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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Environmental Science and Conservation

Science Librarian

Profile Photo
Paulina Borrego
Contact:
Science & Engineering Library
413-545-7891
Website

Problem Solvers

Get Help for Library help

Database Help             dbhelp@umass.libanswers.com

IT Help Desk for computer help; phone 413-545-9400, email  it@umass.edu, or chat with a consultant

UMass libraries resources for remote teaching and learning

Information Literacy Modules

The Libraries' Information Literacy Modules are a set of online videos, text tutorials, and quizzes covering topics relating to information literacy. UMass Amherst Libraries are making available these standalone resources to Faculty to use independently in any of your classes. You can link this content wherever you like, and use as much or as little of this content with your students.

Pre-Test

Post-Test

Open Education Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) are free, openly licensed, educational materials such as textbooks, videos, podcasts, primary source materials, syllabi, etc. that can be used for teaching in place of traditional high-cost course materials.

Search these Open Educational Resources repositories :
https://oer.deepwebaccess.com/oer/desktop/en/search.html
https://oasis.geneseo.edu/
https://openstax.org/

Open education virtual labs and simulations:
https://libguides.mines.edu/oer/simulationslabs
https://opentextbc.ca/virtualscienceresources/
https://www.doitpoms.ac.uk/

Freely Available Electronic Books

New York Times

      

Each UMass patron has a free subscription to the New York Times online.

To sign up and access, follow these instructions:  

https://guides.library.umass.edu/nytimes

 

Newspapers

Finding and accessing newspaper articles and stores can be tricky. 

Use this guide made to help with the searching by state, city, decade, or historical event.

Or search by Newspaper subscription. 

Press Reader provides access to a wide selection of magazines and newspapers. 

Research "controversial" topics

Need to make a quick citation? Use an on-the-fly citation generator. Just be sure to check the accuracy!

Using a citation manager

Sometimes you need to create a citation on the fly, while other times, your writing will be more complicated and involve citing several items and keeping track of sources.  For this type of work, use a citation manager.

To decide which citation manager to use:  Citation Manager Comparison Chart

The Libraries offer workshops on the different citation managers:  Libraries Events Calendar

Getting started with Zotero

Zotero - a tool to organize your research citations, papers, and ideas:  https://www.zotero.org/

CREATE AN ACCOUNT:  https://www.zotero.org/user/register

Create an account, download the tool, and add the Zotero connector to access full functionality.  The web version will sync with the downloaded desktop version.  The web version alone does work but will require some workarounds (add a citation using the DOI) and does not offer much storage for paper pdfs. 

Using Zotero with Google Docs Video (1:18) 

Resources for writing

Understanding your audience

To create a compelling story, you might want to investigate these three types of sources:

  1. Popular Magazines to get a view into what the public is reading; use the database Academic Search Premier
  2. Newspaper articles - Start with the NY Times - see this guide https://guides.library.umass.edu/nytimes then other options https://guides.library.umass.edu/sb.php?subject_id=128867
  3. Peer-reviewed scholarly research articles
  4. Government information for statistics and legislation; CRS reports are particularly helpful

Looking at popular magazines to scaffold information

When starting a research project, it is sometimes helpful to search popular magazines to scaffold information and learn the level of information communicated to a public audience.

The database Academic Search Premier is the ONLY database that will let you search specifically for magazine and trade publications.

Database Search Tools

Target your database search by combining these tools with your strategic keywords.

Using quotes "_____"  keeps words together as a phrase.  Example: "Climate Change"

Using parentheses (_____)  collects like terms.  Example: (Sea or Ocean or Coast)

Using an asterisk * at end of of a word returns all the various word endings.  Example: Flood*  for Flood, Flooded, Flooding

Quick List of Databases for Environmental Conservation

Research databases help you find journal articles and many other types of publications. The best database to use is determined by your research topic. Consult Madeleine or Paulina for help!

Off-campus, log in with your UMass Amherst NetID

The databases listed are in ALPHABETICAL order, not in order of importance to your topic.

CRS Reports

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is the non-partisan public policy research arm of the United States Congress.

CRS experts prepare reports to assist members of Congress throughout the legislative process providing background information and data on public policy issues.