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Using the Meteorological & Geoastrophysical Abstracts (MGA) Database

Meteorological and Geoastrophysical Abstracts (MGA) indexes over 600 journal titles, plus conference proceedings, technical reports, books, and other monographs, with coverage back to 1974. MGA is a product of the American Meteorological Society and is published by Cambridge Scientific Abstracts (CSA).

Download this guide in printable .pdf format here. You may need to download download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader from Adobe Systems Inc. to view the .pdf file.

Subject Coverage

Subjects covered include the following:

  • Air pollution
  • Astrophysics
  • Atmospheric disturbances
  • Atmospheric structure
  • Climatology
  • Geomagnetism
  • Glaciology
  • Groundwater/surface water hydrology
  • Hydrologic cycle
  • Meteorological observations
  • Physical Oceanography
  • Radiation and temperature
  • Weather forecasting

Accessing MGA

NOAA scientists and researchers can access MGA from their workstation desktops.

  1. From the library homepage at, select “Databases and Electronic Resources” from the left-hand menu.
  2. Scroll down to “Meteorological and Geoastrophysical Abstracts” and click on this link.

Quick Search

In the quick search box, you can use any keywords to describe your topic. You can narrow your results by date range of publication.

Advanced Search

The Advanced Search allows you to search by a number of different fields, with options including title, author, conference, county of publication, ISBN, and language, amongst others. Advanced Search also allows users to construct inquiries using Boolean operators (i.e. AND, OR, NOT) to limit or expand the search.

Author Searching

Using the Author, AU= search within Advanced Search, you have a few different options for name format. You can search by last name only, or by last name with first names or initials.

Viewing Search Results

  • To view a record, click on the title or the blue “View Record” option.
  • To save the record for later use, click the white box next to the title.
  • To see the full text of an article (where available), click Full Text Linking (not available for all journal titles).
  • Click on “Link to Holdings” to check NOAALINC for holdings. This will automatically come up with holdings for NOAA Central Library. Select “Betty Petersen Memorial Reading Room” from the drop-down menu at NOAALINC to refine the search for the Camp Springs Library.
  • Click on the Descriptors keywords on the right to obtain similar articles on a subject.
  • You can limit the type of document retrieved using the tabs on the top to select Journals, Peer-Reviewed Journals, Conferences, Web Sites, and more.

Save/Download/Print/Email Records

  1. After search results are displayed, select the results you want to keep by checking the white box next to the record.
  2. Click on the blue link for Save, Print, Email at the top of the list.
  3. The next screen allows you to choose what you want to do with these records.

From here, you can choose to display the records as a bibliography using one of thirteen formatting styles (including APA, MLA, and Chicago style). You can also print the marked records or email them to yourself or a colleague, or save the records in .txt format.

Creating a Personal Profile

MGA allows users to create a personal profile to save their searches or set up e-mail alerts.

  1. Click on “Please log in to My Research” link in the upper right corner.
  2. Click “New users register here” in the next menu and enter your information.
  3. In the next screen, you can enter the search terms for which you would like to be alerted.
  4. Click on “Select Databases under the search field and select MGA from the list. Click “Continue search”.
  5. Click “Alert me” to select the format that you would prefer to receive the alert in.

Creating a personal profile also allows you to save your search history for future reference.

  • Perform your search in MGA.
  • Click on Search Tools and then History. Click on “save OR alert” under any search to save that search. You can choose if you want to save the search as an email alert or just choose “No Delivery” under the “Delivery Methods” drop down-menu to save that search in your history for future reference.

Alerts and saved searches are stored for six months. They can be edited, deleted or renewed at any time.

Locating Journal Articles

There are two options for obtaining articles from journals to which the library holds an online subscription. If the option is there, the easiest method is to click on the “Full-Text Linking” link. This will open a new window or tab with direct access to the article.

This option is not available for all articles, even if the library does have a subscription to that particular title. To check the availability of that article, check “Link to Holdings”.

From this screen, select “Journal Name” and click Search to search the NOAA Catalog for journal holdings at NOAA Central Library. After this search is performed, you can select Betty Petersen Memorial Library from the drop-down menu to search specifically at the Camp Springs location.

Interlibrary Loan

If the library does not have holdings for this title, you can request the article via interlibrary loan.

  • Select “InterLibrary Loan” from the search results or item record. At the next screen, enter all required personal contact information.
  • Under Library Information, select “NOAA Science Center Petersen Memorial Library, Camp Springs MD” from Other Maryland NOAA Libraries. This will submit the form to the librarian, who will inform you of the item’s availability. Alternatively, you can email the librarian at or stop by the library to submit the citation information.

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College Park, Maryland 20740
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Page last modified: Thursday, 15-May-2008 17:34:24 UTC