Skip to main content

Search Strategies and Journals for Keeping Up with Specific Research Programs in Sustainability Science

What are useful search strategies and journals for keeping up with new work in specific research programs within the broader field of sustainability science?

Published onSep 10, 2020
Search Strategies and Journals for Keeping Up with Specific Research Programs in Sustainability Science

In addition to strategies for keeping up with the broad field of sustainability science, we are often asked about how to learn more about or keep up with specific research programs within sustainability science. This is particularly true for scholars hailing from one research program within sustainability science and who want to begin to incorporate methods, frameworks, and findings from other research programs into their work. In preparing the first draft of the Research Guide we struggled with similar challenges as we strove to identify cutting edge research across the many research programs that contribute to sustainability science. As part of our own effort, we used Web of Science to distill search strategies that alerted us to new papers in each research program. We also identified and began to follow the journals where new research in each program most frequently appeared. Finally, we identified recent high-level reviews of each research program. These we used both as summaries of those programs’ most important findings and as anchors for searches of papers citing the reviews that would provide an additional means for identifying new publications.

We synthesize the results of our efforts in the table below. These results are meant to help scholars who have identified a research program within sustainability science about which they would like to deepen their expertise in order to bring insights and perspective of a new research program into their own work. This table is derived from the empirical analysis summarized in the supplementary material of the Research Guide.

Any effort to recommend search strategies, journals, and review papers for such a wide variety of research programs is bound to be flawed. We therefore offer our findings as the beginning of what we hope will be a conversation within the community of sustainability scholars rather than anything like the last or definitive word in such a conversation. We urge our readers to use the features of this platform to comment on the search strategies, journals, and review papers identified for each research program and help us update and refine them.

For each of the 16 research programs identified in our work on the Research Guide, the table below provides three approaches for keeping up with the research program:

  1. A search query for Web of Science: The search query was derived through an iterative process described in the supplementary material to balance type 1 and type 2 errors (please see more details in the supplementary materials). We find it particularly helpful to use the Web of Science search queries to generate weekly emailed search alerts. The weekly emails with new papers in each field help us keep abreast of the latest papers in the research programs we follow. (Interested readers can use the search query as it is or edit it to suit their own preferences. To use a query in Web of Science, just copy the query and paste it into the Advanced Search box there. (It won’t work in the normal search box).

  2. A list of the journals publishing the greatest number of articles identified by the Web of Science search query specified in (1);

  3. Recent review(s) of to provide both a synoptic perspective on the existing research results from each program and an anchor for citation searches that can be used as another guide to new publications.


Research program(s) that contribute to sustainability science

· Search query for Web of Science (final version balancing false positives and false negatives, produced through the iterative method described above)

· Journals publishing greatest number of articles identified by the search query for 2000-2019 (in descending order)

· Recent review(s) of research program


Program: Complex adaptive systems (CAS)

Search Query: TS = ("complex adaptive system*") AND ((TI = (sustainab*)) OR (TS = ((("coupled human and natur*" OR "coupled human-natur*") AND system*) OR (telecoupled OR telecoupling))) OR (TS = (((human-environment* OR "human environment*") NEAR/5 coupl*) AND system*)) OR (TS = ("Earth system* governance")) OR (TS = ((“ecosystem service*” AND "sustainab*”) OR ("payments for ecosystem service*” OR "natural capital"))) OR (TS = ("Environmental justice")) OR (TS = ("social metabolism" OR "socioeconomic metabolism" OR "socio-economic metabolism" OR "industrial metabolism" OR "industrial ecology" OR (“circular economy” AND sustainab*))) OR (TS = ("Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services" OR IPBES)) OR (TS=((rural NEAR/4 livelihood*) OR "sustainable livelihood*" OR "livelihood* transformation*" OR "livelihood pathway*") NOT SU = ("veterinary sciences" OR entomology) NOT WC = (horticulture)) OR (TS = (“pathways” NEAR/2 sustainab*) NOT SU = (“chemistry” OR “microbiology”)) OR (TS = ("social-environmental system*" OR "socio-environmental system*")) OR (TS = (“socio-ecolog* system*” OR “socioecolog* system*”)) OR (TS = ("socio-technical transition*" OR "sociotechnical transition*" OR "sustainability transitions" OR "strategic niche management" OR (“multi-level perspective" AND (“socio-technical” OR “sociotechnical”)))) OR (TS = (((“production-consumption” OR “consumption-production” OR (production NEAR/2 consumption)) NEAR/2 system*) AND sustainab*)) OR (TS = ((“capital assets” OR “inclusive wealth” OR "comprehensive wealth" OR "genuine savings") AND (sustainab* OR well-being OR wellbeing)))) NOT SU = ("computer science" OR "general & internal")

