If you are unfamiliar with terminology or a topic, a dictionary or encyclopedia can be a good place to start as they can help orient you to the literature. Encyclopedias are particularly useful as they will often include a bibliography of seminal works in the area. Below are just a few examples of these resources. To find more like this, use the Summon search tool and then filter your search to the 'Content Type' --> Reference
Research topics in community development can be very interdisciplinary in nature and therefore there really isn't one "best database" to search. Instead, it is recommended you start your research by using a multidisciplinary search tool like the Library's Summon "Search" tool, or Google Scholar (see boxes below). This will help you get a sense of the literature that exists on your topic, both from within the Library's collection, as well as what's available on the open Internet.
Beyond Summon and Google Scholar, the Library has individual databases that are listed as "best bets" for programs in the School of Public Administration, which you can also explore.
Summon 2.0 -- UVic Libraries' search engine
Summon is the Library's Google-like search tool. The difference is that Summon only searches the Library's collection, which includes records for UVic books, ebooks, articles, conference proceedings, theses and dissertations, videos, and more. A single search in Summon can return records from all of these sources.
Some advantages over Google Scholar:
You are probably familiar with other specialized Google searches, like Google Images for finding images on the internet, or Google Maps for getting directions to a location, but have you heard of Google Scholar?
Google describe Google Scholar as "a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research."
For more on Google Scholar, see: https://scholar.google.com/intl/en/scholar/about.html
The following subject headings can help you find books in our collection on these topics:
Community development, Urban
Group decision making
If you are on campus, you can also browse our print book collection using the call number ranges below:
HT51-65 Human settlements. Communities
HT101-395 Urban groups. The city. Urban sociology
HT161-165 Garden cities. "the city beautiful"
HT165.5-169.9 City planning
HT170-178 Urban renewal. Urban redevelopment
HT201-221 City population, including children in cities, immigration
HT 231 Effect of city life
HT281 Recreation. Amusements
HT321-325 The city as an economic factor. City promotion
HT330-334 Metropolitan areas
HT361-384 Urbanization. City and country
HT388 Regional economics
HT390-395 Regional planning
HT401-485 Rural groups. Rural sociology
HV40-69 Social service. Social work. Charity organization and practice
HV551.2-639 Emergency management
HV553-639 Relief in case of disasters
HV640-645 Refugee problems
HV4023-4470.7 Poor in cities. Slums
HV4480-4630 Mendicancy. Vagabondism. Tramps. Homelessness
HV4701-4890.9 Protection of animals. Animal rights. Animal welfare