Geographical Sciences: Databases / Finding journal articles

This guide provides selected references & resources to support the Geographical Sciences, covering the areas of environment and physical geography..

Finding journal articles

Some individual journal articles may be found by searching the library SEARCH catalogue, but for a thorough and quality search for articles on your specific topic, you should perform your search in an appropriate specialist database. These databases are designed to provide thorough, quality coverage in specific subject areas.

Some databases will provide links to the full text of articles, others will provide only the abstract or summary. In many cases you can link to the full text by clicking check for full text from the record. If the Library subscribes to the title you will be offered the full text.

You can access the databases, through the library database page, on or off campus, using your Authcate.

See below for tips and hints, or contact the library for help and advice on using databases and getting access to the full text of articles once you have discovered them. Appointments can be made with your contact librarian for help finding resources on your topic.

Google Scholar can also be a useful discovery tool, though caution should be used. If you use GS by linking from our database page and set the Scholar Preferences to search Monash and the National Library, you can have the 'check for full text' option to search our holdings. GS Preferences can also be set so the Bibliography Manager will show links to allow import of the citations to EndNote.

See also tabs in this guide: 'Google Scholar', 'Searching effectively', 'Academic sources'.

Developing a search strategy

To search databases effectively, you need to consider a 'search strategy'. The databases work best if you identify keywords and use these rather than 'natural language' sentences:

  • break your research topic up into concepts or ideas
  • think of different words (keywords) to express these concepts (synonyms, alternate spellings)
  • join the keywords using AND, OR (boolean terms)

For example:

climate change OR global warming


carbon dioxide OR co2

For more comprehensive instruction see tab 'Searching effectively'

Developing a search strategy

Interactive online module enabling you to develop the skills to search databases effectively (Approximate duration: 10 minutes.)

Other database links

Let us know what you think of the trial databases  

Many databases allow direct export of records into EndNote

See also tabs in this guide: 'Searching effectively'.

Key Geographical Science databases