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Petroleum and Energy in the Geosciences: Strategies in Articles+

This guide is a window on resources for petroleum and other energy resources.

Tracking Down Oil Fields in Articles+

We're going to look at the Articles+ native interface and not the QuickSearch version of Articles+ in this online demo. You can reach the Articles+ interface directly here or visit and click Articles+ under the Research heading.

Why Articles+?

  • Resources on oil and gas fields will come out of academic, business, and industry publications. Articles+ catches about 80% of our online holdings, so it's a good place to start when we don't know which resource(s) will contain the most information.
    • Industry holds financially relevant information (such as locations and data about oil fields) close to its heart — they make it very difficult to locate this information.
  • We have convenient faceted searching.

First, let's use a real-world problem — finding information on the Ogo Oil Field in Nigeria, discovered in 2013.

What do we know?

  • If the Ogo Oil Field was discovered in 2013, mentions of the term from before 2013 are probably false positives — we can filter them out in the search.
  • 2013 is a relatively recent date. Due to academic publication cycles, we're less likely to find peer-reviewed articles and more likely to find industry reports, press releases, and other non-scholarly content.

In Articles+, we have a few features we can use — see the sidebar on the right, which describes Boolean operators — to construct this search: "ogo" AND "oil field" nigeria

At the time of this screenshot, Articles+ displayed 76 results. 

The initial search results show 76 records across a wide variety of fields.

First, 76 results is a lot — and it looks like there are many matches for content types like books. We're going to use the Publication Date section to limit our search to 2012 and onward. (2012 isn't a typo; I typically go back a year when searching in date limits just to see what it does to the results.)

We can narrow down by publication date in the left sidebar. This narrows down to 2012 onward to give us a bit of buffer.

This limits us to 31 results, broken down into 7 books or eBooks, 1 book chapter, 6 journal articles, 1 magazine article, 10 newspaper articles, and 9 reports. If you browse through other facets, such as subjects terms or disciplines, you'll see that there's still a bit of noise in the results — some of these articles are discussing the environmental impacts of oil & gas in the region, not necessarily statistics we need. (The 2009 title in the image may have inaccurate metadata — no database or search engine will ever be perfect.)

After filtering by date, we have many fewer (and better) results.

You can also view the results directly here. To me, GlobalData Company Deals and Alliances Profiles looks like it may have what I need. If I get the full text of the pieces from 2013-2016, I can browse through them to find relevant information. Oil and Energy Trends may also contain valuable information. The GlobalData reports, which I won't screenshot here out of copyright concerns, include key facts and detail summaries on purchases and acquisitions in oil and gas.

For more information, we'll have to leave Articles+ — please check the Reports, Articles, & Industry Research tab for a full list of places where you can search.

Boolean It!

Boolean searching allows you to customize how you search for things in academic databases, and it's based on a few key pieces of syntax: AND, OR, NOT, (), and "". 


A Venn diagram showing that our search will only return results that have both terms in them.

When you put two terms into an academic database, AND is usually implied: You usually want both words in fluid inclusions to appear in your search results. You could just as easily write:

fluid AND inclusions

OR and ""

A Venn diagram showing that all results with either word will be in the results.

But let's say that I want to find something about extrasolar planets. However, there was a terminology change around 2007, after which people started using the term exoplanets. If I want articles from both eras, I can do the following:

exoplanets OR "extrasolar planets"

What this tells my database is that I don't care which term appears in the results. I just want one of them. In addition, I want extrasolar planets to be searched as a phrase. (This also works in Google with song lyrics.)


A search for things about women in STEM without any false positives for clinical trials.

What if I'm looking for women in STEM (science, engineering, mathematics, and technology) fields, though? Try it. You'll see a lot of resources on stem cells. This is where the NOT operator is helpful:

women stem NOT cell NOT "clinical trial" NOT "stem cells"

Of course, Google and Google Scholar work differently. Instead of NOT, use a - to make it look like this:

women stem -cell -"clinical trial" -"stem cells"

Everything and ()

Or, of course, we could do this with everything (and here parentheses signify order of operations):

women AND ("stem" OR science) NOT cell NOT "stem cells"