About the Geological Surveys Database

The Geological Surveys Database project is a collaborative effort between the American Geosciences Institute and U.S. state geological surveys to help increase the discoverability and use of geological survey publications.

The Geological Surveys Database includes publications from the state geological surveys and factsheets from the U.S. Geological Survey. The database is a hybrid bibliographic and full-text database, containing records that have either bibliographic information only or bibliographic and full-text information. For those records with full-text data, users have the ability to search both the bibliographic fields (i.e., title, author, notes, etc.) and also the entire text of the publications in order to find the information they are seeking.

Please note that the full-text information is stored in the database, but is not downloadable. Publications are not distributed through the Geological Surveys Database. Users can only access the publications by linking through to the publications where they exist on the state geological surveys websites, or in the case of USGS Factsheets, on the USGS factsheet publication page. Each publication record provides links to the full-text publication on the geological survey's website, a link to the geological survey's publications catalog, and if, available, a link to the publication's webpage on the geological survey's website.

Publications are added and updated on a weekly basis.

If you would like receive monthly updates about the database, please subscribe to Geological Surveys Database mailing list.


The Geological Surveys Database contains publications from state geological surveys and factsheets from the U.S. Geological Survey.

For more information about which state geological surveys have publications in the Geological Surveys Database, please visit the Geological Survey Websites page. Please note that the database is updated weekly with new publications.

The Geological Surveys Database includes only a subset of publications from the U.S. Geological Survey, specifically the USGS factsheet series. If you wish to search the entire set of U.S. Geological Survey publications, please visit the USGS Publications Warehouse at https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/.

Records are added to or updated in the Geological Surveys Database on a weekly basis. Metadata for new or updated records are first matched to corresponding bibliographic metadata from GeoRef and are supplemented with additional metadata from the state geological surveys if available. PDFs are processed for full-text indexing. Next the updated metadata and the full-text of the publications are loaded to the Geological Surveys Database and the corresponding records are then made available for searching.

Historical Context

The Critical Issues Research Database, the predecessor to the Geological Surveys Database, was the first product developed by AGI’s Critical Issues program in late 2013, providing full-text searching of geoscience-related publications. In 2014, the Critical Issues website (www.americangeosciences.org/policy-critical-issues) was developed as a compliment to the Critical Issue Research Database and both were integrated to provide a seamless set of webpages for users to browse and obtain information. The combined website and database were released as a soft launch in 2014, and then officially launched in early 2015.

Since 2015, the majority of the work on the Critical Issues Research Database was focused on loading new publications from the state geological surveys and from the U.S. Geological Survey. As of 2018, the Critical Issues Program’s Research Database contained just over 4,000 publications from state and federal agencies and AGI’s member societies. Over two-thirds of the publications were from state geological surveys. New publications were loaded to the database and links to the documents were maintained on a monthly basis.

Originally the scope of the Critical Issues Research database was restricted to “critical issues” topics and to publications that were published after 1985. However, after several years of web traffic analysis and some testing of content usage, the original topical and date range restrictions on the database content were removed because of the interest in topics outside of the original scope of the database.

In December 2016, the Critical Issues program approached the state geological surveys to formally request the ability to expand the number of publications in the database so as to provide increased discoverability of a much larger number of state geological survey publications. In early 2017, AGI began developing the new Geological Surveys Database, and in June 2017, AGI did a soft launch of the new database and beta-testing of the site occurred in July 2017.

Since July 2017, the primary focus of work related to the Geological Surveys Database has been on loading publications from the state geological surveys and from the USGS factsheet series. For more information about adding and updating publications in the Geological Surveys Database, please visit the Contact Us page.