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WR227 - Education Topics: Finding Journal Articles

This research guide is designed for Lia Carter's WR227 course.

Recommended Databases for Education Topics

Search Terms

You will be searching in library databases to find scholarly journals related to the question you've asked. Try not to search for vague or very general phrases such as "student success."

A research journal article is going to use something specific to measure what we consider "student success."  Are you looking for success based on standardized test scores, graduation, program completion, persistence, self esteem, employment opportunities?  Try to narrow down to these more specific aspects of success.  

The terms you use when searching make all the difference in the sources that you find.  If you are not finding good sources with the terms you are using, don't give up! You need to think about other terms that could be used to describe your topic and search for those instead.

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When Should I Use a Database?

Since the basic library search includes articles in its results, you may be wondering why you would bother to search in a journal article database. There are several reasons for using an individual database:

  • Noise - Say you're looking for information on zombies (computers that distribute spam) and you find articles on the walking dead, philosophy, anthropology, and other subjects; using a database that specializes in computer literature lets you focus on your topic
  • Bells and Whistles - Some databases have specialized subject headings and powerful search features; most let you search within the full text of articles
  • Thoroughness - not all database articles are included in the library search, for technical reasons; Education Full Text and CINAHL (Cumulated Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), some of LexisNexis Academic, and the databases on the Databases on the Web guide are not included in the Library Search 

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