Search for Articles

The most efficient way to find journal articles is to search a library database that contains publications related to your topic, instead of searching individual journals. Below are three top picks for articles about your topics:

  • 3-in-1 Education Articles Search - provides a comprehensive search of the education literature 
  • PsychINFO - includes articles covering the behavioral and social sciences from the authority in psychology
  • ProQuest Social Sciences - covers topics from education, and psychology to language, social work, and other social science subjects. 

Begin with the 3-in-1 Education Articles database to find articles on your topic. 

Follow these steps:

1. Identify keywords: choose the major concepts of your research topic as your keywords or identify words from your research question that are most important to your search (e.g. effective feedback, reasonable accommodations, restorative justice practices, middle schools, early readers, financial literacy).

2. Construct a search: put the keywords you've chosen in the search box. Note: put quotation marks around phrases. 

3. Click search and then use "Refine Results" in the left menu to limit your search to peer-reviewed articles and articles published in recent years if relevant. See an example:

Refine Results panel - arrows point to the Peer Reviewed and Publication Date boxes

4. Review your results. If you have a very large result set, try refining your search terms to subject terms and add additional search terms to scope your search (i.e. adding an age group or a certain type of learners whenever appropriate). One tip to identify the right subject terms is to scan the Subjects under each record on the search result. See the example below:

Screenshot of a search indicating Education and Restorative Justice as subject terms.

After identifying the appropriate subject terms, modify the initial search string to the following: search restorative justice and education in the subject field. Add a population search term such as middle school* if that's your targeted learning group, to further narrow down the search results. Note: Use * to truncate the root of the word to search for results that may include the variations. For example, parent* retrieves parent, parents, parental, parenting, parenthood. 

See the example below:

A screenshot of searching restorative justice and education in the subject field and add middle school* in the 3rd search box.

5. If you have a limited number of results, you could follow the search tips below to broaden your search. Using OR to connect synonyms or similar keywords will help you get more results on the topic.

  • restorative justice -->"restorative justice" OR "participatory justice" OR "restorative practice*"
  • middle school  --> "middle school*" OR tweens OR "junior high" OR "secondary school*" OR "intermediate school*"

See the example using the above search terms:

A screenshot of applying the search strategies listed in the above section.

6. Want to look for additional articles? Use these same strategies to search in ProQuest Social Sciences. The interface is different, but the approach is the same. 

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