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A guide to the resources for geology and geophysics

Focusing your Topic

Over the course of a semester you will be developing a field acquisition plan of a geophysical problem in the near-surface.  Based on the scenerio that your group has been assigned, think about the following:

  • What do you already know about your scenario?
  • What information will you need to collect for your project?

    This guide provides strategies that you can use for collecting the information you will need to successfully complete your project.

      Popular vs Scholarly Journals

    Research vs. review articles

    Plagiarism Tutorial

    You Quote it, You Note it from Vaughan Memorial Library at Acadia University.(Requires Adobe Flash Player)

    Here's a follow up link to the Department of Biology page on Academic Honesty.

    Search Tips

    OR-Broadens your search strategy.
    If you are searching for groundwater
    OR ground water OR ground-water OR you will find articles containing any of the search terms.

    AND - Narrows your search strategy.
    If you are searching for (salt water
    OR saltwater OR sea water OR seawater) AND intrusion, you will find articles that contain all the search terms.

    NOT- Eliminates certain details from your search strategy
    If you are searching for
    (salt water OR seawater) AND intrusion NOT abstract* your search will find articles on seawater intrusion and will remove those items which are conference abstracts only, not scientific articles. 

    Finding Scientific Articles

    Google Scholar
    Enables you to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports across broad areas of research.

    Scopus (Elsevier) 
    This abstract and citation database, includes peer-reviewed titles from international publishers, Open Access journals, conference proceedings, trade publications, quality web sources. 

    Web of Science
    Provides access to over 8700 journals from various disciplines from 1900-.

    Search OnePetro for access to Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE Papers). 

    Provides comprehensive coverage of the geology and geophysics of the world.  Focus is primarily on geology and geophysics as it pertains to the geology of an area, but it also indexes articles about groundwater and soil contamination.  Covers geology back to 1785.
    Note:  You can remove conference abstracts (abstracts only) from your search results by selecting "Exclude Abstracts Only" from your search.

    This engineering database, is a good source for articles, technical reports, and conference papers about the theories underpining geophysics and geophysical applications.

    Interlibrary Loan Request Form.  - Use to request material that the University of Calgary library does not have.

    Most of the databases above link to fulltext content.  Look for the  to link to full text content.  

    Types of Scholarly Articles

    Articles are the main method of communication between scientists.  They are relatively short publications (almost always less than 50 pages and more generally around 8-12 pages). They are published in journals.  Each journal issue contains several articles.

    Scholarly Articles are peer-reviewed and can be classified as:

    Research Article (Theoretical or Experimental)  - Written for a university audience, reports original research results, either theoretical or experimental and is organized similar to a lab report. 

    Review Article - Review articles summarize the research conducted by others on a specific scientific topic.  These articles provide a good overview of a topic.   

    Other Types of Articles

    Extended Abstracts - Extended abstracts tend to be 4-5 pages in length and are papers that are presented at a conference.  Extended abstracts may or may not be peer reviewed.  

    Effective Citing and Writing


    Citation Style for GOPH565

    American Geophysical Union (Scroll down to #7 - References)

    Writing a Literature Review - This guide is designed for writing education and social sciences papers however the principles are the same for writing a geoscience paper.  Address the following:

    • What is the question?  The problem being address in the article.
    • The scales of interest for this problem.  Why is it interesting?
    • What was predicted?
    • The geophysical methods used?  What was done?
    • What was found?
    • Why was this the most relevant paper?  What are the implications of the study? 

    Citation Software
    Citation management software can be used to collect, organize and format citations and create bibliographies.

    Tools supported on campus include:


    Critical Reading Chart

    Use the Critical Reading Chart (link below) to help you summarize and synthesize the research articles that you will be reading.  


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