Geology & Geophysics: Research Help

Research Help



Geology & Geophysics Research and the Marriott Library

 Where to start?...

Marriott Library Home Page

            Library Catalog           

Off-Campus Access Information:

Find under the “Get Help” tab on the far right of the Marriott Library Home


            Online Journals  Click on the Online Journals link in the Left Side bar of the Library's Home Page.



This resource is available to University of Utah users only

·         EndNote Web delivers tools to:

·         Search online resources

·         Collect and organize references

·         Format citations and footnotes or a bibliography


Useful databases of specific importance to the Geosciences:


GeoRef THE major index to geology literature. 

This resource is available to University of Utah users only
Covers 1693- present
An exhaustive index of journal articles, conference papers, maps, books, and federal and state government publications in the geosciences. Covers North America from 1693 and the rest of world since 1933. Recent citations include abstracts; records for earlier citations contain a generous number of descriptors. No full-text. UU owns some of the material listed--use the "locate document" link next to citations you like to have a search for the journal be run automatically in UNIS for our call number or, if we subscribe electronically, a link to the journal's full-text. You can have Georef email you any records it has added in the last fortnight which have keywords or personal or institutional names of interest to you; use the "save history/alerts" button.


SCOPUS   Covers 1996 - present

This resource is available to University of Utah users only

Scopus is the largest abstract and citation database of research literature and quality web sources. It's designed to find the information scholars need. Quick, easy and comprehensive, Scopus provides superior support of the literature research process. Updated daily, Scopus offers. Over 16,000 peer-reviewed journals from more than 4,000 publishers, over 1200 Open Access journals, 520 conference proceedings, 650 trade publications, 315 book series, 36 million records, Results from 431 million scientific web pages, 23 million patent records from 5 patent offices, "Articles-in-Press" from over 3,000 journals, Seamless links to full-text articles and other library resources.


AGU American Geophysical Union  

This resource is available to University of Utah users only

Maximum users: site license--2 users for each subscribed journal

Access to the following journal titles: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (G-Cubed or G3), Geophysical Research Letters, Global Biochemical Cycles, JGR (Journal of Geophysical Research) – Atmospheres, JGR - Earth Surface, JGR – Oceans, JGR – Planets, JGR - Solid Earth, JGR - Space Physics, Paleoceanography, Radio Science, Reviews of Geophysics, Tectonics, Water Resources Research.

Knovel Online Interactive Books and Databases

This resource is available to University of Utah users only

Provides access to over a thousand full text titles in science and engineering areas ranging from adhesives to semiconductors, corrosion to tokamaks selected from several dozen publishers.

Digital Dissertations

 Covers 1861 - present
This resource is available to University of Utah users only Index to doctoral dissertations (and a few masters theses), primarily from the U.S. and Canada. The full-text may be available for post-1997 works, especially if the author was at a university in Utah or was writing about Utah. In these cases you can request that you be emailed an access number for a download of the entire text.

GeoB ase

1980 - present
This resource is available to University of Utah users only

Although aimed primarily at geographers, Geobase indexes major geology journals and can be used as a backup to Georef. Good for geomorphology and natural hazard articles. Abstracts only, no full-text. The Marriott Library owns/subscribes to some of the 2000 journals indexed in GeoBase.


Additional Library Resources

Glossary of Geology. QE 5 B38 2005  Level 1.

Other specialized dictionaries, encyclopedias and handbooks for the geosciences can be found in the QE section, Level 1.



The Map Collection has about 250,000 sheets. We attempt to have medium-scale coverage (1:250,000 or 4 miles to the inch) of all land areas of the world. In addition, we collect national atlases, geologic maps, street maps of large or often-visited cities, and gazetteers. We receive virtually all maps published by the U.S. Geological Survey. These include the nearly 60,000 sheets of topographic maps which make up the most detailed published maps of the country. We have many maps from the Army Map Service and its successors (the Defense Mapping Agency (DMA), National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA))[this website is under construction as of 16 December 2009], and nautical charts from the Office of Coast Survey, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The library tries to obtain all published maps on Utah and nearby areas for either the Map Collection or Special Collections. The library owns some satellite imagery of Utah, but very few aerial photographs.

     Finding Maps

Search the online catalog to see what we own. An advanced keyword search is often the most effective since one seldom knows the exact name of a map or cartographer.

title keyword:
salt lake city
subject keyword: maps
general keyword: 2002

If you don't find anything under the geographic name you have used, try a more inclusive name. Maps are often published as large sheets or sets, and the area you want may be covered on a map of a broader area, e.g. berkeley to alameda county to san francisco metropolitan area. Publishers feel that the market or audience for thematic maps is limited, therefore subject maps may not exist for many areas. National and state atlases are good sources of specialized subject maps.

Map publishing is complicated; we may have coverage of an area as part of a much larger set. Don't hesitate to ask the Map Librarian, Ken Rockwell  (801-581-8324) or the Level One Reference Desk (801-581-8394) for help.  Most maps can be checked out.


Web Links

Utah Geological Survey
Site emphasizes information useful to both citizens and local professional geologists: natural hazards, mineral industries, mapping, dinosaurs, rock collecting, etc.

U.S. Geological Survey
Exceptional collection of interactive services. Find maps, photos, place names, data sets, geologic unit names. Good background information and links for issues of public concern like natural hazards.

View USGS Maps and Aerial Photo Images Online
Links to major sites which have loaded aerial photographs and USGS topographic maps.

* * * *

How to Evaluate the Information Resources You Find? Use the criteria below to evaluate both print and web-based resources.


Initial Appraisal:

1.       Author—are there credentials readily available? Institutional affiliation (where he or she works), educational background, past writings, or experience?

2.       Date of publication – When was the source published? Find the date of the journal article, or book.  On Web pages, the date of the last revision is usually at the bottom of the home page, sometimes every page.  Is the information current or out-of-date?

3.       Title of journal – Is it scholarly or popular? This distinction is important because it indicates different levels of complexity in conveying ideas.  Scholarly journal articles often have an abstract, a descriptive summary of the article contents, before the main text of the article.  Scholarly articles always cite their sources in the form of footnotes or bibliographies. These bibliographies are generally lengthy and cite other scholarly writings. Popular publications or magazines rarely, if ever, cite sources. Information published in such journals is often second or third hand and the original source is sometimes obscure or not even mentioned.


Content Analysis

1.       Intended audience-- What type of audience is the author addressing?  Is the publication aimed at a specialized or a general audience? Is this source too elementary, too technical, too advanced, or just right for your needs?

2.       Objective reasoning-- Is the information covered fact, opinion, or propaganda?  Does the author use the scientific method and does she/he discuss the methodology used in their research? Are the conclusions supported by the evidence and observations?

3.       Coverage—is the information primary or secondary in nature?  Primary sources are based on the raw data and observations that report the results of their research?  Secondary sources are based on an analysis and compilation of primary sources.

4.       Writing style-- Is the publication organized logically? Are the main points clearly presented? Do you find the text easy to read, or is it stilted or choppy? Is the author's argument repetitive?

5.       URL domain -- Preferred domains include .edu, .gov, .org, or .net  Is the domain appropriate for the content?

a.       Government sites: look for .gov, .mil, .us, or other country code

b.       Educational sites: look for .edu

c.       Nonprofit organizations: look for .org

d.       If from a foreign country, look at the country code and read the page to be sure who published it.

e.       For more information on how to evaluate web pages, go to this link:


Subject Guide

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