Library tutorial - Arctic & Antarctic Regions database

March 22nd, 2010

Arctic and Antarctic Regions (AAR) indexes 1 million items about cold regions, including polar, winter, and alpine environments. Coverage is multidisciplinary, including arts, engineering, exploration, geosciences (climate, geography, geology), health, natural sciences, and social sciences. It indexes not only journal articles and books, but newspapers, theses, consultants' reports and other "gray literature," government documents, and conference proceedings from 1800 through the present.

AAR is one of only two databases we purchase through INSTAAR, rather than using through Norlin. Highly recommended for anyone doing work in cold regions!

Q: How do I get to AAR?
A: It's a bit complicated, but worth the extra steps.
1. Go to Chinook and search for the title "Academic search premier."
2. When you get to the search interface you will see an "Ebsco Host" logo in the top left corner. To the right of that a few inches, click the "Choose databases" link. A new window will pop up. Check "Arctic and Antarctic Regions," about halfway down the right column. Click "ok."
3. You are ready to research your topic!

Q: What are some good search tips for AAR?
A: AAR uses thesaurus terms, which it calls "Subject Terms" in the search box options. Real humans index all AAR articles, and they assign terms from a controlled vocabulary to each one. So if you find an article that is relevant for you, and use its thesaurus terms to search for more information, you will have much better recall than by just using keywords.

Q: Does AAR link to full-text articles?
A: Not directly, but try clicking the "CU Boulder Catalog" link below each item.  It will go to Chinook and look up that journal for you, so that you can see quickly whether its available to you or not.

Q: Can I send myself references from AAR?
A: Yes. In your list of search results, you'll see a link "Add to folder" below each entry. Click on this to throw it into a personal folder AAR saves for you during your session. At the end of your session, click on the Folder icon on the bar across the top of the user interface to save your items, send via email, or export them to RefWorks or EndNote Web. (You can do the same thing from each item: ave, email, print, or export.)

Q: Help! This database is confusing!
A: Drop by my office or email me, and we'll go through your research project in AAR together. You can also use the CU Libraries chat service embedded right in AAR to talk to a Norlin librarian online (good for days when I'm not here).

I hope that helps you get started using the slightly tricky but wonderfully meaty database that is Arctic and Antarctic Regions.