agu.org/pubs/current/gb/>1987-;
quarterly; ISSN: 0886-6236; American Geophysical Union
Hai yang di zhi yu di si ji di zhi = Marine
Geology & Quaternary Geology; 1983-; quarterly; OCLC 9591336;
Di zhi kuang chan bu hai yang di zhi yan jiu suo
The Island Arc (Nihon Chishitsu Gakkai.;
Nihon Daiyonki Gakkai); 1992; <http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1440-1738>;
Published on behalf of the Geological Society of Japan in association with
the Japan Association for Quaternary Research, Japanese Association of Mineralogists,
Petrologists and Economic Geologists, the Palaeontological Society of Japan
and the Society of Resource Geology; ISSN: 1038-4871; quarterly
Journal of Applied Meteorology/ Journal of Climate
and Applied Meteorology/ Split into: Journal of Applied Meteorology, and
Journal of Climate; 1962-1982/ 1983-1987/
1988-; ISSN: 0021-8952/ ISSN: 0733-3021/ ISSN: 0894-8763;
ISSN: 0894-8755; Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology Online ISSN: 1558-8432; Print ISSN: 1558-8424; monthly <http://journals.ametsoc.org/loi/apme>
Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial
1997- ; Eighteen issues per year; ISSN: 1364-6826; Elsevier (Previous title:
Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics; 1950-1996;
ISSN: 0021-9169; Pergamon Press)
Journal of Glaciology; 1947- ; 3 times
per year; ISSN 0022-1430; British Glaciological Society
Journal of Paleolimnology <http://link.springer.com/journal/10933>;
1988- ; 8 times per year; ISSN 0921-2728; Springer
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences <http://journals.ametsoc.org/loi/atsc>;
1962- ; [Semimonthly, Jan. 1984-; Past: Monthly]; ISSN: 0022-4928; 1520-0469;
1093-9563; American Meteorological Society
Journal of the Meteorological Society of Japan
(Nihon Kisho Gakkai) (Earlier Title: Kishåo shåushi)
1965- ; Bimonthly; ISSN: 0026-1165; Meteorological Society of Japan
Limnology and Oceanography <http://www.aslo.org/lo/>;
1956- ; [Bimonthly, 2002-; Past: Frequency varies, 1969-2001]; ISSN: 0024-3590;
American Society of Limnology and Oceanography.
Mededelingen van de Werkgroep voor Tertiaire
en Kwartaire Geologie =
Contributions to Tertiary and Quaternary Geology; 1964-2000; quarterly;
ISSN 0165-280X; Werkgroep voor Tertiaire en Kwartaire Geologie
1986- ; quarterly; ISSN 0883-8305; American Geophysical Union
Permafrost and Periglacial Processes <http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jtoc/14053/>;
1990- ; quarterly; ISSN 1045-6740; Wiley
Quaternaire: began in 1964 as the Bulletin
de l'AFEQ, the title was changed to Quaternaire in 1990 ;
quarterly; 1990- ; ISSN 1142-2904; Maison de la géologie
Virtual Journal of Geobiology <http://earth.elsevier.com/geobiology/>;
2002- ; monthly; Elsevier
See also, Directory of Open Access Journals; Meteorology & Climatology
1) Select five of the journals listed above. Using the
Advaced Search mode of Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com/advanced_scholar_search?hl=en&lr=),
search for articles on Climate Change within each of the five journals.
Narrow the search if you wish. [To access the Advanced Search, click the "More" drop-down menu at the top, and select "Advanced Search"]
Even if you don't have a subscription to the journals,
what information is provided via Google Scholar? Look through the titles/abstracts
of the articles in the five journals. How do the journals differ regarding
the articles they contain? Did anything surprise you?
2) You have decided to submit an article to one of the
journals above. Select two, and using the links above, look at instructions
provided for authors. How are requirements similar and different? Based
on information provided, to which journal would you submit your article?
Why? What other questions would you want answered before submitting your
[Return to top]
6: Finding Other Information (data sets, images, maps, etc.)
