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Ocean and Earth Science: Postgraduate Research

Subject guide for oceanography and earth science.


On this page you will find information about the induction sessions and training for Postgraduate Research /PhD students. 

PhD students (PGR) induction

PhD students (PGR) induction - Welcome to the library!

Watch the recording of the presentation (generic)

Slides from Live online session 1 October 2021

Watch our short video for a quick overview of your Subject guide

If you need help with the library or any of our resources don't hesitate to get in contact with us using one of the following ways:


If you need help with the library resources or academic or research skills see some of the training we have on offer:


Linkedin Learning

Also, you have access to LinkedIn Learning which is an on-line library of business, software skills, technology and creative courses to which all staff and students at the University have free access. It includes courses on:-

  • R - statistical processing language
  • SPSS - statistics and data analysis programme
  • ArcGIS - create and manage maps, data and analytical models
  • Linux Command Line
  • MATLAB - create programs to model data and hypotheses
  • Excel
  • Over 16,000 courses!

Log on and start learning here: LinkedIn Learning


Doctoral College

The University of Southampton’s Doctoral College co-ordinates a range of skills training and personal development opportunities for doctoral researchers, designed to complement the training delivered at academic discipline level. See the details of training and professional development on their PGR Handbook website - Doctoral College training

Using the literature databases

Your library subscribes to a wide range of literature databases which allow you to search for journal articles which are specifically relevant to your subject. This is helpful when you want to find information your the literature review section of your Thesis or to help you solve a problem in you research.

Why use the literature databases?

  • They save your time
  • They have searching features and filtering options that Google cannot compete with
  • They are focused on subject areas
  • They have content which is not openly available on the internet and you can click to access articles from our subscription journals

Explore the home page and databases section of this subject guide to discover the literature databases recommended for Ocean and Earth Science students and staff.

Further training


Using Google and Google Scholar to find literature for your research

These can be good starting points for your research, but remember:

  • Don't just use Google/ or Google Scholar, it is only one of your search tools. 
  • The literature databases on our subject guide will get you to good quality, peer reviewed information and you can filter the results to focus on what you need much quicker that working through all the pages from your Google search.
  • Prepare your search - have a search strategy ready.
  • Not all information is publicly available on the internet or freely available, much of the content of journals or ebooks will only be available to subscribers. If you find something that looks useful for your Thesis but you are being asked to pay for it check if we have access though the library. If we don't have it in our collections consider using our Inter-Library Loan service to source it for you.
  • Critically evaluate the information that you find on the internet, is it from a trustworthy source?
  • More tips on Getting the best from Google [University of Bedfordshire].


Looking for an article when the Library doesn't subscribe to the journal

Articles can be made open access (OA) on a journals website (this means they are gold OA) or via institutional and subject repositories (making them green OA, often involving an embargo set by the journal).

There are tools available to locate open access material whether it is available as gold via the journals website or green via an institutional or subject repository.

  • Interlibrary loan: if you can’t find a legal open access version, use the library interlibrary loan service and we will find a copy for you, often within 24 hours and free of charge. Please do not spend your own money, or grant money, on journal articles.
  • Unpaywall, OA Button and CORE Discovery (in beta) are all Chrome extensions that find legal open access copies of individual articles from both publishers and repositories.
  • EndNote Click (formerly Kopernio): a Chrome extension that finds articles from our library subscriptions and open access versions.
  • Google: if you find an article that is behind a paywall, try copy & pasting the article title into a search engine. If there is a copy in a repository it will often display on the first page of search results. 
  • Institutional and subject repositories for Ocean and Earth Science.


Keeping track of what you have read and organising your pdfs

Referencing software and apps allow you to collect and organise citations, references and pdf files from your literature search. You can use them to insert formatted references and citations in whichever style you choose into your document,.

EndNote is fully supported in the University. There are also free alternatives that you can explore for yourself, including Mendeley, Zotero and BibTex. See our webpage to find out more about Referencing software

Data management Plan (DMP)

  • Required for all PhDs
  • Your DMP will help you organise your data, files and research notes during your PhD and enable your data to be reused in the future.
  • Find lots of advice and guidance on our Research Data Management webpage

Find more information for researchers on our web guide including help with Thesis, Open Access and article processing charges.


For a fun way to explore the Library website test yourself with our Library Treasure hunt!

Library Online Treasure Hunt