GeoRef on the Web
NOTE: There is also a PowerPoint presentation that covers the key points (but not all) of this guide.
Viewing Search Results
Editing Your Search
Printing/Downloading/Emailing Search Results
Automatically Run Your Search Every Week
Obtaining the Article or Publication Found in GeoRef
GeoRef is the most comprehensive index to the literature of geology and earth sciences. Published by the American Geosciences Institute, GeoRef covers all aspects of geology from 1669 to the present for North America and 1933 to the present for the rest of the world. Containing over 3.3 million records, GeoRef indexes journal articles, books, maps, conference papers, reports and theses. It also includes references to all publications of the U.S. Geological Survey. Masters' theses and doctoral dissertations from U.S. and Canadian universities are also covered. To maintain the database, GeoRef editor/indexers regularly review more than 3,500 journals in 40 languages as well as new books, maps, and reports. See the GeoRef Factsheet for more details about the database structure.
HSU Library subscribes to GeoRef
through Ei Engineering Village. In
addition to the information contained in this guide, you may get help for
the Ei Engineering Village version by clicking on H
Note that each part or field of the record is identified and you may specify which field you wish to search.
The Quick Search is the default in searching GeoRef. See Quick Search Overview for more information. HSU Library also has a general tutorial on searching databases, Research Roadmap: Searching, which you may find helpful.
Suggested steps to searching are:
- Click on Articles & Databases under Research Tools on the HSU Library's home page (http://library.humboldt.edu). Select Geology from the list of subjects and then select GeoRef from the "Highly Recommended" section of the page.
If you are using a computer from off-campus, you will be prompted for authentication information. Enter your campus web email login and password. Click "Submit Query" and you should be able to get into GeoRef. For more information, watch our video: Access the Library Databases from Off-Campus.
The Quick Search screen appears below:
- Type your search term(s) into the search boxes. Searches are case insensitive so you do not need to use capital letters (upper case). Terms are automatically stemmed, except in the AUTHOR field. If you type sediment, you will search any term that begins with "sediment" unless you turn autostemming off. You may also use the asterisk (*) as a truncation symbol to cover variations. For example, sediment* would search for any word beginning with the root sediment (sedimentary, sedimentation, sediments, etc.). If you need help in developing search terms, you may use the Thesaurus Search tab or Browse Indexes links to the right of the search screen.
- Choose where you want your search term(s) to appear from the
- You may limit your search by document type (journal article, etc) and/or language by using the pulldown menus.
- Choose the date range you want searched using the pulldown lists. The default is 1785 - present for North America, 1933 - present for rest of the world. If you want to limit your search to the last 1, 2, 3 or 4 weeks, use the pulldown menu.
- Click on the button to begin your search.
If you enter multiple words into one search box (e.g., fluvial sedimentation) and enclose them with quotation marks, they will be searched for as a phrase.
If you wish to combine terms using the connectors AND, OR, NOT, you may use the pulldown menu between the rows OR you may add and, or, not between the terms in a single search box (e.g., fluvial fan* and clastic rock*). If you need more information on connectors (aka Boolean operators), see Using Boolean Operators or AND, OR, NOT (Boolean Operators).
Please note: You can add rows to the search form by clicking on the Add Search Field link.
Choose the Subject/Title/Abstract option if you wish to search the title, abstract (summary), and index terms (AKA subject headings) simultaneously. The All fields option searches the entire record. If you wish to search a specific field or portion of the record, choose the desired field from the pulldown list.
If you find the Quick Search screen to be too limiting, you may use the Expert Search option. To access the Expert Search screen, click on the tab at the top of the search screen. You may search using Boolean Operators, Proximity Operators, and Field Codes.
After you input your search on the Quick Search or Expert Search form, click on the button. Your search results will appear as seen below. This search was for information on stream sediment in Humboldt County, California.
If you wish to see the abstract (summary) and index terms (subject headings), click on the Abstract link under each citation. If you wish to see the complete record including all fields, click on the Detailed link following each citation. You may also change the format of the results page to automatically show the abstract or complete record by clicking on the Abstract or Detailed record radio buttons at the top of the listing.
Note the Refine Results options on the left side of the Results List. You may Limit to or Exclude any geographic term, author, author affiliation, document type, source title, etc. in the listings under the arrows. Simply check the box next to the item you wish to limit to or exclude and click the Limit to or Exclude button. You may add a new term by typing it in the box below the buttons.
Even the best designed searches don't always give you the results you want so you may have to edit your search. Simply click on the Edit link above the Results Screen and your original search will appear. You may then edit the terms in the search boxes. If you wish to start over, use the button to give you blank search boxes.
Click on the Create Alert link at the top of the Results screen after doing your search if you wish to have it run automatically every week. OR go to your Search History (link is also at the top of the screen) and click on the Add Email Alert link which follows your preferred search statement. (All searches conducted during the current session will be listed on the Search History and you can choose your desired search from the list.) Enter your email address and password, then click 'Login'. If you are a new user to 'Alerts', then click on Register Now to create a personal profile. Any new search results (up to 25) will be sent to you each week. See Creating an email alert for more information.
Once you have viewed the list of results (citations) and/or the complete record(s), select (mark) the records you want to keep by clicking on the check box to the left of each citation or record. Then click on the icons for Email, Print, Download, or Save to Folder and choose which options you want. For more information, see the Email/Print/Download help page.
The first step is to see if HSU Library owns the title by clicking on the button near each search result and the SFX page that appears will have a link to full text availability of that publication.
If there is no full text available from the SFX page, you may check the HSU Library Catalog for books, reports, dissertations, and other items that are not considered to be serial in nature. You should also use the Journal and Newspaper Finder, a searchable guide to the 15,000 journals, magazines, newspapers and other serials accessible online (fulltext) as well as to the 13,000 print periodicals & serials in HSU Library. The Journal and Newspaper Finder has been enhanced with common periodical abbreviations. You can search an abbreviation, e.g., jacs, and retrieve Journal of the American Chemical Society.
If you have a full reference to an article that includes at least the year, volume, issue and starting pages of your article, you may use the Citation Linker to locate it if the Journal and Newspaper Finder indicates that the full text of the journal is available in electronic format for the date(s) of interest.
Remember that most government documents prior to 1998 are not listed in the Library Catalog. If you wish to find a government document, consult the guides: How to Find Federal Documents in the HSU Library and How to Find California Documents in the HSU Library. You may also ask a reference librarian for assistance at the Research Help Desk on the first floor (hours) or in the Humboldt Room, room 308 (hours).
If the HSU Library does not have the item, you may place an Interlibrary loan (ILL) request. See Interlibrary Loan Policies & Guidelines and/or watch our captioned video Using Interlibrary Loan for more information. Requests may be placed by logging on to the Interlibrary Loan System. There are also links to the ILL System from pages when the HSU Library doesn't have full text. This process can take as long as TWO WEEKS for books and ONE WEEK for articles so it is a good idea to begin your research early.