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Please use our new Research Guides at

Be sure to update any links or bookmarks to point to the new guides.

For subject assistance contact: Nick Lonergan, 717-245-1838.


Earth Sciences Course Guides

More research help

Library of Congress Classification System for Earth Sciences Resources

QE is the general category for Geology

QE1-350 - General Geology

QE351-399.2 - Mineralogy

QE420-499 - Petrology

QE500-639 - Dynamic and Structural Geology

QE640-699 - Stratigraphy

QE701-760 - Paleontology

QE760-899 Paleozoology

QE901-996 Paleobotany

Earth Sciences Keywords

   * Geomorphology/Hydrogeology 
   * Historical Geology
   * Minerals
   * Sedimentology
   * Paleontology
   * Structural Geology
   * Mineralogy/Petrology
   * Volconology
   * Paleontology

Reference Resources

The following reference works are only a small representation of the reference collection in the disciplines of Earth Sciences and life sciences.

   Search Tips:
   Do a SUBJECT search in the library catalog using specific terminology:
   Also, change your terminology: Sedimentology, sediments, sedimentary etc.
  • Glossary of Geology, 5th. ed., 2005. Broad survey of the discipline of Geology. Includes bibliographies. Ref. QE 5 B38 2005
  • Encyclopedia of geology / edited by Richard C. Selley, L. Robin M. Cocks, Ian R. Plimer. Boston: Elsevier, 2005. Reference QE5 .E516 2005 v. 1-5.

Finding Journals

Locating articles

Basic process for finding articles

If you find an article that looks interesting check to see if there is a link to the pdf or HTMl version of the article by the citation. If not, then click the "Get It!" button to see if we have access to it either electronically or in print.

If you cannot see either a direct link to the article or the "Get It!" button then search the Journal Locator for the title of the journal that it was published in. If you find the journal title here check to see if we have access to the year in which the journal article was published, and then follow the relevant link.

Requesting articles we do not own

If we have neither print nor electronic access to an article in our collection, then you can place an order for it through ILLIAD.

You will have to set up account the first time you order an article but once you have done this once you can use this same account each time you want an article.

Once you have an account set up then you can just click the "ILLIAD" link in the "Get it!" button and log into your account and the request form will be automatically populated with the citation information for your desired article so you only need to submit the request.

(If you do not have a journal citation, but instead have a topic, use one of our databases to locate citations).

Why use journals?

• Journals are often peer-reviewed/scholarly. This means the research in the articles have been double-checked for validity.

Primary research often appears in journal articles. Primary research is the first article or report on a topic whereas secondary research are the articles or reports that talk about that primary article. Always look back to the primary article when using secondary sources as support.

• Journals can contain the most recent information on a topic. In the sciences this can be very important.

Finding Articles

Use one of the following databases to locate journal articles related to geology. If you already have a journal citation, complete with journal title, see Finding Journals.

Earth Sciences and Science Databases:

  • GeoRef Extensive, comprehensive index to the Geologic literature since 1785.
  • GeoScience World An online resource for research and communications in the geosciences.
  • Web of Science A great, interdisciplinary science database.
  • Environment Complete Covers agriculture, ecosystem ecology, energy, renewable energy sources, natural resources, marine & freshwater science, geography, pollution & waste management, environmental technology, environmental law, public policy, social impacts, urban planning, and more.
  • Science Direct A collection of articles focusing on science, technology and medicine.
  • Biological & Agricultural Index Articles and other scholarly material published in the leading publications in agriculture, biology, forestry, and ecology. Includes a wide range of popular and professional journals about biology and agriculture.
  • General Science Full Text An interdisciplinary index to over 150 Science journals since 1984.

Multidisciplinary or Full-text Databases:

  • Academic Search Complete A scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database for the humanities, sciences and social sciences. Includes scholarly journals, magazines, conference proceedings and books.
  • WorldCat OCLC's catalog of books and other materials in libraries worldwide. The most comprehensive database of published materials and library holdings.
  • JSTOR An interdisciplinary archive of over 600 journals in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
  • National Geographic Archive The official journal of the National Geographic Society, one of the world’s largest nonprofit educational and scientific organizations. Recognized for some of the highest-quality photojournalism and cartography in the world, this award-winning, iconic magazine is famous for providing unparalleled, in-depth coverage of cultures, nature, science, technology and the environment. Featuring the complete archive of the magazine to the mid-1990s, this database includes every page and every photograph, all fully searchable.
  • Annual Reviews Publishes 29 series covering three major fields: Biomedical Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences as well as a number of special publications and Web based projects every year. These purpose of these publications are to record the major innovations and progress of research topics occurring in these disciplines.

Internet Resources

Be cautious when using Internet Resources for your research. Always evaluate the site for:

  1. authority
  2. bias
  3. current information.

More information on evaluating resources.

Important Societies and Organizations

  • USGS (U.S. Geological Survey)
    Federal source for science about the Earth, providing information on resources, hazards, landscape or Geology as a discipline.


Data Sets



Natural Disasters


Arctic and Snow




Please view the Maps page for information on finding and using maps.