Nature & Human Values (NHV)

Recommended for NHV students looking at issues in earth, energy, or environment.

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Want research help? 

Visit the NHV Librarian, Lia Vella, during Nature & Human Values Help Hours -- Thursdays 1:00-2:00 and Friday 12:00-1:00 at the NHV Station located across from the Front Desk (south of the main entrance).  Can't make it then?  Contact Lia to set up an appointment or ask your question, or see the librarian on duty at the Reference Desk.



Need an Idea for a Paper?

Current Events

Case Studies

Google News

National Public Radio

Peruse the book and article display at the NHV Help Station on the west end of the Library Reference Room.

Or, try a Google search anchored by specific keywords to keep the results relevant, for example "case study" or "ethics."  Try some of these search tips, or Google's Search Help section, to get better results.


Need Full Text Now?  [help]

Mines Library Catalog (log-in recommended for more results)

Restricted access Academic OneFile

Restricted access GreenFile (articles about human impact on the environment)

Restricted access Academic Search Premier (Ebsco)

Restricted access General OneFile

Restricted access JSTOR

Google Scholar  [Google Scholar Search Help]

Doing In-Depth Research?

Research by Subject

For background on your topic:

Other possible sources on various topics: Multidisciplinary online databases

Can't get full-text?  Submit an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request.


Ethics Sites Online

Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies

National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) ethics page

Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Research

Ethics in Science and Engineering National Clearinghouse

Ethics Updates

National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science

Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity

What are "Authoritative" or "Scholarly" Sources of Information?

If your instructor asks for a college-level (authoritative, scholarly) source for your paper, the source should have at least some of these characteristics:

⇒  Work is based on original research, observation or data

⇒  Work is relatively free of bias, opinion, or promotion

⇒  Authors are highly educated and knowledgeable in the subject

⇒  Authors cite their sources

⇒  Content is reviewed by other experts (peer-reviewed)

College-level sources include:

Scholarly journal articles and books
Government publications. Examples -- Congressional hearings, research reports, regulatory information.
Publications by authoritative organizations. Examples -- Colorado School of Mines, American Society of Civil Engineers.

Not college-level (but still potentially useful):

News articles
Editorials (even if they're in a scholarly journal)
Educational materials aimed at beginners. For example, K-12 web sites, text books.
Encyclopedias (including Wikipedia)

Why? College students are generally expected to dig deeper, consult cited publications, etc., rather than rely solely on non-scholarly works.

For more on scholarly sources, see Use and Organize My Information, or download this checklistPDF versionText only version of Scholarly and Authoritative characteristics.

Watch a short video on how to identify a scholarly article, produced by librarians at Coastal Carolina University.

If you enjoyed that, here are some more videos from Coastal Carolina on topics such as annotated bibliography, giving a good presentation, and building keyword searches.


Your NHV Paper

1. The Idea.  Think about:

  • Environmental or technological issues at a local, regional, or national scale.
  • Current Events for ideas from the news.
  • An ethical piece to any topic you pick.
  • Something that's INTERESTING.
  • A topic that has been written about in enough depth that you will have reliable sources to work with (i.e., don't pick an environmental disaster that happened two days ago).


2. The Issues.

The Web is a great way to get a feel for the issues surrounding current or controversial topics. Find out who's in the news, what websites promote viewpoints, which organizations are involved.  You will not necessarily use these websites as sources in your final paper, but they can help you get started in gathering background information.


3. Boundaries.  Set some--you have a deadline.

Which issues do you want to include? Can your subject be narrowed or broadened if you run into snags with your research? 


4. Research

Keep notes (print or electronic) on what you find. Start with the publications you've already run across while picking your topic.

Background (book chapters, Wikipedia) can help you put everything in context.

After you have enough background information, start your research with the Library Catalog (log in to the catalog for more results) to find some good sources or identify databases or articles that are relevant to your topic.  Don't hesitate to search, search, and search again if your first list of results doesn't turn up what you need (why do you think it's called research??).

5. The Paper

Get your notes together and identify what you should cite.

If there's a hole in your research, go back and find publications that will back you up.

Your final draft should include the list of publications you've cited. The assignment's due; you're good to go.

Find information on citing sources here.

Writing Guidelines for Engineering & Science Students



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Last Updated: 03/31/2014 14:23:32