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ECED 428 Exceptional Development In Early Childhood

A guide to library resources for students doing research on disabilities for ECED 428

How to Search

Most databases, although they look different, search in similar ways. You can search the databases in many ways to find relevant research, including:

Search Terms

  • If the database has a thesaurus, use it to help you find appropriate subject terms.
  • Use a keyword search for the specific subject you are interested in (autism, epilepsy, etiology, characteristics, intervention, etc.).
  • Examine the subject headings in articles you find for additional terms.

Constructing your search

  • Put each concept on a separate line.
  • Use OR between search terms when you want to find either word, AND when you want both.
  • Try truncating keywords using asterisks: autis* to get autism or autistic.
  • Put phrases in quotes: “learning experiences” “family system.”

Search Limits

  • Use limits to help find the specific kind of article you want. For example, PsycINFO lets you limit by population or type of study (e.g. quantitative or qualitative).
  • Look for a limit for professional journal articles or peer-reviewed articles.


Here is an example of a search using PsycINFO. The thesaurus was used to find the subject heading in the first line. On the second line, impact OR effects means that it will find sources with EITHER of those words. The third line has quotation marks, which means it will search for "family system" as a phrase instead of the words separately.

PsycINFO search

Getting the Articles

Many of the articles you find will be available online. If you don’t see the full text on the database you are searching, use the Get It button to see if the full text of the article is available through another source. If you find a citation to something that we don’t own, most of the time we can borrow it from another library. Please allow yourself enough time to do this! It takes up to 2-5 business days for articles and 5-7 business days for books (or longer if you are off campus). Click on “Request an Interlibrary Loan” on the library homepage or “Request from Interlibrary Loan” from the Get It menu. For more information, see our Interlibrary Loan page.

Get It in Psyc Info. Alt text reads: Use Get It to see if we have electronic access to the article. If not, the Get It menu will give you an Interlibrary Loan option


Get It Interlibrary Loan example