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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.
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]
ProQuest Education Database
Indexes over 800 education related periodical titles. Full text access is available for 650 titles.
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 included (books, ERIC documents, etc.
Academic Search Complete
Large, interdisciplinary database containing over 8500 full-text publications, including academic journals, magazines, books and trade publications. Partially funded by the New Jersey State Library.
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.