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ENGL 5315:Professional Writing Seminar : Research Methods

Finding Articles

The following is a tutorial video to finding articles in the UTEP Library databases.

Find Background Information

Background information provides the reader with the essential context needed to understand the topic. A good resource for background information are encyclopedia articles;through Gale Virtual Reference Library you are searching thousands of encyclopedias from publisher Gale.

Background information provides the reader with the essential context needed to understand the research problem.x

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NOTE: If the library does not own the titles you need, try requesting them through Interlibrary Loan.

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Qualitative Research

Qualitative research methods may include performing interviews, ethnographies, shadowing, or other kinds of interpretive research.  Qualitative research can be challenging to find as these methodologies are not always well-indexed in bibliographic databases.  Here are some tips when searching for qualitative research:

1. Try searching keywords that might specifically identify qualitative research such as: qualitative, ethnograph*, phenomenol*, ethnonurs*, grounded theor*. 

2. Look for the thesaurus terms in databases. Databases use controlled keywords (known as thesaurus terms or subject headings) to categorize each record stored.The thesaurus terms vary for each database according to their indexing system. For example, qualitative research is indexed in CINAHL their subject heading "Qualitative Studies" is complemented by more detailed terms, including "Phenomenological Research" and "Grounded Theory".

3. Qualitative Research Filters are pre-formulated in some databases that deal with qualitative research. For example in PsycInfo theres a Methology filter where you can select "Qualitative Study".

 Some places to find qualitative and quantitative research articles are in these major databases:

  • Academic Search Complete  Comprehensive bibliographic index for multidisciplinary literature.
  • Business Abstracts  Provides full text access to a variety of business magazines and scholarly journals.
  • CINHAL Bibliographic index for the professional literature of nursing, allied health, biomedicine, and healthcare derived from English-language and selected international source materials.
  • Communication and Mass Media Complete Comprehensive bibliographic index for communication and mass media research literature derived from the merger of CommSearch, formerly produced by the National Communication Association.
  • PsycINFO Comprehensive bibliographic index that provides citations, abstracts, and some full text for international literature in the field of psychology.

Quantitative Research

Quantitative research relies on statistical or computational data to support a hypothesis. In order to find  quantitative research articles you should apply the smae tactics as finding qualitative resources.  

1.Try searching keywords that might specifically identify quantitative research such as: quantitative, empirical research, variables, sampling, validity, reliability. 

2. Look for the thesaurus terms in databases. Databases use controlled keywords (known as thesaurus terms or subject headings) to categorize each record stored.The thesaurus terms vary for each database according to their indexing system. For example, qualitative research is indexed in Business Source Complete their subject heading use "Quantitative Research".

3. Quantitative research filters are pre-formulated in some databases. For example in ERIC theres a Publication Type  filter where you can select "Numeric/Quantitative Data"

Besides the databases mentioned in the qualitative research section other databases also ggod for quantitative and qualitative research articles are:

  • Business Source Complete Comprehensive bibliographic index for business literature worldwide, including management, marketing, management of information systems (MIS), production and operations management (POM), economics, finance, econometrics, accounting, international business, and other areas.
  • ERIC Comprehensive bibliographic index for national education literature, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, consisting of: Resources in Education, Current Index to Journals in Education, and full text ERIC Digest records.
  • Medline Comprehensive index for international literature in biomedicine, bioengineering, and health.
  • ScienceDirect Provides bibliographic citations, abstracts, and complete full-text for Elsevier publications.Subject coverage includes biology, chemistry, business, mathematics, engineering, environmental science, materials science, computer science, medicine, psychology, the social sciences, and physics.

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