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The Search Process: Step-by-Step

Once you have your Research Question, follow these Steps in the Search Process:

Step 1

  • Test your topic with a quick Google Scholar search. Is anything published on your topic?
  • DO NOT look for specific articles YET!   (Studies found in Google may not be peer reviewed or rigorous.)

Step 2

  • List all search terms.
  • Informal terms  *  Formal terms  *  Technical terms   *   SYNONYMS

Step 3

  • Choose where to look for studies.
  • Google Scholar  *  Databases  *  Library Catalog  *  NGC  CDC   NIH   ?

Step 4

  • Determine your search details.
  • Date Range   *    Peer Review   *  Study Methodology  *  Age Range  *  etc.

 Step 5

  • Make a plan.
  • Decide which databases you will search in what specific order, have search terms ready, etc.
  • Work the plan.  Use Boolean logic, limiters,  controlled vocabulary, etc.
  • Be consistent!

Step 6

  • Use RefWorks to archive studies you find. 
  • Then proofread!

 

 

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