The process of searching for information
other than conventional literature, such as data sets, images, maps, etc.,
has its own set of challenges. Ways to find other information include searching
specific web sites, contacting individuals or agencies, and as a last result,
a general web search. Following are places to start looking for data sets
Global Change Master Directory http://gcmd.nasa.gov/
World Data Center http://www.icsu-wds.org/|
USGS Publications Warehouse http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/
National Directory of Geoscience Data Repositories http://www.agiweb.org/datadirectory/ (physical data such as cores) [Link dead as of 16 Feb 2016]
NOAA Climate Data http://www.weather.gov/climate.php
National Climatic Data Center http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/
Snow Climatology http://www.climate.gov/decision-support/data-products/us-snow-climatology
Frozen Ground Data Center http://nsidc.org/fgdc/index.html
Climate Timeline Tool http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/ctl/
Ice Core Data http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore
Ocean Drilling Data http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/geology/drill.html
Climate Model Projections https://www.data.gov/climate/portals/ (USGS)
See also Access to Geoscience Data Sets > Quaternary and Climate Change Data
National Archive of Geological Photographs - British Geological Survey
USGS Photo Gallery - USGS
Visible Earth - NASA
FEMA Photo Library
GRIN (Great Images In NASA)
Geology by Light Plane
- Louis J. Maher, Jr.
Images Canada - Natural Resources
Image Gallery - EROS
Search Yahoo for images
Remember, you should get permission to
use images. If you are having trouble finding what you need, try consulting
a subject librarian and/or individuals in the discipline.
Think of a research project in the area of
Climate Change that would require data sets. Try to find out if such data
exists. If not, how would you collect such data? Browse some of the resources
above looking for images that could be used in relation to climate change.
Summarize you observations in a page or less. (If you find good resources
for data sets or images not listed above, please report them to: luraj at
UIUC dot edu so that they can be added.)
[Return to top]
7: Use and Misuse of the Web for Technical Subjects
There is currently a lot of confusion about
what "using the Web or Internet" for research means, especially
now that many of the scholarly journals are available, full-text, via the
Internet. Perhaps the easiest way to convey misuse of the Web for researching
technical subjects is by giving a few examples.
Misuse of the Web:
Using Google or some other Internet browser to go on a
treasure-hunt for information, and even worse...then cutting and pasting the
information into a "paper" is an example of misuse of the Web. Much
of the most useful, relevant technical information is currently part of the
"Hidden Web". In other words, this information is not accessible
by using the various Web browsers and search engines. For example, most of
the scholarly journals that are online are available only by subscription,
and therefore can't be fully accessed by Internet browsers.
If you begin your search for information by going to the Web, and then panic
because you are not finding what you need...you are misusing the Web.
If you are cutting and pasting information from the Web, no matter whether
it is from electronic journals or not, and you are not using quotes and references...you
are misusing the Web and you are plagiarizing. Deliberate plagiarism is a
serious academic offense.
Proper Use of the Web:
Generally, research for a paper should begin by using
appropriate indexes such as GeoRef. Most indexes are now available electronically
via the Web by subscription.
Many, if not most of the scholarly journals are now available full text via
the Web by subscription. While it is best to start with a literature search
using an electronic index, a secondary approach is to use the search function
of a collection of high-quality, full-text, scholarly information such as
There is a huge amount of scholarly information, including data sets, on the
Web. More is being added daily. It is usually not the place to start. Generally,
this information should be used to supplement the resources found using the
electronic indexes. This information may or may not be easily found with conventional
Web browsers such as Google. Some of this type of information is being made
more accessible by metadata harvesting projects. Knowing what agency, organization,
institution or individual might generate this type of information will help
in locating it.
