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Social Welfare 298/Public Policy 290: Tips on Using Databases

Getting Started

The Sage Handbook of Criminological Research Methods provides a good overview of a variety of research methods.

Quick and Dirty Citation

Limits, Filters, etc.

A very powerful feature of PsycINFO is the ability to restrict your search by the following:

  • Date published
  • Language
  • Age of subject population (from infants to very old)
  • Methodology of research
  • Population (human or animal, male/female, inpatient/outpatient)
  • Geographic location.

Find Research Based on Specific Methods (PsycInfo only)

Just a sample... there are more!

Boolean Operators

Wildcards (truncation) and phrases

Sometimes you want all forms of the word -- teenager, teenagers, teenaged. Rather than combining with OR, you can use the *.

The asterisk (*) is a powerful feature that can stand in for any number of letters after the root. So anorex* will retrieve anorexia, anorexic, anorexics, etc.

If you want to search on an exact phrase, you can enter it in quotation marks ("anorexia nervosa")

Combining Terms, OR and AND

Combine terms using OR and AND (Boolean Operators) for a more focused search.  OR for synonyms, AND to add two concepts.

  • teenager OR adolescent
  • adolescent AND anorexia
  • (teenager OR adolescent) AND (anorexia OR bulimia)