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GEO 357 — Urban Environmental Geography


Contact Information

Carol Dales


Borrowing Books

Locating Books and eBooks by Using ToroFind Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC)

Concepts and questions for beginning research...

Search Help

Recommended Databases


APA Style

Scholarly Internet Research

Useful Websites for Urban Geography

Borrowing Books
  • Before borrowing books, read the regulations on the Circulation /Borrowing Books page.
  • Use the Library's catalog (in the wine colored bar near the top of the library home page) to search for books by author, title or subject. You will also find links that enable you to request books directly from other libraries.
  • To borrow books, take your CSUDH photo ID with a current sticker to the Library Circulation Department on the 2nd floor of the library.

  • Locating Books and eBooks by Using ToroFind Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC)


    Public Access Catalog (OPAC)

    • Find books and other materials available in the CSUDH Library by Using Torofind Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC).
      You can search for books by author, title or subject. In addition to finding materials available in the CSUDH Library, you will find links that allow you to directly request books from other libraries.
    • Use keywords or Library of Congress Subject Headings to find books about communication theories and research.

    Here are sample Library of Congress Subject Headings to try:



    • "But I just want to browse...":

    Many books about urban geography may be found in the GF 125 call number area on the Library 3rd floor North (old wing).

    Reference books are in the G63 to G103 area on the 2nd floor (near the Reference Desk).

    • Ebooks:
    The library also has several collections of ebooks (books that have been scanned in that you can access from home using the library website). For instance, Ebrary is a growing collection of ebooks on a variety of topics geared to academic libraries and college students. 
    When you search in the Torofind catalog, you will see that many of the newest books acquired by the library are in ebook format.

    • A few direct links to ebooks that may be useful:

            Key Concepts In Urban Geography


             Cash for your trash [electronic resource] : scrap recycling in America

             The geographies of garbage governance








            The Ecological City Preserving And Restoring Urban Biodiversity

            Making A Green Machine The Infrastructure Of Beverage  Container Recycling




      • Interlibrary Loan a book using a request form. Since books may be requested from libraries in other states, this can be the slowest method.


      • If you are unable to locate a book in the CSUDH Collection, try these links:


        • Search All CSU Libraries: allows for searching the collections for all 23 CSU campuses and for finding materials that are not available at your CSUDH Library. These materials may be requested through Interlibrary Loan online at no cost.
        • Search WorldCat: lets you search the collections of libraries in your community, state, country, and around the world.  WorldCat locates the nearest libraries to our campus that list your request as available. These items available for loan may be borrowed online and include: books, journal articles, and some dissertations and theses.


      Concepts and questions for beginning research...
      Concepts and questions for beginning research:

      • Where to Start?
        • What's your research question?
        • What information do you need to find?
      • Who cares about the same information? (e.g.: researchers, practitioners, government, etc.)
        • What kind of information do they need?
        • Where would they get it?
      • Types of information available
        • Books
        • Articles from journals, magazines and newspapers
        • Websites
      • How to Find an Article On Your Topic: Click here for more tips, tricks and advice.
      • What is a primary source? What is a secondary source? Click here to find out

      Search Help

      Creating an effective online search:

      1. Take your research question and circle the "action words"
      2. Think of at least three synonyms for each action word
      3. Use these words in various combination to get a good result (between 15-40 results is optimal)
      4. Combining keywords
        • AND: use to add words to results (volcano AND lahar)
        • OR: use for syonyms or alternate words (pangaea OR gondwanaland)
        • NOT: eliminates any results containing word (emissions NOT smog)

      Search Concepts:

      • Phrase searching"" ( "global climate model ")
      • Advanced Search: Use this frequently to determine your search options. This will save you TIME and FRUSTRATION!
      • Find subject headings attached to useful article citations, and redo your search with these controlled vocabulary terms
      • Remember, the more words you use to search or the more limits you place on a search, the fewer results you will get. (How can you get more results?)

      More Search Tips:

      • Whenever possible,  use the Print and Save functions embedded within the screen. Sometimes, Print and Save commands will appear in a "floating" toolbar near the bottom of any screen in a PDF article.
      • Use the online HELP screens (usually in upper left hand corner of screen of databases) - they really are helpful!
      • If you can't find anything: don't give up and go to Google! Ask a reference librarian for help.