Some Thoughts About Tools Such as Google Scholar,
A few years back, librarians, with good cause, rather
emphatically promoted the use of subscription-based online indexes (such as
GeoRef or Web of Science) rather than using general web browsers such as Alta
Vista or Google. More recently, choices are less clear. With the introduction
of free web search tools such as Google Scholar, Scirus, and others, it is
now possible to limit to more scholarly resources. Nevertheless, while these
tools may be appropriate to rapidly find general information, or to find "three
good references" for an undergraduate paper, at this point in time they
are still not good substitutes for time-honored, subject specific indexes
such as GeoRef, Web of Science, Compendex, etc. when conducting scholarly
research at the graduate or professional level. The situation may change as
tools evolve, but for the present time, upper division undergraduate students,
graduate students, and professionals still need to learn how to efficiently
use the well-known indexes.
The proliferation of Open Access journals is also changing the climate (pardon the pun) of research. As more and more scholarly, peer reviewed Open Access journals become available, changes in methods of searching for information will likely be necessary. At least for a while, the search process may become more complex rather than simpler.
Final Thoughts on Proper Use of Information:
Possibly the most important part of a college education
is learning to find, evaluate, interpret, organize, and communicate the technical
information in your discipline. You will likely forget a large percentage
of the material that you learn and then regurgitate for tests. Learning where
and how to locate both forgotten and new information is imperative for success
in your chosen field. Whether in academia, business, or industry, your success
will be proportional to your ability to find the most accurate, appropriate,
and current information, to understand it, and to effectively communicate
it to others.
Finding, interpreting, organizing and communicating technical
information are skills, and like all skills, are developed over time by practicing
correct procedures. This applies to the use of both conventional literature
found in journals, and other information found on the Web. Conducting a search
of the literature using an index but without much thought to limiting the
search, and then using the first few easily found articles whether they fit
the topic and relate well or not is as much a misuse of information as treasure-hunting
the Web. Another common misuse is to primarily use one journal article for
a paper, and just add enough information from a few other articles to "meet
the quota" of references. In the long run, individuals engaging in such
lazy practices are cheating themselves, but they are also cheating those who
will hire them, expecting that they will have developed information skills.
They are also cheating the university that grants their degree since they
will affect the image of the department, institution, and other graduates.
Using a general Internet browser such as
Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome (or something new) search "climate change". Leave that
window open. Open a new window and search "climate change" in an
online index such as GeoRef. If you don't have access to a scholarly online
index such as GeoRef, then use Google Scholar. Discuss the differences
in the search results of the two different searches (one page or less).
[Return to top]
8: Evaluating Information
Links to Discussions about Evaluation
of Web Resources:
There are many excellent Web sites that
cover Web Resource Evaluation. Rather than "recreate the wheel",
here are a few of the many good sites:
Reference to Other Sources
Accuracy/ Verifiability/ Documentation
Objectivity/ Point of View/ Bias
Currency of Site
Scope/ Coverage/ Purpose/ Comprehensiveness/Suitability
Using a general Internet browser such as
Internet Explorer or Google, search for information on Climate Change.
Without thinking too deeply about it, pick five web sites, and using the
information above, evaluate each web site.
[Return to top]
9: How to Read a Scientific Paper...
...or, how to get the gist of an
article without reading every word
It is often unnecessary to read every word of an article. When starting a
paper, while searching an index for literature, first scan the title. If the
title indicates that the paper might be relevant, scan the abstract and print
the citation if the abstract appears relevant (or email it to yourself, or add it to a reference system). From the list of citations,
pick the most relevant articles and obtain copies.
When reading an article, first scan the abstract again
to gain an understanding of what to expect from the paper. Read the introduction
in detail. You may find general information in the introduction that is relevant
to your paper even if the rest of the paper is only marginal to your topic.
Then skip to the Discussion/Summary/Conclusions, and look at the tables, figures,
images, and their captions. At this point you may have covered most of the
pertinent material, but it is still wise to go back and scan the Methodology,
Results, and Discussion sections, and to at least glance at the figures, tables,
and graphs. If the article is central to your topic, you may need to go back
and read the whole paper in detail, and look up any unfamiliar terms in a
glossary. Through practice, you will learn what you need to look at in more
detail, and what you can scan or skip altogether.
If you take notes while you read, make sure you also indicate
the complete reference, including page numbers. There are few things more
frustrating than trying to track back to find where you obtained a particular
idea, quotation, or illustration. Illustrations are the most difficult to relocate.
