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Evaluating Websites

If you're searching for sources outside of RSU Libraries' resources, then you need to evaluate the sources you find to make sure they are reliable. When evaluating an online source, use the following questions from the CRAP test!

  • Currency - Is the source recent or too outdated for your topic?
  • Reliability - Is the source Primary? Secondary? Peer-reviewed? Balanced?
  • Authority - Does the source have an author? Is the author a subject expert?
  • Purpose - Does the information contain bias? Is the intent to inform, persuade, advertise, or entertain? 

Societies and Organizations


Data Sets


    Geochemistry of Rocks of the Oceans and Continents database, maintained by the Max Planck Institute.

  • The Planetary Data System (PDS)

    Archives and distributes scientific data from NASA planetary missions, astronomical observations, and laboratory measurements.

  • USGS National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC)

    Data on current and historical earthquakes.

  • National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC)

    United States government geophysical data.

  • DOE Data Explorer

    Data from the Department of Energy, including information on atmospheric radiation, climate-change, and radioactive elements.

  • Earth on AWS

    A collection of open geospatial data hosted on Amazon's web servers. Contains: Landsat 8, NEXRAD, SpaceNet, NAIP (National Agricultural Imagery Program), Digital Elevation Models, GDELT, NASA Earth Exchange, OpenStreetMap, Sentinel-2, DigitalGlobe Open Data Program, MODIS, Functional Map of the World, GOES, and UK Met Office Weather Forecasts



  • Society for Sedimentary Geology

    An international society dedicated to the dissemination of scientific information on sedimentology geology.

  • International Association of Sedimentologists

    Founded in 1952 to promote the study of sedimentology.

  • USGS Bedform Sedimentology Site

    Links for online sources pertaining to sedimentology.

  • International Commission on Stratigraphy

    The largest and oldest constituent scientific body in the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS). Its primary objective is to precisely define global units (systems, series, and stages) of the International Chronostratigraphic Chart that, in turn, are the basis for the units (periods, epochs, and age) of the International Geologic Time Scale; thus setting global standards for the fundamental scale for expressing the history of the Earth.


    The stratigraphy website from SEPM, the Society for Sedimentary Geology.

  • Online Guide to Sequence Stratigraphy

    Via the University of Georgia's Stratigraphy Lab.


  • Minerals Information

    Statistics and information on the worldwide supply of, demand for, and flow of minerals and materials essential to the U.S. economy, the national security, and protection of the environment.

  • American mineralogist crystal structure database

    An interface to a crystal structure database that includes every structure published in the American Mineralogists, The Canadian Mineralogist, European Journal of Mineralogy, and Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, as well as selected datasets from other journals.

  • USGS Mineral Resources Program

    Unbiased science and information to increase understanding of ore formation, mineral potential, production, consumption, and how minerals interact with the environment.

Natural Disasters

  • USGS Earthquake Hazards Program

    Relevant earthquake science and information knowledge for reducing deaths, injuries, and property damage from earthquakes through understanding of their characteristics and effects and by providing information and knowledge needed to mitigate these losses.

  • USGS Landslide Hazards

    Focused on reducing long-term losses from landslide hazards by improving our understanding of the causes of ground failure and suggesting mitigation strategies.

  • USGS Volcanoes Hazards Program

    Monitors and studies active and potentially active volcanoes, assesses their hazards, and conducts research on how volcanoes work.

  • How Volcanoes Work

    Describes the science behind volcanoes and volcanic processes.

  • National Hurricane Center

  • National Weather Service

    Marine weather, space weather, aviation weather, fire weather, hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, facts and figures, climate, forecast models, daily briefings

  • NOAA paleoclimatology

    Provides the paleoclimatology data and information scientists need to understand natural climate variability and future climate change.


  • Ocean Data Portal

    Provides infrastructure to integrate collections and inventories of marine data and allow for the directory, evaluation and access to data via web services to meet the needs of the whole ocean community.

  • National Oceanographic Data Center

    Comprehensive oceanic, atmospheric, and geophysical data.

  • USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program

    Coastal and ocean resources from shorelines and estuaries to the continental shelf and deep sea, providing expertise, tools, products, and data that address and inform a broad array of resource challenges facing our nation.

  • NOAA Marine Geology and Geophysics

    World data service for geophysics.

Arctic and Snow


  • Water resources of the United States

    Works with partners to monitor, assess, conduct targeted research, and deliver information on a wide range of water resources and conditions including streamflow, groundwater, water quality, and water use and availability.