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Earth Science: Starting a Research Topic

Earth Science / Geology Information Resources

Overview on a Topic

When you are unfamiliar with a research topic or specific geological concepts/terms, reference sources (encyclopedia, handbooks, review articles) provide a quick overview.  Try:

Glossary of Geology (Ref QE5. B38 1997)

A Dictionary of Geology and Earth Sciences (ebook)

Encyclopedia of Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks (ebook)

ScienceDirect Topic Review also provides pertinent literature on a particular topic. 

GeoRef Thesaurus is another way of finding literature on a specific term:


Once you have become more familiar with your research topic, you can start searching using keywords or subject headings in databases such as Web of Science or GeoScienceWorld / GeoRef.

Web of Science Demo

You can follow this Web of Science demonstration to arrive at the desired search results while searching in any other databases. First try with one, two or three specific terms and joining them by Boolean terms such as AND, OR, NOT

Sorting by Times Cited will bring the records being referenced the most to the top of the result list.  If you want to read the full-text of the journal article, click on GetIt@CSULB.

The next screen shows whether the full-text is available.  If CSULB Library doesn't have full-text coverage, you can request for a copy of the article through BeachReach, our consortial borrowing system.