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Library  Resources

Stewart Library owns or has access to a large number of resources to help in your research.  

Getting Started: Check out:  The Story of Stuff Project. Be sure to check out The Story of Stuff movie, which Dr. Dant recommends both as a way to get a good idea of how you need to structure your paper and what things you need to address.  Check out the other movies too.

If you're still not sure of a topic or need some background information, reference books can be very helpful.  Some good ones to start with are:


The Encyclopedia of Global Change (Oxford Digital Reference Collection) 

Requires WSU ID

West's Encyclopedia of American Law (Thomson Gale)

Requires WSU ID
Student Atlas of Environmental Issues REF   G1046.G3A55 1997
The Environment A to Z REF   GE10.H67 2001
Environmental Literature : an Encyclopedia of Works, Authors, and Themes REF   GE35.E58 1999
American Environmental Leaders : from colonial times to the present REF   GE55.B43 2000
Famous First Facts about the Environment REF   GE105.F36 2002

Encyclopedia of Global Change : Environmental change and human society

REF   GE149.E47 2002  (Also circulating copy)
The Atlas of Global Change REF   GE149.G4813 1998
Encyclopedia of World Environmental History REF   GF10.E63 2004
AAAS Atlas of Population & Environment REF   HB849.415 .H374 2000
Dictionary of Environmental Economics REF   HC79.E5D53 2001
Environmental Statutes Outline : a guide to federal environmental laws REF   KF3715.A36924 2000
Environmental Law Deskbook REF   KF3775.E47 2000
Clean Air Act Handbook : a practical guide to compliance REF   KF3812.M69
Encyclopedia of Scientific Biography REF   Q141 .D5
The Environmentalists : a biographical dictionary from the 17th century to the present REF   S926.A2A94 1993
Concise Guide to Environmental Definitions, Conversions, and Formulae REF   TD145.F55 1999
The Wiley Encyclopedia of Environmental Pollution and Cleanup REF   TD173.W55 1999


You can find other reference books on environmental topics  by browsing the following call number areas:  



 GB    Physical Geography

 GE    Environmental Sciences

 GF    Human Geography

 GE   Environmental Sciences

TD    Environmental Technology/Sanitary Engineering (includes recycling)

Depening on your topic, you may also find information in the HC's - HD's (Economic History), HE's (Transportation & Communication), HF's (Commerce),  QD's (Chemistry), QE's (Geology) QH's (Natural History & Biology), TP's (Chemical Technology) and TS's (Manufactures) and others.


Search Terms: 

One of the more difficult parts of locating resources on lifecycles of a specific thing is figuring out the search terms to use.  As you can see from the variety of call numbers above, our current system(Library of Congress)assigns sources to a variety of different subject areas.

Possible general search terms:

  • lifecycle / lifecycles  -  most useful for articles and internet sources
    • This may be spelled:  lifecycle, life-cycle or life cycle - you may need to try all optioins
  • lifecycle analysis (also LCA) - useful for all sources
  • lifecycle assessment (also LCA) - useful for all sources
  • lifecycle inventory - useful for all sources
  • sustainable technology -  useful for all sources
  • carbon footprint  - useful for all sources
  • product development - useful for all sources
  • product management - useful for all sources
  • sustainability - more useful for articles and internet sources, you might also find books.
  • recycling - useful for all sources
  • materials economy -  useful for many sources
  • consumerism or consumer economy - useful for many sources


You will need to combine more general terms like those above with more specific terms for the thing you choose:

  • clothing and sustainability
  • garbage and recycling
  • computers and lifecycle

You will probably to do a series of searches to find all the information you need. For example, you choose computers.  Probable searches include:

  • computers and lifecycle (you might get lucky and find all you need with this one)
  • computers and product development
  • computers and recycling
  • computers and transportation
  • computers and manufacture
  • etc.

HINT:   when you find a good book, article or internet source, look at the terms they are using and then do another search using your thing and that new keyword.


Finding Books:  

Use the WSU online catalog  to find what books and other materials, such as videos,  the Library owns.  The catalog will provide the location and availability of the resource.  WorldCat  is a catalog made up of the catalogs of most of the university and public libraries in the U.S. and Canada, plus sources from other librarys like the British Library, the National Library of France, etc.  This is the same catalog that interlibrary loan uses to borrow materials for you.

Finding Articles:  

The best way to find articles is to use one of the Library's article databases.   These databases provide references to articles in journals, magazines & newspapers.  In many cases, the actual article is available fulltext.

Our  databases are available from home or work.  Just click on the link and enter your ID number when prompted. 

NOTE:  If you can't find information on your topic in these databases, there are three likely possibilities:

  1. you need to try different search terms
  2. you need to enter the terms differently  (in other words connect words with AND instead of just typing them in or use quotation marks to force the system to search two or more words as a phrase).
  3. You need to use a different database.


Useful databases for environmental and lifecycle research include:


General & News

  • Academic Search Premier   is a general database that allows you to search important journals in all fields. It has many full-text articles and is a good place to begin your research.  
  • CQ Researcher  fulltext articles on current issues - focus is U.S.
  • CQ Global Researcher  fulltext articles on current issues - focus is international
  • CQ Weekly -  weekly magazine with in-depth articles on issues facing Congress     
  • JSTOR  A group of full-text journals in general science, history, economics, ecology, literature, mathematics, political science, and population studies. Dates of coverage vary.   This is an archival database.  It does NOT cover the  most recent 3-5 years, back issues only. (There are a few, rare, exceptions.)
  • Lexis/Nexis Academic   Full-text coverage of many news, legal, and business resources. Dates of coverage vary, many update daily. 
  • Military and Government Collection  provides fulltext for over 430 military and government related periodicals and general interest magazines. Focus is on information of interest to those procuring and contracting with military and government agencies.
  • Newspaper Source Provides full-text for 128 regional U.S. newspapers, fifteen international newspapers, six newswires, and nine newspaper columns, The Christian Science Monitor and The Los Angeles Times, for a total of 160 full text newspapers and other sources.
  • Proquest Newspapers Full-text of 300+ U.S. and international news sources, including the Wall Street Journal
  • Wiley Online Library - access all of Wiley and Blackwell online sources  Link:

Legal & Government


Find an interesting article in a bibliography and want to know if we have it?  Ejournals will tell you if we have the journal  online or in print. You can use that information to find the article.


Interlibrary Loan:

If we do not own a particular book or article you need, we will borrow it for you from another library through Interlibrary Loan.



Web Resources

There's a lot of good information out on the web.  Unfortunately, some it's not so good, so be sure to evaluate, evaluate, evaluate!  Some interesting places to start looking are:

  • Google Scholar - this is a good place to find "gray" literature such as conference proceedings and also articles on topics not covered by library databases.  The cited reference feature is an easy way to expand your bibliography.  Be sure to click on the Settings link and set the library links.  This will allow you to find full-text articles provided by the library for WSU students.
  • Scirus - a good place to look for journal and web content on science and social science topics. Be sure to set the library links for Scirus too so can you link to articles the library owns.

Resources on Environmental History

Government Websites

There are other excellent sites.  You can use a search engine to find more specific pages.  I recommend  Other good search engines to try are: (was MSN & Live Search) and   Remember:  evaluate, evaluate, evaluate!

Learn how to Google like a pro:  A Scholarly Guide to Google  from Widener Library, Harvard.  For more than you probably ever wanted to know about Google:  The Google Guide by Nancy Blachman.

Useful Guides



Research Tips

Updated January 22, 2013 . Please send comments to Kathy Payne, Head of Reference
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