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Sustainable Consumption: Articles

A guide for researching sustainable products, as well as interventions, news, and other literature on sustainability.

Finding Peer Reviewed Articles

In contrast to newspaper articles or government reports, scholarly journals contain articles written by scholars for scholars.  Articles are reviewed by other scholars before they are published in a process called peer review.  Many databases allow you to restrict your searches to "refereed" or "peer reviewed" journals.  However, several of the databases listed below will also search through periodicals, conference proceedings, books, and government documents unless you explicitly specify otherwise.


The library subscribes to several databases that search articles across multiple disciplines (e.g. the social sciences, environmental sciences, and business).  These are great places to start looking for articles on a topic as interdisciplinary as sustainable consumption.

Academic Search Complete: Academic Search Complete is a comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database, with more than 5,300 full-text periodicals, including 4,400 peer-reviewed journals.  In addition to full text, this database offers indexing and abstracts for more than 9,300 journals and a total of 10,900 publications including monographs, reports, conference proceedings, etc.

ScopusScopus is the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature: it contains over 19,500 titles from more than 5,000 publishers from around the world, covering the fields of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, arts and humanities.  

Web of Science: A collection of multidisciplinary citation databases, including Science Citation Index, Social Science Citation Index, the Arts & Humanities Citation Index, Current Chemical Reactions, and Index Chemicus.  

Useful Databases for Researching Sustainable Consumption

Need more specialized content?  Try searching these discipline-specific databases.  

  • AGRICOLAAGRICOLA contains bibliographic records from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Library and covers every major agricultural subject. The citations consist of journal articles, book chapters, monographs, theses, conference proceedings, serials, technical reports, patents, software, and other materials on a broad range of agricultural topics.
  • Business Source CompleteBusiness Source Complete is a scholarly business database that provides full-text access to many peer-reviewed business related journals, including disciplines such as marketing, management, MIS, POM, accounting, finance and economics.
  • EconLitEconLit with Full Text contains all of the content available in Econlit, plus full text for more than 400 publications including titles from the American economic Association such as: American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Literature, and Journal of Economic Perspectives.
  • Environmental Sciences and Pollution ManagementA multidisciplinary database for the environmental sciences. Includes scientific journals, conference proceedings, reports, monographs, books and government publications.
  • Environment CompleteEnvironment Complete offers coverage in the areas of agriculture, ecosystem ecology, energy, renewable energy sources, natural resources, marine & freshwater science, geography, pollution & waste management, environmental technology, environmental law, public policy, social impacts, urban planning, and more.
  • Garden, Landscape and Horticulture IndexGarden, Landscape & Horticulture Index provides access to articles about gardens and plants, including topics such as horticulture, botany, garden and landscape design & history, ecology, plant and garden conservation, garden management, and horticultural therapy.
  • SocIndexIndexes journals, books, book chapters, book reviews, dissertations and conference papers in sociology and related disciplines.
  • ToxNetA cluster of databases covering toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, genetic toxicology, risk assessments, pollution, and related areas.

New! Browzine

Sample Search

Here, we're using Academic Search Complete to find articles about how willing people are to purchase green products.  Let's start out by looking for articles whose abstracts contain the word "adoption" AND the phrase "green product".  We're also going to restrict our search to scholarly, peer-reviewed articles.


Once we find an article we think will be useful, we can use it to find others like it.  When we click on a subject heading (e.g. "green products" or "environmental economics"), we'll see other articles classified under the same subject.  The subject headings also give us hints as to what other search terms we might use--like "natural products" or "biodegradable products".  


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