Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Notable E-Books: SAGE Reference Series on Green Society

From chemistry to government, students and faculty in a wide variety of disciplines are increasingly interested in greener options and what it takes to move society towards an economically- AND environmentally-sustainable future. To help our researchers get a grounding in a full range of topics related to the environment, we have recently added a set of six new eReference titles published by Sage as their SAGE Reference Series on Green Society. Titles in this basic encyclopedia set include Green Energy, Green Politics, Green Food, Green Cities, Green Business and Green Consumerism. The hundreds of entries you will find in these online volumes can provide useful overviews on many areas of interest.

Each of the title links above will bring you to an individual A-Z eReference book. (You will have to authenticate through the proxy server to access these from off-campus.) Once in a title, you can browse the entry list, consult a subject index, or simply put a keyword term or word combination in the search box in the middle of the screen. If I search for greenwashing in the Green Consumerism encyclopedia, I pull up a good assortment of entries. The first, sorted for relevance, is on that exact topic. But entries like "Green Marketing" are also retrieved by this search and are worth reading.

One of the nice things about the Sage eReference platform is that when you retrieve an individual entry, the database will suggest other topics and will even link to different but related reference titles in the left frame. However, some of these system-generated suggestions are a bit of a stretch! So, if you want to explore further, you might be better off simply doing another search for your topic in the full Sage eReference platform (which is linked in the upper left and right of every platform page). This produces another relevance-ranked list of entries.

If I do this with my greenwashing topic, I get entries from most of the other Green Society titles, but I also identify worthwhile entries in some unrelated Sage titles like the Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society.

When you use Sage eReference, don't ignore the icon links at the top of the left frame. These help you to print or email entries. And here you can also see quick citations to the article you reading in APA, MLA and Chicago formatting. And don't forget the last link to "Further Readings." This page will provide leads and (in some cases, active links) to additional resources. These can be handy. For a topic like "greenwashing," knowing what Greenpeace has to say on the topic might be edifying. However, keep in mind that many professors would not find some of Sage's linked suggested readings to be academically acceptable. So, always check with your professor before citing any secondary materials, or even, for that matter, a basic encyclopedia entry like those in the Sage "Green Society" series.

No comments: