I am trying to make sure I have done my due diligence in researching the literature when it comes to a particular topic in oceanography and/or atmospheric science. My specialization is in a different subject altogether, where we have one website in particular that has a collection of abstracts and titles for nearly all papers that have ever been published (pre- and post-internet era) in this particular area. Those of us in the field can search the one website for certain keywords, and once you have done this with some variations on said keywords and then combed the relevant citing/cited literature, it's pretty safe to say you've done your due diligence to comb the literature. Is there a similar website for the areas of oceanography and/or atmospheric science or does one usually use Google Scholar? Any help would be much appreciated, thanks!
...one website in particular that has a collection of abstracts and titles for nearly all papers that have ever been published (pre- and post-internet era) in this particular area.
For as long as I can remember (okay, since 2002) the standard source of this type has been the Web of Science. It covers all sciences (and engineering, social science) so you have to restrict your search with sensible combinations of keywords, categories, and journal names, but it's the closest thing to a neutral database that we have.
I don't find Google Scholar to be a good substitute. It doesn't have a very good signal to noise, you'll often get multiple hits to entries of the same article in different databases, but direct links to the actual journal article can appear quite low down on the list. I know this has been a problem for EGU/Copernicus journal articles, which appear much lower down than social network (e.g., ResearchGate) links.
The problem with both of those tools though is the sheer volume of articles. So much is published these days that it's simply not possible for anyone to exhaust the search. My lab often recruits post-docs into Earth science positions from other disciplines (e.g., maths, physics) and knowing where to start or finish with the literature can be intimidating for them. What they need is for some experienced researchers in the field to filter the literature for them, which is why I normally recommend reading recent review articles as a way of gauging the knowledge boundaries.
There are journals dedicated to review articles, e.g.,
- Earth Science Reviews
- Review of Geophysics
- Nature Reviews Earth & Environment
- Encyclopedia of Geosciences
and doubtlessly there are more than I've forgotten. Some publishers also curate collections of important articles from across their journals, e.g.,
Read the references you find in those and maybe go one level deeper and then you'll have done your due diligence. I still stumble across seams of papers I've missed in fields that I've worked in for years and it's never been a problem; no one expects you to be exhaustive in your search.
I would suggest combing Google Scholar with the following methods:
- Search keywords just as you've mentioned.
- When you hit on a semi-relevant paper, check the citations for relevant information.
- Additionally check the collected works of the authors of said papers.
- Search specifically for review papers or graduate-level textbooks for context on a subject and more citations.
The perk of interdisciplinary Earth Science is that everything connects. The downside of interdisciplinary Earth Science is that information is dispersed. Good luck.