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University Libraries

Geology: Guide to Research--A Supplement to GLY 501, Elements of Geological Research

This guide is a bibliography listing some of the resources that are available in Geology at the Science and Engineering Inforamtion center (SEIC) in the Lockwood Memorial Library in Capen Hall on UB's North Campus. The references selected will assist researchers in gaining background information and establishing a starting point from which other, more in-depth resources can be found on the topic.

See also:

Call Numbers

QE 1 to QE 996.5 is the Library of Congress (LC) call number range for topics in Geology. The following chart lists the subject grouping of how books and journals are arranged. The ‘book stacks' and ‘bosund journals' are located on the 3 rd floor of the SEIC in Lockwood Library. Be sure to check the Reference Collection for Reference Books on the 1st Floor (SEIC Reference) 2nd Floor (all other Lockwood Reference) in the Lockwood Library. For details on the LC call numbers see:

  • QE1-QE49
    Various Topics
    Study, teaching, historical geology
  • QE50-QE55
    Catalogs & Collections
  • QE61-QE350
    Geological Surveys
    By regions and countries
  • QE351-QE399
    Mineralogy, Precious Stones
  • QE420-QE499
    Petrology (Rocks)
    Igneous, volcanic, sedimentary, metamorphic
  • QE500-QE625
    Dynamic & Structural Geology
    Geochemistry, Geophysics, Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Reefs, Movements, Structural
  • QE640-QE699
    Stratigraphic Geology
    Paleozoic, Mesozoic, Cenozoic
  • QE701-QE996
    Paleontology, Paleozoology, Paleobotany

Other all Numbers that might have importance for research and education in the geological sciences are found in the "G" section,  Geographys and Anthropology, especially:

  • GB 3-5030 Physical Geography (including geomorphology, climatic geomorphology, slopes,coastal geomorphology, reefs,islands, mountains [orography],and other landforms, e.g., deserts, floodplains, caves, etc.)
  • GB 651-2298 Hydrology (including watersheds, runnof, drainage, groundwater, hydrogeology,rivers and streams, lakes and limnology, ice and glaciers, hydrometeorology, natural disasters)
  • GC 1-1581 Oceanography all aspects 
  • GE 1-140 Environmental Sciences (Periodicals, societies, serials, congresses, dictonaries, encyclopedias, terminology, abbreviations, notation, directories, Communication in Environmental Sciences, Philosophy, Relation to other topics, methodology, biography, environmental education, study and teaching, research. Check this heading also in the Lockwood Memorial Library book and refernce collections)
  • GN 281-289 Human Evolution
  • GN 282-286.7 Fossil--Man, Human paleontology
  • QC 851-999 Meteorology, Climatology (all aspects)
  • QD 901-999 Crystalography
  • TA 630-694 Engineering Geology, Rock and Soil Mechanics
  • TC Hydraulic and Ocean Engineering (includes: harbors and coastal protective works, River and Lake Engineering)
  • TD 1-1066 Environmental Technology (including environmental protection, environmental pollution, environmental effects of industries and plants


Books, Maps and Other Formats

Books by Title
If the title of a book is known, a quick search can be made in the Libraries Catalog from the libraries main webpage by selecting “title” (omit ‘a', ‘an' or ‘the').

Example: The volcano adventure guide
Type: volcano adventure

Subjects by Format
Select Libraries' catalog connection. Change dropdown from ‘all fields' to ‘subject keywords' and the format box to ‘maps' (or books, visual etc)

Example: for geologic maps of the moon
Subject keywords: lunar geology
Format: maps

Print and Online Journals

Journals by Title - Print and Online
Access to Geology journals can be available through print, e-only or both. To determine if we receive a particular journal, you can search by title in the Libraries Catalog by selecting the journal/serials tab, then set search type to “title begins with”.

Example: The Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Type: journal of volcanology

The results will show two entries:
Print journal available for the years 1976-2004 (via 3 rd floor SEIC/Silverman)
E-only journal available for the years 2005+ (via ScienceDirect)

E - Journals by Title
To search for e-journals you need to search both the Libraries Catalog  (see above) and the Electronic Journals databases. From the libraries' main page under “Quick Links” (left-hand column) select ‘ Electronic Journals' which will generate an A-Z list for journal title browsing. However, this generated list will only show journals titles which produce full text articles; it is wise to double-check any journal titles in the BISON catalog for journals that may have abstracts or partial full-text articles.


Searching Databases for Articles

Bibliographic databases index items from a variety of resources and contain searchable information from numerous journals, magazines, conferences, books, associations and newspaper citations. Databases vary amongst each other and may offer full-text or partial full-text articles, abstracts and citations. Some databases are subject-specific while others may index a broad spectrum of topics.

From the libraries' main page, select Databases by Title (right-hand column) for a complete A – Z list of databases and direct access to their links.

For Geoscience articles try these top picks:

  • Academic Search Complete
  • GeoRef
  • GeoBase
  • SciFinder 
  • Engineering Index 
  • ScienceDirect
  • Wiley Online Library
  • Web of Science
  • IngentaConnect

These titles plus many more geology resources are listed on the

Geology – Resources by Subject Guide

From the libraries main webpage, click ‘ Resources by Subject ' under Quick Links (left-hand column), then select Geology.