      Database terms:

        • DATABASE: An organized collection of electronic information, such as photographs, addresses, or journal articles.
        • ONLINE JOURNAL INDEX: A database that contains magazine, newspaper and journal articles, e.g: Academic Search Premier. AKA Subscription Database.
        • SCHOLARLY JOURNAL: Also called academic or refereed journal. Articles usually reviewed by experts in the field before publication, published for a research audience, narrow focus, e.g.; Molecular Endocrinology
        • MAGAZINE: Publication of general interest: popular interest and broad subjects (e.g: Psychology Today)
        • SUBJECT HEADINGS : Also called descriptors. Official terms used to classify items in a database.
        • THESAURUS: List and finding aid for official controlled vocabulary terms. Also called Topic Index or Subject List.
        • ABSTRACT: a brief summary of the main content of an article
        • FULL TEXT: the complete article. Click on the FindItCSUDH button to see if the Full Text is available.
        • CITATION: The basic information you need to find the full text of an article. It includes the title of the article, the author, the name of the publication, the date, the volume and issue number and the page numbers.

      Recommended Databases
      • Greenfile: http://www.greeninfoonline.com : a free research database focusing on the relationship between human beings and the environment. Featuring hundreds of scholarly and general interest titles, as well as government documents and reports, GreenFILE offers a unique perspective on the positive and negative ways humans affect ecology. The total number of records is approximately 612,000, and full text is provided for more than 9,100 records from open access titles.


      The databases below are not specifically earth sciences-related, but they are very good for information on business, economics and local and regional studies:


      *To limit search to peer-reviewed journals only, look for check box next to Peer-Reviewed, Scholarly Journals, or Academic Journals on database search screen (may be in Advanced Search)




      What is plagiarism? - Plagiarism is "The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft." (source: Oxford English Dictionary)

      Instances of plagiarism include:

      • Quoting or paraphrasing someone's work in your paper without citing it
      • Expressing someone else's ideas as your own

      Plagiarism is a serious matter and could result in a lower or failing grade and even expulsion from the University.

      But I didn't know! - Ignorance of the law is, unfortunately, no excuse. You can commit plagiarism without meaning to, and, it's just as serious.

      How can I avoid it? - You can avoid plagiarism by giving credit where credit is due and always citing your sources. Whenever you insert a quotation, re-word information you got from a source or present an idea developed by someone else, be sure to include a citation in the proper style (MLA for this class). It is important to take detailed notes on where you are finding information for your paper as you find it.  This helps to ensure you will cite the information correctly as you begin writing your paper.  

      For more information about plagiarism, see your student handbook, the CSUDH Student Code of Conduct, and this page from Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL).

      P.S.: Take a look at our new CSUDH Library anti-plagiarism tutorial: Plagiarism: How to recognize it and get it out of your life! (and don't forget to try out the challenging plagiarism game at the very end!)

      APA Style
      APA Citation Style

      This comprehensive guide from the librarians at CSULA will help you use the APA citation style.

      Not sure how to search? Use our How To Find Articles help page for assistance.

      Scholarly Internet Research

      When you surf the Internet for information, be aware that not all websites are created equal. Some sites, such as government sites, are usually valid sources of information, but others are full of opinion represented as fact.

      Then there are sites like Wikipedia which often come up at the top of a topic search and look reliable and valid. However, there is no official check and balance process in place to ensure that the information posted is correct or up-to-date. Remember: Wikipedia can be great to introduce you to the general background on a subject. Sometimes, even librarians will check a Wikipedia article to get quick background information on a topic new to them. The bibliography part of a Wikipedia article can actually provide reliable resources to help you begin your research process. But Wikipedia is not a scholarly source for academic research.

      In general, use the guidelines below to assess the authoritative value of a particular website:

      • Credibility - Is it easy to figure out who's behind the information? Do they have qualifications in the field or another reason to ensure the trustworthiness of the website?
      • Accuracy - Are the sources well cited? Is the information up-to-date? Are there broad, sweeping generalizations that are impossible to verify?
      • Reasonableness - What is the point-of-view of the website? Is it a corporate page trying to sell you a product? Is it a government or educational site where the main purpose is to educate people?
      • Support - Is it possible to verify the information from another authoritative source?


      For more information about judging whether a website is reliable, take a look at this YouTube video:


        Useful Scholarly Websites on The Deep Web:

        The results from this site bring up a number of government resources in addition to some articles in academic databases. If we already subscribe to the database, the article will open for you. You can also choose to search by a few select databases and deep web search engines.

        A project of the University of California and other universities, this is a searchable index of websites appropriate for university research. It contains useful Internet resources such as databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, mailing lists, online library card catalogs, articles, directories of researchers, and many other types of information. Not all links are current or free to use, however, and searching can be frustrating.

        Provides a well-organized point of access for reliable, trustworthy websites. All links on the Index are selected and approved by librarians before inclusion.

        Evaluating Information on the Web
        For another way of evaluating websites, try this good checklist from the of any information you may want to use for an assignment.

        Useful Websites for Urban Geography

        These are indexes to quality web sites that have been reviewed by librarians. The sites have been checked for accuracy, timiliness, stabilty, and will generally conform to the standards of academic research. However, please be judicious in the use of websites in general, because anybody can put anything on the web.