Looking at wind energy in Texas could be an interesting topic for exploring renewable energy, since Texas is the biggest wind producer in the United States.
Gale Virtual Reference Library is a good place to start with a new topic. It provides access to encyclopedias and other reference sources. It’s kind of like searching Wikipedia, except you can actually cite these sources in a paper! When I do a keyword search for “wind energy” I get 495 results.
Once you have a better idea of what you’re interested in, you might want to move on to searching databases for journal articles. Some good search terms might be “wind power,” “wind energy,” “wind farm,” or “wind turbine” to name a few. If you want to focus your research on Texas, you can add “Texas” to one of the search fields. Here are some database suggestions:
Academic Search Complete is a great database for just about any subject.
Compendex and IEEE Xplore are two great engineering databases. In Compendex, Make sure to select the “Subject/Title/Abstract” option for Texas, otherwise author affiliation will show up. IEEE Xplore will also allow you to sort the results by most cited.
Business Source Complete will be a good database to explore the economic and commercial aspects of wind power.
GeoRef and Environment Index– These databases will be useful for focusing on the environmental impact of wind energy.
Web of Science is another good database for this topic. You can sort the results by how many times an article has been cited. You can also do a cited reference search to find works that cited an article you liked.
To read up on wind energy in the news, LexisNexis offers comprehensive coverage from 1980 until today. You can select your source type (“newspapers” is probably going to provide the most sources), or a specific source title such as the Austin-American Statesman.
Google Scholar can also be a handy tool for finding citations. Make sure to utilize the advanced search option to refine your results. For example, when I type “wind energy texas” and hit enter, I get 270,000 results. When I click the arrow in the search field and select “in the title of the article” instead of “anywhere in article,” I get 74 results, which is much more manageable!
For more suggestions, check out our Energy Resources Research Guide, and don’t hesitate to contact the library with questions!