ECED 597 - Home, School & Community Partnerships

This is a guide for students doing research in ECED 597

Library Research Guide

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.).

Constructing Your Search

  • 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, APA PsycInfo® lets you limit by population or type of study (e.g. quantitative or qualitative).
  • If you need empirical research articles and are having trouble finding them, try adding the words: “research methods”, data, results, discussion, study (not all of these words will appear in every article, so try using just a few or combining them in different ways).
  • Try adding a keyword for a specific type of methodology, for example, quantitative, qualitative, ethnography, "case study."
  • Look for a limit for professional (or scholarly) journal articles or peer-reviewed articles.

Here is an example of a search using PsycInfo:

  • The first line shows the phrase, Austism Spectrum Disorders as it is searched using the thesaurus.
  • The second line demonstrates searching synonyms, impact OR effects. Use OR means that results with have just one of those keywords.
  • The third line has quotation marks, which means it will search for "family system" as a phrase instead of separate words.
  • The fourth option shows the box to check to find articles from peer-reviewed, scholarly journals.

Screen shot of PsycInfo with numbered explanations of search boxes


Other APA PsycInfo® Resources

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 the Interlibrary Loan box on the library homepage or “Request from Interlibrary Loan” from the Get It menu. For more information, see our Interlibrary Loan page.

Get It example in PsycInfo


Request from Interlibrary Loan option in Search It