Search a narrower topic within Climate Change.
(Provide your search terms.) Select three scholarly, peer reviewed articles.
Using the methods provided in this topic, skim the three articles. Provide
references for the three articles and discuss whether you would use each of
the three articles for a paper on your topic. Why or why not?
[Return to top]
10: Reporting Information
the requirements (of the assignment or of the journal/editor)
It is not unusual for a student to forget
the requirements of an assignment, or for a researcher/scholar to fail to
comply with the detailed requirements of a publisher. This may impact the
student's grade, and may create delays for an author. In the case of an
author, this problem may surface most often when resubmitting a rejected
paper to a second journal having different style and requirements.
Understanding the target audience for a paper
or presentation is probably more problematic for students than for experienced
researchers and scholars. For students giving presentations, is the audience
the professor, fellow students, or an imaginary audience? An audience of mixed
background is usually the most difficult for which to prepare. Make sure you
discuss intended audience with your professor if you are not certain. Even
experienced researchers and scholars occasionally miss the mark, so it is
worthwhile to give some thought about the target audience for a presentation.
In the area of Climate Change, the journals listed in
5 are good candidates for places to publish.
Ranking of Scholarly Journals
Individuals may be interested in the
ranking of journals as they consider where to submit their articles. In
particular, researchers in academic settings who are working toward tenure
feel pressure to publish in the most prestigious journals. While seasoned
researchers generally know which journals are considered primary for their
particular field, those newer to a field may wish to include ranking data
in their considerations. Ranking of scholarly journals is a controversial
subject; not everyone subscribes to the methods used and results reported.
Nevertheless, one of the more frequently used sources of journal ranking
is Journal Citation Reports from ISI: <http://scientific.thomson.com/products/jcr/>.
A subscription is necessary to access these reports. Check with your local
academic library to see if they have access.
Other resources include looking to see where respected
scholars and researchers publish their papers, and/or talking to respected
authors in the discipline. See below for ways
to find places to present papers.
basic organization of a research article
Title: Usually a straightforward statement
of the exact topic that was studied. Sometimes stated as a question.
Abstract: A summary of the most important points in the
article, and usually one paragraph in length. It generally states the general
purpose and relevant findings, and may summarize the procedures used.
Introduction: The beginning of the body of the article,
generally a page or two in length. It introduces the topic and explains
the purpose and significance of the research.
[Think of the title, abstract, and introduction as opportunities to entice the reader to continue reading your paper.]
Review of the Literature: Identifies previous relevant
research and relates it to the topic being studied. Often included in the
Research Question/Hypothesis: Why the research was initiated.
Often a part of the introduction, at the end of the literature review.
Methodology/Procedures: Explains exactly how the research
was conducted. Should be like a "recipe" for replicating the research.
It may include an explanation of data acquisition, procedures, and data
Results: Explains what the researcher found by doing the
study. Generally technical due to the use of statistics, tables and graphs,
Discussion: Explains what the results mean and their significance.
May be in three parts: Importance and utility of the results; problems and
limitations; future research possibilities generated by the research.
Summary, and/or Conclusions: May be included with Discussion.
Ties everything together and completes a circle with the introduction.
Acknowledgements: Gives credit to individuals who helped
with technical or financial aspects of the research but were not coauthors
of the paper.
References: An accurate and complete list of all literary
resources used. All information necessary for finding the material should
be included, and the references should adhere to a particular style for
It is sometimes useful to quickly consult the appropriate
style guide, and then look for examples in the references from a few articles
in the appropriate journal.
Style for GSA Geology
AGU Style Guide
Suggestions to Authors of the Reports of the United States Geological Survey
Nature uses abbreviations for journal titles.
If you don't know the proper abbreviation, try looking in the Web of Knowledge database (if your institution has a subscription) for example Journal of Geophysical Research: J. Geophys.
Res., and then check Nature online to see if they use the same form.
