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GEOL 360: Fundamentals of the Lithosphere: Searching the Literature: Online Sources

FInding credible information online

A lot of geologic information is shared online, it's up to you to determine whether that information is credible.  A few things to think about include:

  • Who is responsible for the information on the site? What is their background?
    • Be wary of sites that are not up front about who is creating their content and what their background is.
  • Where did the information come from? Was is created by the owners of the website? Did it come from elsewhere?
    • If the information comes from other sources, can you get to the original source?

A few good places to start are federal and state government sites, professional geological societies, and university geology labs.

Government Sources

Geoscience Organizations

University geology departments

Geology and Earth Science departments at universities often have great information on their websites.  You will sometimes come across student papers, so remember to pay attention to who is responsible for the content you are reading.

It would be too much to link to every geology department and lab.  For some countries, you can search for geology information only at universities by doing a google search and adding site: and then the top-level domain for universities to the end of your search. Not all countries have a specific domain for colleges and universities.

Domains for universities in selected countries (see the second-level domain .edu and .ac lists on Wikipedia for more):

  • Australia: site:.edu.au
  • China: site:.edu.cn (for educational institutions); site:.ac.cn (for research institutions)
  • Mexico: site:.edu.mx
  • New Zealand: site:.ac.nz
  • Spain: site:edu.es
  • UK: site:.ac.uk
  • USsite:.edu   

Example Google search: 

earthquake site:.ac.nz

will find websites at New Zealand universities about earthquakes

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Karen Brunner
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