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Research Guides

EEB208H1- Ecosystems and the Human Footprint

Scholarly Articles

What makes an article scholarly?

  • Academic Article - Are there in-text citations and references listed in bibliography? 
  • Newspaper Article - Does the article include interviews with experts and clearly identify facts? 
  • Do the authors have expertise?  (e.g., affiliation to an academic institution or recognized organization, academic credentials)
  • Use RADAR criteria (Rationale, Authority, Date, Accuracy, Relevance) to assess if the research is reliable and scholarly. 

Tips for Building your Search

Choosing your Search Terms

Enter search terms on separate lines to instruct the database to search for the combined terms.  

Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT) are useful tools for building your search:

  • Quotations marks (search for specific phrases or names)
    • "urban footprint""nature deficit disorder"
  • Asterisk * (widen your search results) 
    • ecosystem* =  ecosystem, ecosystems
    • enviro* = environments, environmental, environmentalist's  
  • AND (narrows your search)
    • conservation AND ecosystem*
  • OR (widens your search)
    • "urban footprint" OR "urban planning"

Recommended Journals

ProQuest Database


ProQuest is a platform containing over 100 databases. ProQuest contains publications (i.e., newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, eBook titles, dissertation and theses) in different subjects areas including film. Remember you might find content in a non-film related resource from your time period, (i.e., newspapers, business or tech magazines).


1) Use the Advanced Search Tool  

The Advanced Search Tool allows you to build your search with multiple keywords that you can combine with Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT) from the dropdown menu between the search fields. 

Screen Shot ProQuest Advance Search with search terms "urban footprint" AND Toronto OR Ontario


2) Sort your Results 

  • Sort your results (Relevance, Date) 
    • Sort by Date: It may be useful to arrange the results chronologically (oldest first) in order to follow the entire production process of a particular film, from gossip about potential stars to reviews and box-office grosses.


3) Using ProQuest Search Filters

  • Narrow your search results using filters on left sidebar. Click on +More link if appears to see all the filter options. 
    • Peer Review: Click the checkbox if you are seeking journals with peer review editing process (papers are send to experts to assess and provide feedback to the author). Learn more about Peer Review Journals.  
    • Source TypeScholarly Journals, Newspapers, Trade Magazines, Books, or Blogs, Podcasts, & Websites‎
    • Publication Year: Last 12 Months, Last 5 Years or click on Custom Date Range
    • Subject: Look for subject headings tied to the discipline or topic you are interested.You can order the results alphabetically by clicking on Subject at the top of the pop-up window. 
    • Document Type: Feature, Front Page/Cover Story, Article, Literature Review (avoid Review and Editorial)
    • Publication TitleUrban Ecosystems‎, Conservation BiologyThe Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, The National Post


4) Mark relevant records

If you find interesting articles, be sure to . 

  • Go to the results page and click the check box to the left of the article title  
  • When you are ready to email the articles to yourself, scroll to the top of the results list and click on Email link (on right side)
  • Email the marked records to yourself 


Another option is to create a free ProQuest MyResearch account.
  • Click on the person icon in the upper right corner of the screen to access MyResearch.
  • Create a free account with your UToronto email. 


Screen shot  ProQuest Results for  conservation AND ecolog* AND cities AND canada. Select items using check box and view all selected item with the folder icon in upper right corner.