Banner Image

Foundations of Educational Research: Introduction

Start Searching in WorldCat Discovery

The Library's home page features a search box that functions as a "Google-like" single search.  This is a good start to a search.  A better approach is to use the WorldCat Discovery tab to initiate an advanced search.

To learn more go to the  Doing An Advanced Search Page.


WorldCat is the Mount's default search engine.  It is an umbrella service that includes many other databases but not all.  That is why it is important to use individual databases to zero in on your discipline.  


Follow the instructions on the PDF provided here.

Education Databases

A topical search for Education in the Databases A to Z yields 13 databases.  Remember there is a difference between databases that provide just indexing that points to articles you may have to request through interlibrary loan, and those that are full text.  There are two that are most widely used.  They are:

ERIC - Education Resources Information Center (EBSCO)  An authoritative database of indexed and full-text education literature and resources. It is essential for education researchers of all kinds

Education Research Complete covers areas of curriculum instruction as well as administration, policy, funding, and related social issues. The database provides indexing and abstracts for nearly 2,400 journals, as well as full text for over 1,400 journals. This database also includes full text for more than 550 books and monographs, and full text for numerous education-related conference papers.


 Books are an excellent research resource.  However, it takes time for books to get written, published, printed, updated and so on.  That's why electronic books and articles are so helpful.  Both print and eBooks can be found in WorldCAT discovery.  Filters are available to limit searches.  Limits can be placed on format, article vs. book, scholarly or peer reviewed, full text or abstract or citation only. Hone your search by "Relevancy" and "Currency" choices.  Most of our eBooks are in EBSCOhost which can be found on the right side of the Library's home page. 


Topics and Terminology


Education is a discipline that has been researched at length.  One of the earliest electronic education  databases was compiled under the auspices of the US government. That database is ERIC, Educational Resource Information Center.  To refine the searching technique, ERIC has produced a Thesaurus that greatly aids research.  The terms there are defined as "descriptors" or "subjects." (It is located above the search bars of the top left of the page. The word Thesaurus may be replaced by the term Subjects.  Each database has an equivalent subject list that functions the same).

For example, if you look for the term "ESOL"  in a search, your search will not be inclusive.  Instead, if you go to the Thesaurus and browse the term ESOL  you will find that the term ENGLISH as a foreign language    is recommended. This term  is also a hyperlink.  Clicking on it will link you to all articles that have been deemed to be about that topic.

Other terms you may want to research are below.  Even though the term is acceptable, checking the thesaurus will expand the possibilities such as:  DAY care center employees    or DAY care center administration.  Look for variations on these terms:

"School Violence"


"Fetal Alcohol Syndrome"


"Day Care" 

  • Putting phrases in quotation marks retains the term as a concept as opposed to separate words.
  • Using the word "education" alone is redundant in an education database.
  • More information about using descriptors in education (EBSCO) databases is available in the PDFs below.


APA Style Manual 6th edition



APA (American Psychological Association) style is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. This resource, revised according to the 6th edition, second printing of the APA manual, offers examples for the general format of APA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the reference page. For more information, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, (6th ed., 2nd printing).

Contributors:Joshua M. Paiz, Elizabeth Angeli, Jodi Wagner, Elena Lawrick, Kristen Moore, Michael Anderson, Lars Soderlund, Allen Brizee, Russell Keck

© 2018 Mount St. Mary's University - Phillips Library
Library Home | Library Admin | Worldshare Admin | Mobile Site