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ELED 3190: Research Tips

General Research Tips

Use keywords when searching

  • Databases are literal, if you search for students with ADHD do worse in math the database will search for that exact phrase.
  • Instead pick out keywords from phrases (ADHD, student, math, grades, acheivement)
  • Search using keywords connected by AND or OR

Use AND or OR to combine your search terms

  • AND (ex: students AND adhd)
    • ​Combines two or more concepts
    • Narrows your search
    • Retrieves fewer results
  • ​OR (ex: grades OR academic achievement)
    • Gets items with  at least one  of your search terms present
    • Used to incorporate synonyms into search
    • Gets you more results

Use truncation to locate words beginning with a similar root

  • Most databases use an asterisk (*) to truncate words
  • Example: educat* will return educateeducatingeducationeducationaleducatoreducators, etc...

Use the Advanced Search screen

  • The Advanced Search Screen has multiple search boxes for combining search terms with AND or OR.

Use limits to limit, or refine, your search.

  • Limits vary by database
  • Limiters are usually available on the Advanced Search Screen
  • Common limiters include Peer Reviewed and Full Text

Manage your results

  • Email, print, and save search results
  • Always save your work in more than one place!

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