Guides for Electronic Documents
Writing and Spreakiong Guidelines for Engineering and Science - Michael Ally, Penn State
for Scientific Communication and Literary Style - from Dr. Steven Altaner,
Geology Dept., UIUC
Using referencing/citing tools
There are now many good tools that can be used to
create bibliographies, cite references while writing, and easily convert
from one style to another. These include the following: RefWorks,
EndNote, and ProCite. Some universities have group subscriptions to one
or more of these tools. Check with your librarian.
The following resource was used for this section: How to Recognize Plagiarism, from Indiana University School of Education.
When do you need to provide a reference?
Give credit (cite/reference) whenever you use another person's ideas; when
you use facts, statistics, illustrations or any information that is not
common knowledge; when you paraphrase someone else's words or when you quote
someone else's words.
When do you need to use quotes?
Use quotation marks or quotation blocks and credit the source when you copy
exact wording, either written or spoken. Use your own words whenever possible.
Full references should be given for illustrations that you use. If you use
someone else's illustration in a publication, you usually must get permission
from the author and/or publisher first. If you change someone else's illustration,
give a complete reference to the original, and preface the citation with
the word "after". For example, (After Smith 2003). Consult the
appropriate style manual for instructions.
to find opportunities to present papers
for oral presentations
- Most societies and associations have regular meetings
during which papers are presented. Check the different society and association
web sites to determine locations and dates of the next meetings, and whether
they allow student presentations. Often, the papers from topical sessions
are later published. Some of the societies and associations might be appropriate
for presentations related to Climate Change include:
- Check with one of your professors to see if there is
a project you can work on that will result in an opportunity for you to
present or be a co-presenter of a paper.
- If your library has a subscription to PapersInvited,
this online resource provides "Calls for Papers" from professional
bodies, universities, journal editors and other conference organizers. It
includes student competitions and student volunteer opportunities.
- Some e-discussion lists ("listservs") post
"calls for papers". Examples include:
- AMQUA list <As of Winter, 2016, looking for a new home, since the IL State Museum closed>
This list is an announcement-only list. Its purpose is to inform AMQUA
members of important AMQUA news and activities. This list and the AMQUA
Web site are the major modes of communication with AMQUA members. Non-members
may subscribe to the list.
- AQUAlist <http://mailman.anu.edu.au/mailman/listinfo/aqualist>
- Quaternary Listserver: listserv@CLIFFY.UCS.MUN.CA
(subscribe quaternary your name)
- Palynology Listserver: email@example.com (subscribe
- Radiocarbon Dating Listserver: https://list.arizona.edu/sympa/info/c14-l (SUBSCRIBE C14-L Your Name)
- CataList - Directory
of Listservs (There are a number listed that are related to Climate
Cockerill, K and Wawrzyniec, T.F., 2001a, When presentations go bad: a commentary – Part I: GSA Today, v. 11, no. 2, p. 12-13.
Cockerill, K and Wawrzyniec, T.F., 2001b, When presentations go bad: a commentary – Part II: GSA Today, v. 11, no. 3, p. 24-25.
Tips on Talks
or ... How to Keep an Audience Attentive, Alert and Around for the Conclusions
at a Scientific Meeting (H. Edward Clifton)
How to Give a Speech - Henry H. Fisher
Ten Secrets to Giving a Good Scientific Talk
a Poster Using MS PowerPoint (ignore the parts that are institution
or assignment specific)
Poster in Microsoft PowerPoint
Creating Effective Poster
The time has come for your crowning achievement! Your
mission (whether or not you accept it :-) is to prepare a paper and present
it to your colleagues as though you are giving it at typical professional
meeting such as American Geophysical Union, Geological Society of America,
American Quaternary Association, etc. (consult the web page of the meeting
you decide to mimic for instructions to presenters; state which meeting you
will mimic). However, the technical level of your talk should be at a level
that your colleagues will understand and enjoy.
1) Pick a topic related to Climate Change. Sufficiently
narrow the topic. The topic should demonstrate Scientific Method rather than
being merely descriptive or primarily applied science/technology. Clear your
topic with your instructor. You should use current literature. It will be
more interesting if the subject is somewhat controversial.
