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Education: EDSP 307/397

A guide to research and resources in the field of education


For this project, start with a search in the Primo catalog.  Specific databases like Education Source, ERIC, and PsycINFO will be most helpful to you.  If your topic is associated with other disciplines like music or communication, use subject-specific databases in addition to the Education ones.  Find their links below.

Interlibrary loan

Get books and journal articles from other libraries. Articles can take anywhere between 12 hours to 1 week to arrive. Books can take between 2 days to 2 weeks to arrive.

Relevant Databases

Boolean operator- a word—such as AND, OR, or NOT—that commands a computer to combine search terms. Helps to narrow (AND, NOT) or broaden (OR) searches.

effect size - the magnitude of the difference between groups; can refer to the raw difference between group means.

experimental study- subjects are randomly assigned to the treatment conditions (levels of the independent variable). The only differences in the groups would be due to chance. True experiments are excellent for showing a cause-and-effect relationship.

limits/limiters- options vary by database, but common options include limiting results to materials available full-text in the database, to scholarly publications, to materials written in a particular language, to materials available in a particular location, or to materials published at a specific time.

literature review- a comprehensive survey of the works published in a particular field of study or line of research, usually over a specific period of time, in the form of an in-depth, critical bibliographic essay or annotated list in which attention is drawn to the most significant works. Synonymous with literature survey and review of the literature.

meta-analysis- analysis of data from a number of independent studies of the same subject, esp. in order to determine overall trends and significance; a quantitative statistical analysis of several separate but similar experiments or studies in order to test the pooled data for statistical significance.

peer reviewed journal- a process by which editors have experts in a field review books or articles submitted for publication by the  experts’ peers. Peer review helps to ensure the quality of an information source by publishing only works of proven validity, methodology, and quality. Also called refereed or scholarly journals.

quasi-experimental study- sometimes called natural experiments because membership in the treatment level is determined by conditions beyond the control of the experimenter. An experiment may seem to be a true experiment, but if the subjects have NOT been randomly assigned to the treatment condition, the experiment is a quasi-experiment (quasi = seeming, resembles).

single-subject design study- is a quantitative approach to examine functional relationships between baseline and experimental conditions over time within individual subjects. The central features include collecting repeated measures of behavior through direct observation across several sessions, comparing rates or amount of behavior between baseline or typical conditions to an intervention condition, and repeating baseline and intervention phases to note a functional relationship between the introduction and withdrawal of the intervention or independent variable (IV) and the subject’s behavior or dependent variable (DV).[1]

APA References

Journal with DOI:

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages.

Baniya, S., & Weech, S. (2019). Data and experience design: Negotiating community-oriented digital research with service-learning. Purdue Journal of Service-Learning and International Engagement, 6(1), 1116.

Journal without DOI:

DOIs may not always be available. In these cases, use a URL. Many academic journals provide stable URLs that function similarly to DOIs. These are preferable to ordinary URLs copied and pasted from the browser's address bar.

Denny, H., Nordlof, J., & Salem, L. (2018). "Tell me exactly what it was that I was doing that was so bad": Understanding the needs and expectations of working-class students in writing centers. Writing Center Journal, 37(1), 6798.

Article/Chapter in edited book:

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In E. E. Editor & F. F. Editor (Eds.), Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle (pp. pages of chapter). Publisher. DOI (if available)

Armstrong, D. (2019). Malory and character. In M. G. Leitch & C. J. Rushton (Eds.), A new companion to Malory (pp. 144-163). D. S. Brewer.

Examples of In-text citations

Hilts (2002) reported that in 2001 a consumer group claimed that the medication was related to the deaths of 19 people.

In 2001, a consumer group claimed that the medication was related to the deaths of 19 people (Hilts, 2002).

The research noted that many health care providers “remain either in ignorance or outright denial about the health danger to the poor and the young” (Critser, 2003, p. 5).

Sibutramine suppresses appetite by blocking the reuptake of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain (Yanovski & Yanovski, 2002, p. 594).

If you are directly quoting from a work, you will need to include the author, year of publication, and the page number for the reference (preceded by "p.").

If you are paraphrasing an idea from another work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication in your in-text reference, but APA guidelines encourage you to also provide the page number (although it is not required.)[1]


[1] Example citations from Purdue OWL, APA Style Central, and Writer’s Help

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