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GEOL 310: Professional Practices in Geology

Getting Started Step-by-Step:

The first library session will get you off to a good start on your projects, but you will still need to use the library and its many resources to find more information.

Follow these steps to find what you need:

1)   Look for articles on your topic

  • Click on the Finding Articles tab for the "Best Bets" databases to use to find relevant articles.
  • An additional list includes more databases to search if you need to investigate your topic further.
  • See the link to finding literature reviews for background information on your topic.
  • Information on using Interlibrary Loan is also found here.


  • Helpful Tip! THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!  Be sure to go to the "Document Type" limiter and choose "More options" so that you are able to exclude "Abstracts Only" to remove proceedings abstracts from your search.
  • You can also use the limit function to restrict your results to "Scholarly Journals."
  • Limiting to "Peer Reviewed" will reduce the results even more.
  • Use "Recent Searches" to view previously used search strings.


  • Helpful Tip! Click on "Peer reviewed" under the "Limit to:" option to get articles from peer-reviewed journals.
  • You can also limit to the "Natural Science Collection" (which includes ProQuest's Earth Science Collection) by selecting from the list of "Databases:" at the bottom of the search screen.

2)   Identify other information

  • Click on the Identifying Other Sources tab for links to Ebooks, a list of relevant websites, and information on gray literature.
  • Take a look at the Evaluating Sources links on the page for ways to determine credibility of a website or other source.

3)   Write in a scientific / technical style and cite your sources

  • Click on the Writing and Citing Sources tab to check out links to Geology (GSA) Guide for Authors, Style, and References Cited examples.
  • See the guide to writing in a scientific style.

4)   Use RefWorks to create your list of references

  • Click on Using RefWorks for information on how to use RefWorks.
  • Virtually all of the citations to books and articles found in the library's resources can be exported to RefWorks.
  • Additional links on the page will take you to helpful RefWorks tutorials.