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Geological Sciences

Primary Sources

Primary sources are materials that are eyewitness accounts or as close to the original source as possible.

Qualitative data:

What people say.
They are usually speeches, interviews and conversations, and they may be captured in videos, audio recordings, or transcribed into text.

  • What people write. 
    These include Autobiographies, Memoirs, Personal Journals and Diaries, Letters, Emails, Blogs, Twitter Feeds, etc.
  • Images and Videos
  • Maps
  • Government Documents-- U.S., rest of world
  • Laws, court cases and decisions, treaties
  • Newspapers

Quantitative data:

  • Statistics and data
  • Polls and public opinion

Secondary Resources

Secondary sources are interpretations and analysis based on primary sources.

For example, an autobiography is a primary source while a biography is a secondary source.

Typical secondary sources include:

  • Scholarly Journal Articles.  Use these and books exclusively for writing Literature Reviews
  • Magazines
  • Reports
  • Encyclopedias
  • Handbooks
  • Dictionaries
  • Documentaries
  • Newspapers

First Stop: OneSearch

OneSearch is a single search interface that allows patrons to simultaneously search several article databases, catalogs, and other data sources for books, journal articles, videos, scores, maps, and more! Use the limiters available in advanced search to limit your search to journal articles only.

Note, users must sign in to their library account in order to access electronic resources remotely.


Second Stop: Individual Journal Databases specifically helpful to the Geological Sciences


Third Stop: Online Journal Access

It is possible to go directly to online academic journal subscriptions at CWU Libraries using this link and utilizing the Search option. Here are just a sampling of geological science journals available online via Brooks Library.

Fourth Stop: Theses and Dissertations

CWU has a collection of masters'theses available for circulation. Hard bound copies are located, alphabetically by author's last name, on the curved shelves of the 2nd floor student commons. Electronic versions are available through our institutional repository.

Theses and dissertations from other institutions are often available via interlibrary loan.

Fifth stop: Google Scholar

There is a possible compromise between using Google or OneSearch: Google Scholar. If you use it, you can customize it to show you items that are available through the CWU library. Follow the steps below to do this:

1. Navigate to Google Scholar and log in with your Google credentials (if you have them) in the upper right:

2. Select the list icon in the upper left:

3. Select Settings:

4. Select Library Links:

5. Type in "Central Washington University" and hit save. You may have to turn on cookies to save the settings: