UCB Libraries


Subject Guide for Geo Ref

This guide will teach you how to search GeoRef, a database that contains references to geoscience journals, books, maps, theses, and all publications from the U.S. Geological Survey. Coverage for North America goes back to 1669, and worldwide coverage goes back to 1933.


  • Getting to GeoRef
  • Searching in GeoRef
  • Getting to Articles in GeoRef


The fastest way to get to GeoRef is to search using the Chinook Catalog at the top of the page. Simply type in "GeoRef" and then hit the "Search" button. On the next page, look for GeoRef, and click on the "Go tothis resource" link, as illustrated below.


Like any database, the best way to search GeoRef is to begin with a broad search and then use the tools availible to narrow the search results to the items (articles, maps, books, etc.) to only those you need. GeoRef has a set of highly specific "descriptors" included in the record of any item. Once you locate one relevant item, you can then use the descriptors at the bottom of the record to find other similar items that might not have shown up in your original keyword search. The video below demonstrates this technique.


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Articles in GeoRef may not be available in full-text, but you can still access them using library resources that are linked from inside GeoRef by using the "Find it at CU" link.


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