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Tips for Searching Databases
- Limit to scholarly and/or peer reviewed (in most cases). This will show research-based results.
- Avoid selecting full-Text only. All of our databases are connected and you might miss some important results that are just a click away.
- Choose your keywords carefully to avoid ambiguous or too specific terms. Use quotation marks around common phrases.
- Too few results? Check your spelling or use related search terms (e.g. instead of grade 12, try secondary education).
- Use quotation marks around phrases
- If you find a good source, use it as a tool for finding similar articles (look at the descriptors or subject terms).
- Use Boolean terms AND and OR to fine tune your search.
- AND narrows results using unrelated concepts (e.g., computer AND instruction). Great for getting more focused results.
- OR expands results using similar/related concepts (e.g., computers OR technology). Great for getting more results.
- Make sure to search in multiple databases (don't rely on just Google Scholar!) and adjust your search terms accordingly.
- Consider keeping a search journal/log listing the databases searched, keywords used, and how successful each search was. This can keep you from repeating an unsuccessful search.
Databases for Education Topics
Here are links and brief descriptions of the Library databases that can be used to find articles about education.
Educational Administration Abstracts Index to articles on topics in educational administration from over 150 periodicals, with links to full-text content where available. [1993 - present]
ERIC (via EBSCOhost) The ERIC database, sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education, provides access to more than 1.3 million bibliographic records of journal articles and other education-related materials. Included in the database are citation records, abstracts, and (where available) full-text links for journal articles, books, research syntheses, conference papers, technical reports, policy papers, and other education-related materials. [1966 - present]
Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts (LLBA) LLBA indexes over 1,500 publications in linguistics and related disciplines in the language sciences. The database also provides abstracts of books, book chapters, and dissertations. Of special interest to ESL, bilingual, and world language educators.
ProQuest Education Database
Indexes over 1100 education related periodical titles, and 18,000 dissertations. Includes full text access for 650 titles.
PsycARTICLES PsycARTICLES offers complete access to the full text of more than 80 landmark journals in behavioral science and related fields ranging from education, to nursing, to business, to neuroscience. The database currently contains over 160,000 articles from many of the most important journals in psychology, including 34 journals published by the American Psychological Association. Most titles feature complete content from the current issue back to volume 1, issue 1, with complete coverage of all subject areas relevant to psychological science including basic/experimental psychology, clinical psychology, developmental psychology, education and school psychology, health psychology, industrial/organizational psychology, social psychology and social processes. Articles in PsycARTICLES are also accessible through links in the (larger) PsycINFO database. [1894 - present]
PsycINFO This database indexes over 2000 peer-reviewed journals in the behavioral sciences and mental health areas. Provided by the American Psychological Association, most of the content is available in full-text.
You might be tempted to start your research with Google Scholar. It's familiar search interface may make you think that it's easier to use than the other databases recommended.
Just remember that the other databases are more focused on the topic of Education and offer more options for limiting/focusing your searches.
We recommend starting with databases like ERIC and ProQuest Education, then moving to Google Scholar once you've exhausted these other options. It will help to fill in any gaps, but you'll also be familiar enough with the literature to know what is appropriate for your research.
Google Scholar (Full Text @ Cheng Library) Access Google Scholar from the Library's webpage so it will link you to full-text articles that are available from the Cheng Library.
Look for the link, Full-Text @ Cheng Library.
Many other full text resources (books, ERIC documents, etc.) are accessible through Google Scholar.
In your coursework you are expected to use high quality, scholarly sources of information. The following tutorial will help you understand what scholarly sources are.
Scholarly v. Popular
This 5-minute, self-paced tutorial will introduce you to the differences between Popular and Scholarly articles.
Following the lesson, a quiz will test you on your understanding of the material.