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HD FS 312W: Empirical Inquiry in Human Development

Dr. Laura Evans

Finding Empirical Research in PsycINFO

To find empirical articles in PsycINFO:

  1. Use the "Advanced Search"
  2. Type your keywords into the search boxes
  3. Under "More Search Options," see "Methodology," and choose "Empirical Study"
  4. Choose other limits, such as publication date, if needed
  5. Click on the "Search" button

Finding Empirical Research in ERIC

ERIC does not have a simple method to locate empirical research. Using "empirical" as a keyword will find some studies, but miss others. One technique is to search for "Research Reports":

  • Use the "Advanced Search"
  • Type your keywords into the search boxes
  • Under "More Search Options," see "Document Type," and choose "Reports: Research"
  • Choose other limits, such as publication date, if needed
  • Click on the "Search" button

An alternative is to use terminology recommended by the ERIC thesaurus. Some useful keywords are:

Action Research
Evaluation Research
Interviews
Questionnaires
Case Studies
Experiments
Mail Surveys
Telephone Surveys
Ethnography
Focus Groups
Observation (Participant or Naturalistic)
Qualitative Research
Evaluation Methods
Field Studies
Statistical Analysis
Statistical Studies

Finding Empirical Research in Sociological Abstracts

Sociological Abstracts does not have a simple method to locate empirical research. Using "empirical" as a keyword will find some studies, but miss others. Consider using terminology recommended by the Sociological Abstracts thesaurus. Some useful keywords are:

Case Studies
Interviews
Empirical Methods
Observation
Empirical Research
Qualitative Methods
Experiments
Quantitative Methods
Fieldwork
Surveys

Finding Empirical Research in CINAHL (Nursing and Allied Health)

CINAHL does not have a simple method to locate empirical research. One technique is to search for "evidence-based practice" items: 

  1. Use the "Advanced Search"
  2. Type your keywords into the search boxes
  3. Under "Limit your results," check off "Evidence-Based Practice"
  4. Choose other limits, such as published date, if needed
  5. Click on the "Search" button

Another alternative is to use terminology recommended by the CINAHL Headings list. Some useful keywords are:

Empirical Research
Qualitative Studies
Experimental Studies
Quantitative Studies