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GEO 616: Library Databases

This guide is intended to assist students in Dr. James Leonard's graduate-level course.

Library Research

The databases below can be accessed on-campus or off-campus using your MUNet Username (typically your last name followed by a number or numbers) and MUNet password as verification. These resources are not freely available to just anyone-- they are specifically provided to you as Marshall University students. To access them, you can either click on the green database names below, or, you can view the entire library database list at

(Reminder: if you are signing in for the first time today, and/or are signing in off-campus, you will be asked to enter your MUNet Username and password.)

Peer-Reviewed Sources

In some library databases, there is an option to narrow your search results to peer-reviewed only. These are scholarly sources that have undergone an extra level of authenticity by being approved regarding the content: Is the research up-do-date? Is it contributing something to the field? Is it presenting all sides? If not, is it at least acknowledging the lack? Are the structure and citations correctly formatted? 

ScienceDirect Database (link below) - you may notice there is no way to narrow your search results to peer-reviewed in the ScienceDirect database. That is because all of the articles contained in ScienceDirect are already peer-reviewed. 

Expert tip: look for any options to narrow down your search to scholarly or peer-reviewed only. Typically, this option is located on the left side, the right side of a search page, or at the top or bottom. Sometimes, you will need to look for and click on the Advanced Search option to find this. Sometimes, though, it is simply not available as an option. 

Full-text Database versus Index or Abstracts

GeoRef (link below) is a database that is listed as an index, meaning sometimes there are no full-text versions of the articles, only abstracts or citation information. These types of databases act as a portal for discovering articles on a given topic, and there will be links such as "Access Full Text" or "Find Full Text" (if the full text is available, there will be a "Download PDF" option). Sometimes, these full text links will open a different database in a new window. Once there, you may need to search for the title of the article you are looking for. Oceanic Abstracts (link below) is very similar in that the database has very few full text options and primarily provides the abstracts only, allowing you to discover published materials without always having immediate access to the full text. It is also similar to GeoRef in that many of the entries to provide links to access the full text in another MU Library-owned database,

Geography & Earth Sciences

Geography & Earth Sciences

Geography & Earth Sciences