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GeoRef on ProQuest

About GeoRef 1785-present

GeoRef contains citations for over 3,500 journals plus numerous conference papers, theses, and other publications in the fields of geology, geophysics, and paleontology. Citations cover the years 1785-present for geology of North America and the years 1933-present for geology of other areas worldwide. "GeoRef in Process" contains records that are in the process of being indexed (Not necessarily published recently).

How to Access GeoRef

  1. Go to the Bioscience Library home page
  2. Select Bibliographic Databases.
  3. Scroll down to see GeoRef & click on it.

Author Searching

Under Search Tools (top), click on the Indexes tab. Use the "index" pulldown menu to select the Author index. Enter the surname, comma, and first initial if known.
(e.g. padian, k ) then click the Go button. On the results screen, check all the boxes representing all possibilities for your author. Use the "Previous" and "Next" links in order to continue browsing through the index.  Once you have selected all possibilities, click the SEARCH button on the left side.

Subject Searching

There are two ways of conducting a subject search, by keyword and by the thesaurus.

Keyword Search

Type keywords into the search box.  Note: multiple words entered in one search box will be searched as a phrase unless they are separated by the appropriate Boolean operators AND, OR, or NOT.  Please see the examples on the next page.

Thesaurus Search

Use the thesaurus to select more precise search terms (descriptors) or to look for related terms.

  1. Click on the Thesaurus link under the "Search Tools" tab (top)
  2. Type search term in the box.
  3. Select the type of search (e.g. thesaurus, rotated index, alphabetical list). The rotated index will show you all instances where a term appears in the thesaurus.   Once you click on a term listed in the rotated index or alphabetical list, you are in the thesaurus.
  4. Click the "Go" button.
  5. Click on the term to see broader, narrower and related terms. To view narrower terms, click on the term which has a "+" after it.

To search for records with the desired descriptors:

  1. Click on the checkbox in front of the term.  If selecting more than one term choose the type of search to conduct (e.g. Use OR for synonyms to broaden a search)
  2. Click on the SEARCH button (left).

Combining Searches

The "Combine Searches" tab under "Search Tools" will list all of your current searches.  To combine them, type the search numbers in parentheses e.g. (#1 and #2) then click the "Search" button.

You can adjust your searches when necessary by using the following techniques:

To search for Use Example (note caps) Results
exact phrase   coral reefs coral reefs (in exactly that order)
variant endings of a word * compress* compression, compressed, compress, etc.
single-character variants ? wom?n women, woman
all words AND tree AND root tree and root required in every record
any word (synonyms) OR earthquake OR tremor

either earthquake or tremor will be in every record

one word but not another NOT fossil NOT avian non-avian fossils. BE CAREFUL! You will probably loose some relevant results
words near each other NEAR serpentine NEAR california serpentine and California are within 10 words of each other

Additional techniques and further explanations are available by clicking “help” at the top of the search screen.

Search Results:

Search results screen.
* If you have not marked any records, ProQuest will print, e-mail or save all the records currently being viewed.

** Use RefWorks to accumulate results from one search at a time.


From your results screen, click "Search Tools" tab (top) After you log in to a personal account for alerts, you will be presented with options to create an alert from the search. You will receive an email with new records when the database is updated.

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