Journals: Ecology and Society; Ecological Economics; Journal of Cleaner Production; Journal of Industrial Ecology; Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management

Review(s): (Levin et al. 2012; Preiser et al. 2018)


Program: Coupled human and natural systems (CHANS)

Search Query: TS = ((("coupled human and natur*" OR "coupled human-natur*") AND system*) OR (telecoupled OR telecoupling))

Journals:  Ecology and Society; PNAS; Sustainability; Ambio; Ecosystem Services; Environmental Modelling Software; Water Resources Research

Review(s):  (Hull and Liu 2018)


Program: Coupled human-environment systems (CHES)

Search Query: TS = (((human-environment* OR "human environment*") NEAR/5 coupl*) AND system*)

Journals:  Global Environmental Change; Sustainability; Ecology and Society; Geografisk Tidsskrift Danish Journal of Geography; PNAS; Sustainability Science

Review(s):  (Moran 2010)


Program: Earth system governance (ESG)

Search Query:  TS = ("Earth system* governance")

Journals:   International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law, and Economics; Ecological Economics; Global Environmental Change; Anthropocene Review; Marine Policy

Review(s):  (Burch et al. 2019)


Program:Ecosystem services / Natural capital

Search Query: TS = ((“ecosystem service*” AND "sustainab*”) OR ("payments for ecosystem service*” OR "natural capital"))

Journals:  Sustainability; Ecosystem Services; Ecological Economics; Science of the Total Environment; Land Use Policy

Review(s): (Peterson et al. 2018;  Bennett 2017)


Program: Environmental justice (EJ)

Search Query: TS = ("Environmental justice")

Journals:  International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health; Environmental Justice; Local Environment; Environmental Health Perspectives; Geoforum

Review(s):  (Agyeman et al. 2016; Menton et al. 2020)


Program: Industrial ecology / Social metabolism / Circular economy

Search Query:  TS = ("social metabolism" OR "socioeconomic metabolism" OR "socio-economic metabolism" OR "industrial metabolism" OR "industrial ecology" OR (“circular economy” AND sustainab*))

Journals:  Journal of Industrial Ecology; Journal of Cleaner Production; Sustainability; Resources, Conservation & Recycling; Ecological Economics

Review(s):  (Haberl et al. 2019; Loste, Roldán, and Giner 2019; Zimmerman et al. 2020)


Program: IPBES conceptual framework (Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services)

Search Query:  TS = ("Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services" OR IPBES)

Journals:  Environmental Science & Policy; Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research; Biodiversity and Conservation; Sustainability Science; Ecology and Society

Review(s):  (Díaz et al. 2018)


Program: Livelihoods

Search Query:  TS = ((rural NEAR/4 livelihood*) OR "sustainable livelihood*" OR "livelihood* transformation*" OR "livelihood pathway*") NOT SU = ("veterinary sciences" OR entomology) NOT WC = (horticulture)

Journals:  Sustainability; World Development; Land Use Policy; Ecological Economics; International Forestry Review

Review(s):  (Scoones 2009)

Program: Pathways to sustainability

Search Query: TS = (“pathways” NEAR/2 sustainab*) NOT SU = (“chemistry” OR “microbiology”)

Journals:  Journal of Cleaner Production; Sustainability; Ecology and Society; Sustainability Science; Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Review(s):  (Leach, Scoones, and Stirling 2010)