Other UB Resources

University Libraries Map Collection Home Page
Map Librarian – Dave Bertuca, office - 225 Capen Hall,

GIS - ESRI Virtual Campus Courses & UB Student Registration

Students are entitled to one (1) free copy of the ArcGIS Software, which is available from Dave Bertuca in Room 225 Silverman Library in Capen Hall. If Dave should not be available, please go to the Science and Engineering Information Center's Reference Office Suite in Room 228 in Silverman Library.

Selecting Scholarly Resources

Critically evaluating resources is an essential step in the research process. In order to effectively evaluate articles, it is necessary to differentiate between scholarly journals and non-scholarly journals.

Generally, articles relating to the subject of Geology fall within two main types of periodicals: (1) scholarly and research journals, and (2) popular, news and general interest magazines. The following chart will assist researches in determining the difference between these two types of resources.

Scholarly and Research Journals Popular, News and General Interest Magazines Examples

  • Scholarly and Research Journals
    • Geology
    • New Astronomy
    • Bulletin of Volcanology
    • Quaternary Research
    • Science (among the front matter resources are short, non-scientific, BRIEF descriptions of current research fronts, news about projects and programs)
    • Nature (among the front matter resources are short, non-scientific, BRIEF descriptions of current research fronts, news about projects and programs)
  •  Popular, News and General Interest Magazines
    • Earth
    • Astronomy
    • GSA Today
    • Scientific American
    • Natonal Geographic


  • Scholarly and Research Journals

    Original research, experimentation reports and substantial review articles. Typically peer reviewed or refereed. The UB Libraries Resources by Subject site provides individual subject librarians' compilations of databases that are the basic finding tools for journal articles.

  • Trade Publications

Trade Publications are usually produced by professional or trade associations in specific fields and are written for members of the profession and are also used for the cross disciplinary exchange of news, information, resources, and ideas. Articles are written by members of the profession or by specialized scientific or technical writers with expert knowledge about the field of interest. These are excellent current awareness publications with book reviews, research summaries and extensive product descriptions and advertisements. provides a lengthy list of SUBSCRIPTION-FREE Trade Magazines.

  • Popular, News and General Interest Magazines

    Short articles or news bites on current topics of general interest for broad audiences. Often 2 nd or 3 rd hand information from original sources. Not peer reviewed.


  • Scholarly and Research Journals

    Assume familiarity with the terminology of the discipline. In depth articles, several pages in length.

  • Popular, News and General Interest Magazines

    Written for a general educated audience. Very short paragraphs or articles.


  • Scholarly and Research Journals

    Scholars and Researchers. Author's credentials given.

  • Popular, News and General Interest Magazines

    Staff or freelance journalists, some subject knowledge. Rarely lists author's credentials.


  • Scholarly and Research Journals

    Footnotes and references, often extensive documentation.

  • Popular, News and General Interest Magazines

    Sources rarely cited.


  • Scholarly and Research Journals

    Universities, research institutes, scholarly presses, and professional organizations.

  • Popular, News and General Interest Magazines

    Commercial publishers.


  • Scholarly and Research Journals

    Graphs, charts,photographs, and tables. Some scholarly journals are providing direct links for creating PowerPoint (PPT) slides from graphics with complete citation data as part of the download.

  • Popular, News and General Interest Magazines

    Many illustrations and photographs. Often slick high glossy issues.


  • Scholarly and Research Journals

    None or selective advertising.

  • Popular, News and General Interest Magazines

    Many ads.

Thinking Critically About The WWW

Some Important Web Facts

  • Any person or organization can publish information on the Web
  • Web pages are not organized
  • Most books and scholarly periodicals have been edited and evaluated by their publishers, while Web pages are not evaluated by the search engines which index them. Even subject directories which have been "organized" into categories by people, are rarely critically evaluated for content
  • Web sources can change on a day to day basis, adhering to a "Here today, gone tomorrow" concept

Basic Web Evaluation Techniques

  • Always check to see if the web site has a discernable author. Unlike books and periodicals Web sites often do not list the creator of the pages. If you come across a Web page that has information about your topic but does not have an author, it is highly recommended that it not be used as a source for your assignment.
  • Pay close attention to the URL and domain name of a Web site. The URL or Uniform Resource Locator is the "address" of the Web site, while the domain name ( .com, .gov, etc..) is used in the URL to identify the source or purpose of the Web site. For example:

    .gov - Government agencies
    .edu - Educational institutions
    .org - Organizations (nonprofit)
    .mil - Military
    .com - Commercial business
    .net - Network organizations

    It is recommended that you avoid using .com sites for scholarly research and instead try to stick sites with .edu, .gov, and .org domains. However, if you are looking for company information, product literature, or services available from corporate or business entitites, the .com is the proper domain to use.

    When browsing .edu sites pay attention to Web pages with the ~ (tilde) after the .edu ; this is a usually an indication that it is an individual homepage of a student or faculty member of a university.

For example:

  • Be sure to check the date of the last time the Web page was modified.
    If you are unable to find any date for the page, it is highly recommended that it not be used as a cited source for your assignment