2) Your paper should have all of the parts of a typical
scholarly article, as outlined above.
3) References & Style: You should use at least 3 articles
from peer-reviewed journals. You must use a consistent style similar to AGU,
GSA, Science, Nature, or some other scholarly journal (state the style that
you are using & the journal to which you would submit the paper). You
may have a primary reference, but the two other major references should not
come from the primary paper. In other words, you should do some research and
thinking on your own rather than simply presenting someone else's paper.
4) Prepare a 15 minute talk to present the information
in your paper, again, as though you are presenting it to the meeting you have
chosen. You must not go over the 15 minute time limit. You will have 5 minutes
for questions and answers. You may use PowerPoint, if you wish. You must turn
in your completed paper to the instructor at least a week before your talk.
You must have a handout prepared for the class with title and abstract of
your talk, and references used.
5) You are required to attend the presentations given
by other students. You are expected to listen closely to the other presentations
and to ask relevant questions at the end of talks. You will also be asked
to "grade" each talk, and to give helpful feedback to the speaker
regarding what worked and what could be done to improve the talk and handouts.
Forms will be provided for the "grade" and feedback.
Your grade for this topic will represent 50% of your grade
for this module, and will depend partly on your paper, partly on your presentation,
and partly on your attention, participation, and questions relative to your
colleagues' presentations. Your instructor will tell you the relative weight
of each part relative to your grade for this topic.
[Return to top]
Books on Climate Change
Alley, Richard, B., 2002, The Two-Mile
Time Machine: Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change, and Our Future: Princeton
University Press, 240 p. [ISBN: 0691102961]
Bradley, Raymond S., 2014, Paleoclimatology:
Reconstructing Climates of the Quaternary, 3rd ed.:
Academic Press, 696 p. [ISBN: 978-0123869135]
Broecker, Wallace S., 2012, How to Build
a Habitable Planet; The Story of Earth from the Big Bang to Humankind, revised and expanded edition: Princeton University Press, 736 p. [ISBN: 978-0691140063]
Cronin, Thomas M., 1999, Principles of Paleoclimatology:
Columbia University Press, 592 p. [ISBN: 0231109547]
Crowley, Thomas J., and North, Gerald R.,
1996, Paleoclimatology (Oxford Monographs on Geology and Geophysics): Oxford
University Press, 360 p. [ISBN: 0195105338]
Lowe, J.J., and Walker, M.J.C., 2014, Reconstructing
Quaternary Environments, 3rd ed.: Routledge, 568 p. [ISBN: 978-0131274686]
Roberts, Neil, 2014, An Environmental History, 3rd edition: Wiley-Blackwell, 376 p. [ISBN: 978-1405155212]
Ruddiman, William F., 2013, Earth's Climate:
Past and Future, 3rd ed.: W. H. Freeman, 464 p. [ISBN: 978-1429255257]
Ruddiman, William F., 2005, Plows, Plagues,
and Petroleum: How Humans Took Control of Climate: Princeton University
Press, 272 p. [ISBN: 0691121648]
Ruddiman, William F., and Huntoon, Jacqueline
E., 2002, EarthInquiry: Long-Term Climate Change (American Geological Institute):
W. H. Freeman, 12 p. [ISBN: 0716749491]
Climate Change - Geological Society of AmericaWorking Group I Report "The
Physical Science Basis"
Working Group II Report "Impacts,
Adaptation and Vulnerability"
Working Group III Report "Mitigation
of Climate Change"
Change and Its Potential Impacts on Tropical Cyclone Intensity and Frequency:
A Bibliography of Scholarly Research - NOAA Miami Regional Library
of the Arctic, October 2006 - NOAA
Arctic Report Card (2015) - NOAA
IPCC Fourth Assessment Report
(AR4), “Climate Change 2007”:
Content Access and Research Support Librarian
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
[Former Petroleum Geologist (15 years) and
former Geology Librarian (over 15 years)]
Modified on: 16 Feb 2016 lej