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Geology Research Guide


  • Find Background Info
  • Find Books
  • Find Articles
  • Citing Sources

Find Background Info

Background sources, such as specialized encyclopedias and dictionaries, are an essential piece of the research process. They can help you:

  • Gather information about your topic and understand the scope of the research.
  • Locate reliable sources to clarify keywords.
  • Pinpoint important authors, texts, ideas, and key words about the research area. Knowing the primary phrases and concepts will help you a lot as you search library databases and online sources.

Credo Reference 

Credo Reference is multi-publisher collection of high-quality reference titles covering everything from the arts to astronomy, law to literature, and science to Shakespeare. Currently the collection contains over 162 titles taken from 36 different reference publishers, with plans to add more. Available titles also include a range of multimedia options including thousands of high-quality diagrams, photographs, maps and audio files. Credo hosts several books on topics in geology.

Search Credo Reference

Geology Books in Credo

Encyclopedia of Geology 

The Encyclopedia of Geology is an expansive collection of 340 articles each covering a different topic in geology. Articles intersect with other topics– like biology and chemistry– while remaining understandable to those inexperienced in geology.

Encyclopedia of Geology

The Handbook of Geoscience

The Handbook of Geoscience is an approachable handbook to the different areas in geology and their utilities for other fields such as physics, chemistry, and mathematics.

The Handbook of Geoscience

Encyclopedia of Paleontology 

The Encyclopedia of Paleontology contains 328 articles that focus on the skills and ideas needed to study paleontology.

Encyclopedia of Paleontology

Find Books

Print and e-Books are valuable sources for academic research. They will help you gain an overview of your topic and often contain in-depth information about the scholarship or history of research on a subject. Some books are written by single authors, while others include essays or chapters by multiple scholars within a discipline. Don’t let the length of books intimidate you because you don’t need to read them from cover to cover. Look at the table of contents and index to find the sections that are relevant to your work. 

Find Books Using GriffinSearch

GriffinSearch is a good starting place if you are looking for books, journal articles, films, and other materials available in the library. In addition to searching the Giovale Library catalog for physical materials, GriffinSearch finds e-books and articles from several of our databases. To get started, search by keyword or type in the title of a book here:

WorldCat

WorldCat lets you search for books, articles, videos, and other material that are available in libraries worldwide. If you are doing in-depth research on a topic and are considering requesting resources through Interlibrary Loan, WorldCat can help you discover resources that might not be in the Giovale Library collection.

Search WorldCat

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Interlibrary Loan is a service where patrons of one library can borrow books and other materials, and access journal articles that are owned by another library.

Explore Interlibrary Loan Materials

Utah Academic Library Consortium

Giovale Library participates in the Utah Academic Library Consortium (UALC) and Westminster College students have reciprocal circulation privileges at UALC partner libraries. Each UALC library has different circulation policies, but all require a current, valid, legal photo identification and proof of current enrollment at Westminster. Some libraries may also require other verification methods, so it is recommended that you contact the library you are interested in for details.

Explore the Consortium

Popular Titles and Featured Texts 

Rock Forming Minerals book cover

Rock Forming Minerals

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Geology of National Parks book cover

Geology of National Parks

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A System of Mineralogy book cover

A System of Mineralogy

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Atlas of Rock-Forming Minerals in Thin Section book cover

Atlas of the Rock-Forming Minerals in Thin Section

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Find Articles

The Giovale Library provides access to several subject databases that you can use to find journal articles on topics within a specific discipline or field of study. The databases listed on this page are those that are most useful for finding research published in geology. 

GriffinSearch

GriffinSearch is a good starting place if you are looking for books, journal articles, films, and other material available in the library. In addition to searching the Giovale Library catalog for physical materials, GriffinSearch finds e-books and articles from several of our databases.

Search GriffinSearch

Academic Search Ultimate 

Academic Search Ultimate is an interdisciplinary database. It contains academic and popular sources. Academic Search Ultimate provides full text and indexing for academic, social sciences, humanities, general science, education, and multi-cultural journals. 

Search Academic Search Ultimate 

Environmental Studies and Policy 

The Giovale Library addresses environmental concerns and research with coverage from journals and book reference content. Content includes articles relevant to biology, chemistry, and geology as well as environmental studies. 

Search Environmental Studies and Policy 

Science Direct: Health and Life Sciences (Elsevier) 

ScienceDirect is a leading full-text scientific database offering journal articles and book chapters. Journals are guided by eminent editorial boards and articles are rigorously peer-reviewed. Books on ScienceDirect cover 24 subject collections across disciplines such as biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, chemistry, clinical medicine, engineering and environmental science.  

Search Science Direct 

Citing Sources

Citing your sources helps you avoid plagiarism and shows that you’ve done research to become knowledgeable about your topic. Proper citations allow your readers to track down your sources and help them understand how your research is connected to the work of others in your field. On this page, you will find guides and tools to help you format citations, and you will learn about what constitutes plagiarism.

How to Cite Sources

With all of the many ways that you can plagiarize someone’s work, either accidentally or on purpose, how can you make sure that you’re citing your sources correctly each and every time? One way is to become familiar with reputable sources that will help you learn or confirm that how you are citing your source is correct.

PurdueOWL contains writing guides, grammatical rules, and citation help that will assist with many writing projects. They offer a detailed formatting guide for APA/IEEE which contains complete examples for just about any source you may use in footnotes/endnotes, in-text citations and reference lists. For ACM citation style, visit the ACM reference and formatting page.

Zotero is the ideal tool to gather, analyze, and document all of your sources. It is compatible with GriffinSearch and other library databases, allowing you to save citations and articles while you research. Visit the Zotero website to find out more, or stop by the library for some help getting started.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism means taking someone else’s work or ideas and trying to pass them off as your own. Plagiarism can either be intentional or unintentional, and even the most careful writer could accidentally plagiarize without fully knowing it. For example, did you know that it is plagiarism even if you misattribute a quote to the wrong author? Even if you cited the source and took care to put it in your bibliography, if the wrong person received credit for someone else’s work, it can still be considered plagiarism. Other forms of plagiarism include:

  • Copying and pasting someone else’s work and turning it in as your own
  • Using a quote from someone without giving them credit
  • Not putting a quotation in quotation marks
  • Changing a few words here and there, but keeping the main ideas of a sentence without giving credit to the original author
  • Copying pictures from Google or another website to use without saying where you found the image

Of course, all of these scenarios of potential plagiarism can be avoided by knowing how to properly cite your sources.