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Environmental Geology - EARTHSCI 3345 - Gray: Home

Resources and search techniques for research in environmental geology.

Source Ideas

During class we'll work with our research teams to explore some source ideas.

Google Scholar


1. Use the Rod Library Google Scholar link. This will ensure that citations link to Rod Library subscriptions, and the library's Interlibrary Loan service if needed (that's free for UNI faculty, staff, and students). Alternatively, you can set up your Google Scholar account to link to Rod Library using the Settings > Library Links option. Use your UNI CatID when prompted.

2. Be specific with your keywords. Do some background research to determine the most effective search terms and/or combinations of search terms. Using scientific terms, for example, rather than general terms or slang, will usually mean better results when searching for scholarly sources.

Using the "Cited by" and "Related articles" links below each article can be very useful in gathering many relevant articles quickly. More search tips from Google Scholar are available here.

3. Use limiters. After searching, you'll see options on the left sidebar to limit by date and other criteria. You can also use the Google Scholar Advanced Search to see all limiter options as indicated on the Rod Library Google Scholar page. This allows searching by author, journal, etc.

4. Shop around. No single database has everything. To explore Rod Library subscription databases, see the Databases A-Z  list. See also subject guides created by Rod Library librarians.

Keep in mind that Google Scholar (and regular Google) only search the surface web, not the deep web (much larger than the surface web!) that can't be indexed by search engines.

5. Evaluate everything. Not all scholarly articles are created equal, and Google Scholar includes more than just scholarly articles. Consider the author and their credentials (including agencies/offices that collectively author sources), the publication itself (ie. journal), the research methodology, the date of publication, etc.

Want some one-on-one suggestions for your research?  Contact a librarian!  See contact information elsewhere on this guide or request a research consultation.


Multidisciplinary database that searches for articles, books, and media. Use Advanced Search for additional options & left sidebar of results page to limit.

Additional Databases

Government Resources

The following government resources may be helpful in your research. You can also limit Google search results to federal & state government websites by adding at the end of your search terms. Example: water quality

Iowa Resources

See Iowa resources above for EPA & U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In addition, these resources may be useful.

Your Librarian

Anne Marie Gruber's picture
Anne Marie Gruber
Office hours:
Mondays 1:30-3:30 next to McCollum 201;
Wednesdays 1:30-3:30 outside Sabin 235;
or by appointment

Office Hours

No appointment needed, but students with appointments will take priority. Stop by for research help:

Mondays, 1:30-3:30pm in McCollum lounge outside room 201;
Wednesdays 1:30-3:30pm in Sabin outside Social Work office 235

Finding Articles from a Citation

Timesaver Strategy!  Once you have found an article, borrow the citations to find more. Here's how:

If you found the article in OneSearch,

  • Use the Cited By box if provided. This will list articles cite the original article (use it as a source).
  • You can also use the Citations box if provided to see what sources are in the original article's bibliography.

In either case, use the links provided (Find Online if available through Rod Library subscriptions) to access each relevant article.

Or if you have citations for articles you want, search by journal title (not article title) in Rod Library Journals A to Z list.

Or if you have citations for articles you want, use the Rod Library Citation Linker to enter as much citation information as you know about an article you want.

If UNI doesn't own/subscribe to an article you need, feel free to request through Interlibrary Loan. If you need help with this process, see Anne Marie.


Many other databases provide links for cited and citing articles, as well as other relevant articles.