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Science honours: Environmental Sciences

Searching within Environmental Science databases

Using databases such as OVID's CAB Abstracts, ProQuest's Natural Science colllection and and Ebscohost's Academic Search Complete, you can use search strategies such as:

  • boolean operators, i.e.  AND, OR, NOT
  • truncation, e.g. aborigin* = aboriginal, aborigine, aborigines etc.
  • proximity operators, e.g. climate w/3 chang* (OVID) Climate W3 change (Ebscohost)

You can learn more about these on the Advanced searching techniques page in this guide

Support for wildcards varies considerably, e.g. behavi#r (Ebscohost) with a number of databases automatically including alternate spellings, e.g. behaviour vs behavior, sulphur vs sulfur. It is something you might have to test yourself with different databases + terms.

Searching in CAB Abstracts

Some databases assign subject headings to records using a dedicated thesauri, e.g. CAB Abstracts  You can access the subject heading tree by using the "map term to subject heading" option before you search:

This will bring up the closest subject headings to the term that you have entered:

you can then choose a narrower term like 'ecotourism' from the Thesaurus and click on 'continue' at the top of the box:


Saving searches

  • Searches are recorded in the Search History panel which is above the Search panel. If you can't see all of your previous searches, click on the Expand button to the right of the Search history panel.
  • If you wish to permanently save searches, search alerts, or manage research, you need a personal account in Ovid. Here's how to set it up:
    • At the top right of screen, click on My Account.
    • At the right of screen, Create Account.
    • Follow the instructions and prompts to set up your new Account.
    • Make a note of your login and password for future use!

how to search OVID databases