New library guide for environmental reporting available for MSU students, faculty and staff

Eric Tans is Michigan State University's environmental sciences librarian. He holds a B.A. in English with minors in Environmental Studies and Sociology from Calvin College and a masters of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Originally from Anchorage, he enjoys outdoor activities and has a research interest in sustainable libraries.

Eric Tans is Michigan State University’s environmental sciences librarian. He holds a B.A. in English with minors in Environmental Studies and Sociology from Calvin College and a masters of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Originally from Anchorage, he enjoys outdoor activities and has a research interest in sustainable libraries.

By Eric Tans

The MSU Library supports teaching and research across campus with online research guides that simplify the search for information with links to databases, journals, books and websites.

I have created one on environmental reporting to support the School of Journalism’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism.

The guide divides content into subscription news sources, scholarly databases and journals, free online sources and library books. Each category appears in a separate box and provides links to helpful resources, although each serves a slightly different purpose.

The links in the subscription news sources and in the scholarly databases and journals boxes connect to fee-based news services and databases. But if you’re an MSU student or a faculty or staff member, don’t worry about the fee. The library subscribes to these services, making them available to you because of your MSU affiliation.

The library pays all access fees for information and articles. If you ever find a report or article that requires a fee to access, please contact the library for assistance. Do not pay for it yourself.

This post lists some of the most important resources in the environmental reporting guide. It is not exhaustive; visit the guide to explore all of the resources.

Subscription News Sources

  • E&E News – Produces original reporting on energy and environmental topics. E&E News divides content between portals dedicated to energy, climate, the environment, daily updates, and breaking news. E&E Publishing employs graduates of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism.
  • GREENR – Aggregates a variety of environmental information. The database is searchable or browsable by topic and location. The content includes academic journal articles, podcasts, case studies, statistics, news and magazine reports, and primary and reference sources.
  • LexisNexis Academic – A versatile database able to search both news sources and legal information. News searches can include print and electronically published material as well as broadcast transcripts, while the legal resources include statues, regulations, and cases at both the state and federal level. It contains the kind of legal proceedings and court decisions that the Knight Center often uses to develop news stories.
  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context – Features balanced topic based reports that highlight multiple perspectives and the greater context surrounding current issues. The Energy and Environmentalism portal features 40 topics, each of which features original opinion pieces, statistics, academic journal articles, news and magazine features, audio and video reports, images, and reference materials. Licensing for Opposing Viewpoints in Context is through the Michigan E-Library and is available through public libraries across the state after students graduate.

Scholarly Databases and Journals

  • Web of Science – A large, general science database that also tracks citation statistics. It is searchable by topic, author, publication, and more. Possible to sort the results by the number of times cited, which is a simple way to see the influential articles on a given topic. It contains the kind of scientific studies that the Knight Center often translates into general interest news stories. Like this one.
  • Environment Complete – A database of academic literature on environmental issues, including agriculture, energy, policy, natural resources, water, and ecology.
  • Water Resources Abstracts – Academic literature database on all topics related to water, including conservation, pollution and treatment, and management and use.
  • Journal of Great Lakes Research – Academic journal publishing the results of original research related to the Great Lakes. It is possible to set RSS feeds and email alerts when new issues are available. It contains studies often relevant to the Knight Center’s Great Lakes Echo news service.

Free Online Sources

Library Books

Send suggestions for items to add to the guide to me at tans@msu.edu. And contact me for assistance using any library resources.

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