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GEOL 543/GEOE 446 Capstone Projects

Engineering & Science Librarian

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Maggie Gordon
Douglas Library
Room 519
613 533-3255
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This guide has been prepared to assist GEOL 543 and GEOE 446 students with their research.  Please contact to schedule a phone/Teams consultation. 

Stay updated on library changes: COVID Updates on Library Services has the latest information.

Finding Information

This guide contains links to a number of different resources and search tools.  Finding Books has links to relevant ebook collections, as well as the library's major search interface, Omni. 

Finding Articles and Reports has links to the library's major engineering and geosciences databases, Compendex and Georef.  These are good sources for finding citations for scholarly articles, theses, reports, conference proceedings and maps.

Research completed by graduate students in the past two years may not yet be published as scholarly articles.  To find this recent research, try searching the Proquest thesis database linked in Finding Theses and Dissertations.

Many of the capstone topics are location- or project-specific.  Often, this kind of information is found in government sources, such as reports written for municipalities.  The custom government Google search on Government Information is very useful for finding this kind of gray literature.  Other valuable sites include the federal Geoscan database, or the provincial geological survey publications databases.  Search Tips - Location Searching in Canada offers some advice on using NTS grid numbers to search these specialized resources.

Geospatial data repositories, both open and licensed, are listed in Finding Maps.  Federal and provincial ministries, and municipalities, offer open data portals for a variety of topics.

What if you find a relevant article, report or book chapter, and it's not at Queen's?  The library's free Interlibrary loan service is accepting requests for electronic articles or print books. 

Research Data and Citation Management

It's important to consider Research Data Management and Citation Management early in a project.

Citation managers act as personal libraries.  As you search for relevant information, you can add the citations to your manager while you search.  Citation managers such as Zotero have a plug-in feature that works with MS Word that allows you to add citations and a bibliography to your document as you write, and to format them easily.

Data management is a major part of a research project.  Issues to consider include:

Data collection
  • What types of data will you collect, create, link to, acquire and/or record?
  • What file formats will your data be collected in? Will these formats allow for data re-use, sharing and long-term access to the data?
  • What conventions and procedures will you use to structure, name and version-control your files to help you and others better understand how your data are organized?
Documentation and Metadata
  • What documentation will be needed for the data to be read and interpreted correctly in the future?
  • How will you make sure that documentation is created or captured consistently throughout your project?
  • Do you need to use a metadata standard and/or tools to document and describe your data?
Storage and Back-up
  • What are the anticipated storage requirements for your project, in terms of storage space (in megabytes, gigabytes, terabytes, etc.) and the length of time you will be storing it?
  • How and where will your data be stored and backed up during your research project?
  • How will the research team and other collaborators access, modify, and contribute data throughout the project?
  • Where will you deposit your data for long-term preservation and access at the end of your research project?
  • Indicate how you will ensure your data is preservation ready. Consider preservation-friendly file formats, ensuring file integrity, anonymization and de-identification, inclusion of supporting documentation.
Sharing and Re-use


  • What data will you be sharing and in what form? (e.g. raw, processed, analyzed, final).
  • Have you considered what type of end-user license to include with your data?
  • What steps will be taken to help the research community know that your data exists?
Responsibilities and Resources
  • Identify who will be responsible for managing this project's data during and after the project and the major data management tasks for which they will be responsible.
  • How will responsibilities for managing data activities be handled if substantive changes happen in the personnel overseeing the project's data, including a change of Principal Investigator?
  • What resources will you require to implement your data management plan? What do you estimate the overall cost for data management to be?
Ethics and Legal Compliance
  • If your research project includes sensitive data, how will you ensure that it is securely managed and accessible only to approved members of the project?
  • If applicable, what strategies will you undertake to address secondary uses of sensitive data?
  • How will you manage legal, ethical, and intellectual property issues?

(Table from the DMP Assistant template.)

A Data Management Plan (DMP) template is available from the Canadian Portage Network.  Sign up for a free account to the DMP Assistant to access this template.  The template is designed to format all the RMD issues already listed.  Each section has links to examples and detailed background information.  For example, the section on file naming has links to specific "how to" resources.  The template allows for teams to work on a single document, then to share and or export it.