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University of Texas Libraries
Celebrating the Life
Find Background Information
If you've ever used Wikipedia, you know what background information sources are.  These can be useful for finding a history and overview of your topic and discovering what terms experts use to discuss it.  You can use those terms later to search for articles and books.
Generate Keywords for Your Research Topic
How to Generate Keywords
This interactive tool guides you through the process of creating an effective keyword search for your research topic and then allows you to email the results to yourself and/or your instructor. You can also launch the search in the Library Catalog (to find books) or Academic Search Complete (to find popular and scholarly articles)

Suggested keywords:
renewable energy
solar power
solar energy
green energy
energy conservation
wind power
wind energy
fossil fuels
coal plants

To localize to Austin, add one of the following with AND:
Austin, TX
Austin, Texas
Austin (Tex.)

Example:  renewable energy AND Austin (Tex.)
Find Journal and Magazine Articles
Start here: www.lib.utexas.edu > Research Tools > Find Articles Using Databases

Best for information about your issue or developments that are not local to Austin.  

  • Academic Search Complete, 1990-present and Academic OneFile , 1980-present: Find magazine, journal and newspaper articles from across disciplines.
  • Google Scholar :  Use the Google interface to search for scholarly articles.  If you are off campus, go through the library website to search GoogleScholar so you will be connected directly to articles in library databases instead of being asked to pay.

Subject/Discipline Specific:

Where is the article?
If an article is not full-text in the database you are searching, follow
to see if it is available in another database or in print in the library.
Find Bills and Legislative Histories
  • CQ Almanac - browse by topic (energy & environment) and find explanations of major legislation by year.  Once you are in a full entry, you'll see reference to each bill number and a policy tracker to track the issue back through time.  Great starting place to sort out important from less important legislation.
  • ProQuest Legislative Insight - search by keyword, by number and more to find legislative histories (all the documents related to a bill as it moves through Congress, along with the bill itself and final law)
Find Business & Industry Information
Start here! 
Company and industry informationFinancials
Country and Political Risks
  • Datamonitor 360 - search by industry, then geography to find analyses of the industry in different countries (ex: crude oil in Saudi Arabia)
  • Business Monitor Online - explanation of how industries set up in different countries
Federal Agencies & Statistics
Find Books - Library Catalog
Start here: www.lib.utexas.edu > Research Tools > Library Catalog

  • Start with a keyword search to find books on your topic
  • Follow useful Subjects to find more books on the topic
Find Local (Austin) Information
  • LexisNexis Academic :  Find local, state, national and international newspapers, some back to the 1980s.  This guide shows you how to search for Texas sources,
  • Alt-Press Watch : Search the alternative press, including environmental magazines.  Includes the Texas Observer and other local publications.
  • Austin Chronicle - search the archives of the alternative weekly Austin paper
  • BizJournals:  Includes the Austin Business Journal.
  • Index to Current Urban Documents :  Find reports and research from government agencies, planning agencies and research organizations.  Includes Austin.
  • Texas Reference Center :  Find Texas magazines.

Google Search Tip:
A lot of organizations have informaton on the Web.  To limit to .orgs, try the following:
renewable energy austin site:.org
Find Local Government Info and Statistics
Write & Cite
  • Cite Your Sources:  A grid to help you choose the right citation tool and help using them.  Includes information about NoodleBib, which helps you format APA, MLA and Chicago style bibliographies you can download as Word documents and turn in.
  • Undergraduate Writing Center:  drop in or make an appointment to visit with a trained writing consultant.
Get Help
Contact the course librarian:


Michele Ostrow

IM a Librarian 
Monday-Thursday, 10am - midnight
Friday, 10am - 4pm
Sunday, 6pm - midnight

UGS Drop-in Research/Writing Labs: Get research help from Library Staff and writing help from Writing Center consultants.  Just drop by PCL 1.339 in the basement of PCL during any of the following times:
  • Tuesday, April 10, 6:30 - 8:30 pm
  • Wednesday, April 18, 6:30 - 8:30 pm

Video Tutorials: Find Articles and Books