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GEOE 345: Site Investigation & Geological Engineering Design

Librarian

Morag Coyne's picture
Morag Coyne
Contact:
Engineering & Science Library, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
613-533-6975

Keeping up with issues...

In general...

This guide is designed to introduce you to information resources for GEOE 345, either licensed by the Queen's University Library or open access.  Contact liaison librarian Morag Coyne for more information about:

  • Information sources for your assignment or project
  • Obtaining resources not at Queen's
  • Designing better strategies for your information searches

Project groups are welcome to set up apointments for 30 - 60 minute consultations with their librarian.

Research Roadmap

Step 1
  • Define the scope of your project.  Do you need to narrow your topic from a broad, general one?  If so, some things to consider:
    • How established is the field?  If it is a well-studied field, there will be plenty of literature in a wide variety of formats.  If it is a new topic or idea, there may be very little published about it.
    • Do you want to focus on a particular location, time period, technology, theory, person, group, project, or event? 
    • What do you already know about the topic?  What do you need to investigate?
  • Start a list of keywords to use.  Terminology can change, so this list will need updating as you search.
  • Do background reading to find out more about your topic: check the reference ebook collections like Knovel.
  • Try a general search in QCAT to find out the range of books and ebooks published (important when examining a long-established field).
Step 2
  • Try an initial, very general search in GeoRef, Compendex, Inspec and Geobase for your topic. 
    • Filter by publication year - how long it the publishing history for this field?  Are there any publication trends?
    • Filter by controlled vocabulary  to see the categories for this topic - this is where you can start narrowing your topic, and gain more keywords/synonyms.
    • Filter by document type, e.g., to see if any review papers about your topic exist.
  • Start a list of key researchers, groups, agencies and labs.
  • Start a timeline for your literature review.
Step 3
  • Search specialized databases in depth for journal articles, technical reports, theses, etc.
  • GeoRef, Compendex, Geobase, Inspec
    • Make use of these databases’ features, such as “cite by”, sorting, document type, and controlled vocabulary.
  • Make a list of the databases you have searched, and the keywords you used for each.
  • Check the reliability of your sources if unsure (e.g. Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory).
Ongoing
  • Use a method to manage your citations and use it throughout the search process, e.g. Zotero