Sustainability Research Guide

Resources marked with this symbol are restricted to Columbia affiliates.

Find Books

  • CLIO: Columbia Libraries Online Catalog
    It includes over 4 million records for books, journal or newspaper titles (not articles), online resources, government documents, microforms, sound or video recordings, archival collections, etc.
    Over 650 books on environmental science and engineering
  • Pegasus: Columbia University Law School Library Online Catalog
    Includes: U.S. federal and state law, selected Commonwealth jurisdictions, major foreign language collections and, since 1983, vernacular and Western language materials pertaining to law in Japan and the People's Rep. of China.
  • WorldCat
    An online catalog of the collections of 24,000 member libraries of the OCLC consortium, comprising more than 36 million records for books, serials, manuscript collections, audiovisual materials, computer files, and other media.
  • Borrow Direct
    A borrowing service offered by the university libraries of Columbia, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale. It is designed to allow students, faculty and staff to request (and receive in four days) books directly from each other's collections.

Find Journal Articles

Business & Economics

  • Carbon finance: news & analysis of market solutions to climate change
    Provides information on emissions trading, carbon dioxide mitigation, carbon taxes, and more.
    Current issues in Business library, slot: C-335.
  • Econlit
    Contains citations, abstracts, and full text to economic research dating back to 1969.
  • Environmental Finance journal
    Covers the impact of environmental issues on the lending, insurance, investment, and trading decisions affecting industry. Current issues in Business library, slot: E-575.
  • ProQuest
    Includes citations and full text articles in academic & professional disciplines, e.g., business, economics, management, as well as news and general interest items.


  • Applied Science & Technology Abstracts
    Citations and abstracts for articles in applied science and technology periodicals and book reviews.
  • Civil engineering database
    Citations and abstracts to Civil Engineering literature published since 1973 in all of the ASCE journals, conference proceedings, books, standards, manuals, magazines, and newsletters.
  • CSA Materials Science Collection with METADEX
    Citations and abstracts for publications related to the science and technology of materials from nine leading materials science databases.
  • Compendex
    Citations to journal articles, conference proceedings and more on all aspects of engineering. Coverage 1884-present.
  • GeoRef
    Includes information on energy sources, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, ground water pollution, dinosaurs, landslides, and erosion, as well as the history of the earth, the structure of the earth, the study of ore deposits, and geostatistics. Inclusive coverage from 1785 to present.
  • IEEE Explore
    Full-text IEEE and IEE conference proceedings, transactions, journals, standards and magazines.
  • Scopus
    Citations and abstracts for publications in biology, physics, chemistry, geosciences, agriculture, medicine, business, and the social sciences.
  • Sustainability science abstracts
    Coverage includes relevant papers, reports, books, some conference proceedings, some gray literature, and reviews from standard peer-reviewed scientific journals. 

Social Sciences

  • Environmental Abstracts
    Allows users to search abstracts of thousands of journal articles and conference papers and link to selected full text.
  • Greenfile
    Include information on global warming, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling, and more.
  • National Journal Group's Policy Central
    Full text of the National Journal, Congress Daily, plus text and analysis of Congressional activity.
  • PAIS International
    Includes references to articles, books, conference proceedings, government documents, book chapters, and statistical sources in Environmental Studies. Coverage 1972 to the present.
  • Sustainability reference center
    Comprehensive full-text database covering all aspects of sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
  • Web of Knowledge
    Bibliographic information and cited references in articles in journals in all discplines. Coverage 1899-present.

Built Environment

  • Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals
    Citations to articles in worldwide architecture and related periodicals with primary emphasis on architectural design and history but coverage as well of historic preservation, city planning, real estate development, green design, sustainable development and environmental studies.
  • Garden, Landscape & Horticultural Index
    Topics include horticulture, botany, garden and landscape design & history, ecology, plant and garden conservation, garden management, and horticultural therapy. A highlight of the database is its focus on environmentally sustainable horticultural and design practices.

Statistics / Data

  • GIS & Statistical Data Resourcese
    The DSSC Data Service is located in room 215 in Lehman Library. Provides data retrieval and technology assistance for students and faculty.
  • Statistical Sources: Print & Internet
    Provides references and links to a selection of some of the many tools for finding and using statistical information. Some of the relevant databases to search are:
    • Federal Statistical Agencies
      Links to the principal statistical agencies of the US Government.
    • IMF eLibrary
      The topics covered include macroeconomics, globalization, development, trade and aid, technical assistance, demographics, emerging markets, policy advice, and poverty reduction.
    • OECD iLibrary
      The portal of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Coverage: 1998 to the present.
    • Proquest Statistical Insight
      Provides statistical information from U.S. government publications from 1973, state and private sources from 1980, and international organizations from 1983
    • World DataBank
      A complilation of a number of World Bank data products, the most significant one being World development indicators (WDI).

US Government Information

  • U.S. Government Documents
    Columbia has been a depository for U.S. Federal documents since 1882. Federal depository publications are being issued in electronic formats.
  • USAID Development Experience Clearinghouse
    Links to full text reports on environmental topics, for developing countries.

Background Information

  • Encyclopedia of Sustainability
    Information spans the entire scope of sustainability from ecological concepts to financial concerns to public policy and community action.
  • Economic and Political Development: Information Resources
  • Environmental Policy Studies: Information Resources