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Introducing Campus Library Services and Collections for Geoscientists

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you tell me about the Geology Library's collection? expand_more

The C. K. Leith Library of Geology and Geophysics covers all major areas of geoscience. In its print collection, it consists of over 100,000 books, journals, state, federal and foreign survey publications, as well as a significant number of maps.

What about other libraries on campus? expand_more

The Geology Library is part of a larger campus library network which includes Steenbock, an agricultural/life sciences library, Memorial Library, UW-Madison’s central library which focuses on the humanities and social sciences, as well as numerous other special libraries focusing on a variety of disciplines.

When are campus libraries open? expand_more

The libraries’ Locations page lists operating hours and also allows the user to filter campus libraries by feature. Please keep in mind that at this particular time, libraries have more limited hours, and either they may not be open, or are open for certain services by appointment only. For further information, generally, on Libraries by Appointment for Collection Access, see here. For more on Geology’s services by Appointment, see Fall 2020 updates for Geology.

How do I search for materials? expand_more

You can use the Library Catalog to search for print and electronic materials in UW-Madison’s libraries, as well in libraries across the UW System. Keep in mind the Catalog’s Advanced Search features for more precise or fine-tuned searches.

How do I check out materials? expand_more

In general, you can check out campus library items, including Geology’s, from the Library Catalog using the Pickup by Appointment service. Using this service, you can pickup items at Memorial Library or Steenbock Library, with an appointment. (Note that some items in the catalog are not able to be circulated.) Also, at a Library you have accessed using an Appointment for In-Person Collection Access, you may be able to directly check out that Library’s material at that time, as well.

How do I return library materials? expand_more

At present, Memorial Library, Steenbock Library, and College Library are the only campus libraries accepting returns. Please return all material, including Geology material, to one of those three libraries.

Can we get material from off-campus? expand_more

Available UW System library materials (items from other UW campuses) can be requested via the Library Catalog to be delivered to campus, and picked up using the Pickup by Appointment service.

In addition, Interlibrary Loan services are very limited for physical item requests for materials from outside of the UW System. In general, requests for digital scans of print materials are easier to accommodate. For more information, see here.

How do I best search for geoscience articles? expand_more

If you’re looking for an item for which you already have a citation, start with the Geology Library’s E-Journals list. If the journal you seek is not on this list, then try the Library Catalog for a broader search. When researching articles on specific topics, we can recommend several databases: GeoRef is the best database for searching geoscience literature including theses, conference proceedings and government publications. To augment your GeoRef searching, we can also recommend the broader databases, Scopus and Web of Science.

What is available from the Geology Library website? expand_more

The Geology Library maintains a website of useful links to services, databases and resources. One primary resource featured on the website is a collection of links to many common online geoscience journals. When looking for an item for which you have a citation, using these links can sometimes be more direct than using the Library Catalog or other access methods.

Can I use theses completed in the Geoscience Department? expand_more

An additional resource in the Geology Library is our collection of over 1300 theses. All of our library’s Master’s and doctoral theses circulate.  Some theses are also available online from Proquest Dissertations. In addition to searching the Library Catalog, you can also browse and sort a list of theses completed in the last 20 years here.

What should I know about citation managers and ORCID? expand_more

We recommend choosing a citation manager early in your graduate career to assist with organizing articles you use or may cite in future research projects. Detailed advice on selecting and using managers is available here. Please ask us if you need assistance with citation managers or citation styles. 

We also recommend registering an ORCID ID, early in your graduate career in order to increase discoverability of your future research output.

How can I learn more on using library services? expand_more

Your Geology Library staff are available to assist with a variety of information needs, from reference and library research questions to help with citations, scholarly communications, and accessing hard-to-find materials. (Note that at present, the Geology Library can be reached via email, but not by phone). Please feel free to contact us. In general, please consider us as a resource to guide you in accessing the larger library community.