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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 and 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 a multi-publisher collection of high-quality reference titles covering everything from the arts to astronomy, law to literature, and science to Shakespeare. 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

Rock Forming Minerals 

A seminal book in mineralogy. It covers hundreds of minerals, with details of their structure, chemistry, optical and physical properties, distinguishing features, and paragenesis.

Rock Forming Minerals

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 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 University 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 

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 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

Environmental Studies and Policy (Gale) 

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 (Gale) 

Science Direct: Health and Life Sciences (Elsevier) 

Science-Direct: Health and Life Sciences 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: Health and Life Sciences (Elsevier)

Citing Sources

Citation Resources

Properly citing your sources shows that you’ve done research to become knowledgeable about your topic and helps you avoid plagiarism. Explore citation resources to learn how to correctly cite sources based on style.

Need help with your research?

Get in touch with:

Emily Swanson headshot

Emily Swanson

Library Liaison for Geology


Schedule an Appointment

Librarians are happy to answer questions via email, phone, or in-person.

Contact Emily with a question or to schedule a research help appointment.

Faculty: Contact Emily to suggest edits to this research guide.

Chat with a Librarian

Use the chat box below to ask the library staff a question. If chat is unavailable or we don’t respond quickly, please use the email form on our Get Research Help page and a library staff member will contact you as soon as we are available.