Program: Resilience thinking

Search Query: TS = (resilien*) AND ((TS = ((("coupled human and natur*" OR "coupled human-natur*") AND system*) OR (telecoupled OR telecoupling))) OR (TS = (((human-environment* OR "human environment*") NEAR/5 coupl*) AND system*)) OR (TS = ("Earth system* governance")) OR (TS = ((“ecosystem service*” AND "sustainab*”) OR ("payments for ecosystem service*” OR "natural capital"))) OR (TS = ("Environmental justice")) OR (TS = ("social metabolism" OR "socioeconomic metabolism" OR "socio-economic metabolism" OR "industrial metabolism" OR "industrial ecology" OR (“circular economy” AND sustainab*))) OR (TS = ("Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services" OR IPBES)) OR (TS=((rural NEAR/4 livelihood*) OR "sustainable livelihood*" OR "livelihood* transformation*" OR "livelihood pathway*") NOT SU = ("veterinary sciences" OR entomology) NOT WC = (horticulture)) OR (TS = (“pathways” NEAR/2 sustainab*) NOT SU = (“chemistry” OR “microbiology”)) OR (TS = ("social-environmental system*" OR "socio-environmental system*")) OR (TS = (“socio-ecolog* system*” OR “socioecolog* system*”)) OR (TS = ("socio-technical transition*" OR "sociotechnical transition*" OR "sustainability transitions" OR "strategic niche management" OR (“multi-level perspective" AND (“socio-technical” OR “sociotechnical”)))) OR (TS = (((“production-consumption” OR “consumption-production” OR (production NEAR/2 consumption)) NEAR/2 system*) AND sustainab*)) OR (TS = ((“capital assets” OR “inclusive wealth” OR "comprehensive wealth" OR "genuine savings") AND (sustainab* OR well-being OR wellbeing))))

Journals:  Sustainability; Ecology and Society; Ecological Economics; Global Environmental Change; Ecosystem Services

Review(s):  (Reyers et al. 2018)


Program: Social-environmental systems

Search Query:  TS = ("social-environmental system*" OR "socio-environmental system*")

Journals:  Ecology and Society; Environmental Modelling Software; Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability; Ecological Economics; PNAS

Review(s):  (Turner et al. 2016)


Program: Socio-ecological systems (SES)

Search Query:  TS = (“socio-ecolog* system*” OR “socioecolog* system*”)

Journals:  Sustainability; Science of the Total Environment; Journal of Environmental Management; Ecological Indicators; Environmental Modelling Software; Environmental Science & Policy

Review(s):  (McGinnis and Ostrom 2014)


Program: Socio-technical transitions / Multi-level perspective (MLP) / Strategic niche management (SNM)

Search Query: TS = ("socio-technical transition*" OR "sociotechnical transition*" OR "sustainability transitions" OR "strategic niche management" OR (“multi-level perspective" AND (“socio-technical” OR “sociotechnical”)))

Journals:  Environmental Innovation and Societal Transition; Sustainability; Journal of Cleaner Production; Energy Research & Social Science; Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Review(s):  (Markard, Geels, and Raven 2020; Loorbach, Frantzeskaki, and Avelino 2017)


Program: Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP)

Search Query:  TS = (((“production-consumption” OR “consumption-production” OR (production NEAR/2 consumption)) NEAR/2 system*) AND sustainab*)

Journals:  Journal of Cleaner Production; Sustainability; Ecological Economics; Annual Review of Environment and Resources; Journal of Industrial Ecology; Resources, Conservation & Recycling; Sustainable Production and Consumption

Review(s):  (Geels et al. 2015; Schröder et al. 2019)


Program: Welfare, wealth, and capital assets

Search Query:  TS = ((“capital assets” OR “inclusive wealth” OR "comprehensive wealth" OR "genuine savings") AND (sustainab* OR well-being OR wellbeing))

Journals:  Ecological Economics; Environmental Resource Economics; Sustainable Development; Journal of Environmental Management; Sustainability Science

Review(s): (Irwin, Gopalakrishnan, and Randall 2016; Managi and Kumar 2018)



Once again, we urge our readers to use the features of this platform to comment on the search strategies, journals, and review papers identified for each research program and help us update and refine them.

Comments
0
comment

No comments here