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Quantitative Research Methods & Analysis

Course Number: SK312-BR2

Subject: Social Work

1. Introduction

This guide builds on the Literature Review Research Methods module in your SK312-BR2 MyLearningSpace (MyLS) course site and will be used for in-class activities on Tues. Oct. 4.

IN-CLASS OBJECTIVE: Practice using literature review research methods.



Please ask! Use our shared Google Docraise your hand at any point today, or email me (


2. Quick Recap

The MyLS Literature Review Research Methods module focuses on:

  1. Developing your topic and drafting a research question.
    • Preliminary searching and learning about your topic is key.
  2. Starting to review the literature.
    • There are different ways to review literature - your methods need to fit your project.
      • Where will you search?
      • What keywords will help you identify relevant literature?
      • What search tactics will improve results?


Let's look at an example: "Beyond the Family Binary" in The Journal of Marriage and Family. How many sources does the literature review cite?


Your Project (Assignment) Goals

  • Do a literature review (at least 5 peer-reviewed articles published in the last 10 years) for a research proposal.
    • Demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of literature about your topic.
    • Synthesize findings from across the literature about your topic.


Where might you search for: (i) 5 peer-reviewed articles versus (ii) 5 of the most recent and/or influential peer-reviewed articles by researchers in your field?


3. Activity: Searching for Peer-reviewed Articles

For the next 10 minutes, please follow the 3 steps below individually. Then, we'll review together.

  1. Copy the following search: "housing first" Canada
  2. Paste the search into each of the following tools, and run it.
  3. Answer these 3 questions:
    • How many results did you get?
    • What are the dates for the first 3 results?
    • What journals are the first 3 results from?


4. Extra Tips for Later - Working with Sources

(a) Synthesis


(b) Citing

  • Use the citation feature in databases to create APA 7 references (always edit the citations!).



(5) Extra Tips for Later - Searching

(a) Cited By and References

  • "Cited by" shows works that have cited a particular study (forward in time), while references show what the study cites (backward in time). 



(b) Searching with Subjects

  • Use subjects to make your results more relevant.
  • Subjects are controlled terms from a database thesaurus that are assigned to articles.
  • Databases have different thesauri, which affects the subjects you use.

Example: MESH.EXACT("Health Services for Transgender Persons") in MEDLINE

Example: (MH "Transgender Persons+") in CINAHL


Major Concept Keywords Subjects

cancer, neoplasm, melanoma

CINAHL: Neoplasms



(c) Updated Worksheet

The worksheet below includes a section to enter subjects related to your topic (otherwise it's the same as the MyLS worksheet).


Page Owner: Meredith Fischer

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Last Updated: October 4, 2022 2:04pm