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Education Research: Introduction

Databases

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 -Educational Resources Information Center - An authoritative database of indexed and full text educational literature and resources. 

Education Research Complete - ERC Complete covers areas of curriculum instruction as well as administration, policy, funding and related social issues.

Search Refinements

All databases and  search engines can be refined or modified.  For example in WorldCat Search, filters appear beneath the field boxes (keyword, author etc.).

Database Search Refinements

Every database has "limiter" boxes under the search fields boxes.  These filters are different from database to database.  They are specific to each discipline. For example, below are some of the choices from Education Resource Complete.

Finding Journals Available at the Mount

The Mount has many online journal subscriptions, sometimes from several providers.  They can be located by entering the journal title or ISSN in the Journal Finder.

Each provider may provide different coverage, from start date to available date. Many providers create what it called a "moving wall".  For example,  they cover up to four years ago.  Every year the coverage moves up a year.  An example is:

 

 

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).

So for example, if you look for the term "IEP" of "I.E.P" or "Individual  Education Plan" in a search, your search will not be inclusive.  Instead, if you go to the Thesaurus and browse the term IEP you will find that the term is actually Individualized Education Programs.  This indexing 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:

"Special Education"

"Behavior Management"

"Technology in Education"

"Standardized Curriculum"

"High Stakes Assessment"

  • 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.
  • When using EBSCOhost databases  add the Geographic field to your search to specify the country or region you want.

 

Encyclopediae

When starting research it is wise to decide what information you will need, where to find it and how much you want to use.  A good place to start is with general sources such as encyclopedias to find topics and define terms. Do a search in WorldCat Discovery using the terms "education" and "encyclopedia."

Encyclopedia of Education (2003) Online

Offers a complete view of the institutions, people, processes, roles, and philosophies in educational practice in the United States and throughout the world. Features biographies of influential educators; profiles of historic colleges and universities and of organizations active in the field; and an appendix of full text source documents, including education related legislation, international treaties, and testing methods. 8 volumes.

Encyclopedia of Educational Law (2008) Online.

Encyclopedia of Law and Higher Education  (2010) Online

Encyclopedia of Multicultural Education  (1999) Online

Encyclopedia of African-American Education  (2015) Online

The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (2011) Online (With multiple volume sets use "education" in the search line to limit your search)

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