This guide covers search tools for research in topics related to topics for the term paper in ESCI 4104.

Search the Libraries for books, journals, articles, media and more.

Access to Library Databases

In these databases, you'll find books, articles, and reports related to your search terms. Use these instead of random Googling.

Scientific magazines

Look up your topic in these professional magazines...
  • Elements from the Geochemical Society
  • EOS from the American Geophysical Union
  • Geology Today from the Geologists' Association and the Geological Society of London


You can also look up your topic in these major journals...

  • Nature -- significant interdisciplinary journal that typically publishes major findings.
  • Science -- another significant interdisciplinary journal publishing major findings.
  • Geophysical Research Letters Important journal that covers most geoscience disciplines. From the American Geophysical Union.
  • Quaternary Science Reviews publish review articles (secondary sources) on current topics in quaternary science.
  • Annual Reviews are journals that publish review articles (secondary sources) on a wide variety of topics.
  • You can also search Web of Science or Scopus for a topic and filter results for review articles.

Basics of library research

Get as close to a primary source as possible.

If you start with a news article or a Wikipedia page, go to the original study if it's linked. Or look up the author who wrote it, if they're a scientist or scholar.

What counts as a primary source for this assignment?

New, original research in a reputable journal.

If you can't find an original source, look for a secondary source -- an authoritative analysis of a primary source.

  • Review articles
  • Textbooks
  • Dissertations

Use secondary sources or non-scholarly sources (like news articles) to trace back to primary sources. Don't stop until you get to a source by an EXPERT IN THE FIELD. 

  • Look up words, phrases, or concepts you don't know.
  • Find more information about the authors of the sources. Is it written by someone who does research in that field? What is their field/department? Is it written by a science writer, aka a journalist who reports on research?

How to read and understand scientific articles

Off-campus access information

Last Updated: Feb 25, 2021 1:46 PM