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Subject guides: Earth Sciences

Earth Sciences section

Welcome to the UCL Library Services earth sciences subject guide. The content is regularly revised and feedback or suggestions are welcomed. The print collections are described below, also covered are:

Regular training sessions on electronic library resources are held in the Library. For details see Information Skills Training. Individual training sessions on specific databases and other electronic resources can be arranged on request.

WISE for Built Environment, Engineering, Maths and Physical Sciences is a comprehensive online guide to finding and using information effectively. Go to UCL Moodle, and log in with your UCL userid and password. Click on WISE and select Built Environment, Engineering, Maths and Physical Sciences to start the course.

Printed collections

The Earth Sciences collection is on the 3rd floor of the Science Library in the GEOLOGY book collection. There may be relevant material elsewhere in the Science Library.

Book collections
The GEOLOGY collection is divided into several sections. Some important ones are as follows:

GEOLOGY A - introductions to geology
GEOLOGY B - dynamic and structural geology, including geophysics and geochemistry
GEOLOGY C - geomorphology, including oceanography
GEOLOGY D - mineralogy
GEOLOGY E - petrology
GEOLOGY F - economic geology
GEOLOGY G - historical geology and stratigraphy
GEOLOGY H - palaeontology
GEOLOGY I - planetary geology

Some of the other sections of the Library you might need are:

PHYSICS (Science Library, 3rd floor)

CHEMISTRY (Science Library, 3rd floor)

ENGINEERING (Science Library, 4th floor)

Use Explore to find the exact class mark (shelf location) of a book.

Journal collections
The library holds both print and electronic journals (periodicals). Journals cannot be borrowed but may be photocopied, subject to copyright. Earth science journals that we keep on site are in the GEOSCIENCES Pers section on the third floor of the Science Library. The PHYSICAL SCIENCES Pers section, also on the third floor of the Science Library, covers chemistry and physics, and may include relevant material. Older journals and those which are available electronically are held in the library Store. Journal volumes held in the library store can be requested via the Store Request Form.

Use Explore to search for journals the library has access to (select UCL journals in the resource list). Explore also allows you to search for articles within some journals (select Journals articles). Contents of journals can also be searched via indexes and abstracts.

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Electronic collections

Material in electronic form is available to registered members of UCL. Users are advised to access these resources via the links from the UCL Library website. If you are off-site, you will be prompted for your UCL userid and password.

Indexes and abstracts
The following are relevant to Earth Sciences. For a complete list of databases available at UCL, see the A-Z list.

  • GeoRef : the American Geological Institute's database. GeoRef contains over 2 million records and covers geological literature from North America from 1785 and the rest of the world from 1933.
  • GEOBASE : covers human and physical geography, ecology, geology, oceanography and geomechanics back to 1980.
  • Earthquake Engineering Abstracts : indexes and abstracts of all major journals that publish significant earthquake engineering research.
  • Web of Science (Science Citation Index) : indexes over 6000 science journals from 1981 onwards. The Web of Science help pages offer useful tips on effective search strategies.
  • SCOPUS : multi-disciplinary database containing references to journal articles, conference proceedings, trade publications, book series and web resources. For further information see the SCOPUS online tutorials.

Other databases, which may be of use are:

  • Digimap - Geology Digimap : provides online access to geological maps and data from the British Geological Survey. Individual registration is required.
  • Digimap - Marine Digimap : provides online access to view and download hydrographic and marine data from SeaZone Solutions Limited. Two datasets: Hydrospatial (in ESRI and MapInfo formats) and Charted Raster (GeoTiff format) are available. Individual registration is required.
  • Knovel : an interactive database and ebook provider containing full-text science and engineering publications and including tables, graphs and equations which can be manipulated and exported.
  • Treatise on Geochemistry : an online encyclopaedia covering all disciplines and topics in the field of geochemistry.

MetaLib can display a full list of indexing & abstracting services. For further information see our online guide.

Electronic journals
To look for a specific title, go to the A-Z list from the Library's Metalib pages. Earth Science titles can be browsed by selecting the subject tab from the same page.

Journal titles can be searched for using Explore (select UCL journals in the resource list). Explore also allows you to search for articles within some journals (select Journals articles).

Exam papers
E versions of past exam papers can be found by searching here. Paper copies of exam papers for the current year for all Main and Science Library subjects are shelved in the Photocopying Room of the Main Library. Older papers are available in printed format and are kept in Stores. These can be requested by clicking here.

Other Internet resources

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Other libraries

The Natural History Museum Library has excellent collections in relevant subject areas and is open by appointment to bona fide researchers.

The Senate House Library in Malet Street has some relevant collections. Any registered member of UCL can join the Library and borrow from there.

The British Library is a useful resource and all UCL staff and students can apply directly for reference access. You will need to bring indentification showing proof of address (e.g. utility bill), proof of signature (e.g. driving licence) and proof of student or research status (UCL ID card) in order to obtain a reader's pass.

See UCL's guide to using Other Libraries for more information.

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Contact details

The library contact for this subject is Robert Tomaszewski, based in Room 314 of the Science Library. Tel: extension 32634 or 020 7679 2634. Please contact for any questions regarding the collections and library resources or to arrange individual training sessions.

Alternatively, you can email lib-sciteam@ucl.ac.uk.

See the Science Library blog: Library news for Science and Engineering: to keep up to date with new resources, events and library news.

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Last modified 17 September 2012

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