Library web site
- the quickest tour ever: books, articles, journals, theses
what is a Library database?
- in other words, Why can't I just use Google Scholar?
navigating Library databases
Well developed research questions can only be developed with a comprehensive understanding of prior research and theory. This understanding is informed by research literature. The challenge is to use the appropriate tools and methods to ensure your search for this literature is both methodical and complete. Here are some steps to fine-tune your searches.
- Formulate specific research questions
- identify the key elements of your questions
- Consider word variations and synonyms
- widen the scope of your results; think about how others might refer to your ideas
- e.g, academic outcomes = school performance, grades, GPA, entrance exams, college admission, etc.
- Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT)
- AND = results will contain all the terms
- OR = results will contain at least one of the terms
- NOT = results will exclude the term
- Parentheses and Boolean operators can be used to set apart search groups
- Limit or expand terms
- "quotation marks" = exact
- truncat* = truncate, truncates, truncated, truncation, etc.
- Employ search limiters (available limiters depend on the database)
- peer reviewed, article type, date
- in PsycINFO, can include
- age group, population group, methodology
- Identify key publications and authors
- note citations, and cited references, repeated author names
- Document and track everything you do in the steps above
* These steps are adapted from an article published in the October 2013 issue of Psychological Science Agenda.
choosing a Library database
- Cochrane Library
- evidence-based reviews, trials, and methodologies in health care.
- nursing & allied health literature
- psychology and the behavioral and social sciences
- Web of Science
- includes Science Citation Index, and Medline
- international coverage of musical topics
- Proquest Dissertations and Theses
- full text MA and PhD theses
- Primo to identify books at Laurier, and the Universities of Waterloo and Guelph
- Search within ebook collections to search within the full text of available books
- as opposed to searching just the title in Primo
- Also try searching within Google Books
- Search Worldcat for books beyond Primo
- Requesting Interlibrary Loans video (2:56)
This paper focuses on a scoping review, an approach to reviewing the literature:
Use Sage Reference to learn about research methodologies, e.g, action research, grounded theory, or literature reviews