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MACS 310: Marine Science and Society: Where and How to Search

Finding Materials

If you connect Google Scholar to Western Washington University, free versions of articles that Western Libraries holds will be linked on the right side with FindIt@WWU.

If you connect Google to Western Libraries or search in our databases, you'll find some articles or books that aren't in our collection at WWU. We can still get them for you. Use Interlibrary Loan -- our FindIt@WWU service -- to ask for them. Watch the 2-minute video below for the basics.

Search Terms

Search the scientist's name

If you're not finding much, use tools like Google and Wikipedia to identify variations of their name, for example middle names/initials, birth names, or married names.

Combine terms to narrow your search


"Marine science" AND "BIPOC"

"Marine science" AND "environmental justice"

Use synonyms to expand your search

Think of how your group or topic is described in different contexts (the past, a different culture, another discipline). How is it described by people with institutional power? By people most affected by it? Search these variations to get the broadest set of resources.  


"Marine science" AND "BIPOC" OR "people of color" OR "minorities"

"Marine science" AND "environmental justice" OR "social justice" OR "climate justice" 

Subject Headings

Once you have found a promising source in OneSearch or a database, you can use the subject headings in the item record to find related material.

screenshot of OneSearch item record showing red box around the words "Subject"

Look at the item record for subject headings or subject descriptors; these will give you insight into how the database defines a topic. 


Sample subject headings

Women marine biologists

African American scientists

Marine scientists