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SPED 4433 - Introduction to the Education of Exceptional Children: Find Articles

The course will give an overview of all areas of exceptionality. Emphasis will be given to the integration of special education and general education.

Searching Tips

There is a lot of content in this box, be sure to scroll down for additional tips/techniques.

  • Be prepared with synonyms for your search terms in case your original search produces limited results.  Use the "Subject Terms" or "Thesaurus" feature for the database you are searching for additional help with finding relevant subjects.
  • Pay attention to any search tips or help screens provided by each database.  Even experienced researchers (like professors and librarians!) can have trouble when dealing with a new interface.  Take the time to learn how to use the tool (database/print resource) -- it will help you to avoid frustration later.
  • Remember that most databases allow for Boolean Searching
  • Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT)
    • Use AND to focus your search and combine different aspects of your topic.
      • Example: global warming AND agriculture will return only those articles that contain both terms.
    • Use OR to expand your search and find synonyms/related terms.
      • Example: global warming OR greenhouse effect with return any article that contains either term.
    • Use NOT to exclude a word or phrase from your search.
      • Example: agriculture NOT soybean will return articles on every form of agriculture except soybean.
  • Phrase searching is another useful technique for narrowing a search to retrieve the most relevant results. 
  • Use quotation marks (") to search for an exact phrase.
    • Example: "greenhouse gas emissions" will only return hits on the exact phrase (not the individual words).
  • Wildcard and Truncation are also  useful techniques for expanding a search to retrieve all relevant results.  For example, type
  • Use a question mark (?) or a pound sign (#) to act as wildcard characters.
    • To use the ? wildcard, enter your search terms and replace each unknown character with a ?.
      • Example: ne?t would retrieve articles containing neat, nest, or next.
    • To use the # wildcard, enter the # in places where an alternate spelling may contain an extra character.
      • Example: am#eba would retrieve articles containing ameba or amoeba.
  • Use an asterisk (*) to find variations of a word.  Put an asterisk following the root of a word to find all variations of that word (including singular as well as plural).
    • Example: biolog* will retrieve documents containing the words biology, biological, biologist . . .
  • Grouping/Nesting
  • Use parentheses to assist is grouping like concepts togethers in the search string.
    • Example: saturn NOT (automobile or car) AND gases will return articles on Saturn, the planet, not Saturn the car manufacturer.
  • Proximity Operators
  • You can use a proximity search to search for two or more words that occur within a specified number of words (or fewer) of each other in the databases. Proximity searching is used with a Keyword or Boolean search.
  • The proximity operators are composed of a letter (N or W) and a number (to specify the number of words). The proximity operator is placed between the words that are to be searched, as follows:
  • Near Operator (N) - N5 finds the words if they are within five wordsof one another regardless of the order in which they appear.
  • For example, type tax N5 reform to find results that would match tax reform as well as reform of income tax.
  • Within Operator (W) - In the following example, W8 finds the words if they are within eight words of one another and in the order in which you entered them.
  • For example, type tax W8 reform to find results that would match tax reform but would not match reform of income tax.
  • In addition, multiple terms can be used on either side of the operator. See the following examples:
  • (baseball or football or basketball) N5 (teams or players)
  • oil W3 (disaster OR clean-up OR contamination)
  • Contact a subject specialist librarian for help:

If you need a better understanding of Boolean logic and searching, here are a few resources to help:

Scholarly / Peer-Reviewed vs. Popular/Trade

While wikipedia can sometimes be a good starting point, it is not considered "scholarly."  If you are you having trouble distinguishing between the peer-reviewed/scholarly journals from the trade publication or popular magazines, Below is a link to a document that will help explain the differences.  

REVIEW VERSUS RESEARCH

It is also important to be able to distinguish between review articles and research articles. A review article’s primary purpose is not to present new research, but to summarize, analyze, discuss, and provide an overview of previously published work on a topic. A research article is designed to present new research, methods, and/or findings. Research articles often employ the IMRAD (Introduction, Methods, Research, and Discussion) format. Below are a few articles of interest on this topic.

Useful Databases - Education

Other useful databases may be found at the link below.

Useful Databases - Health and Wellness

Useful Databases - Psychology and Counseling

Other useful databases may be found at the link below.

Your Librarian

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Karl Siewert
they/them/their
Contact:
Broken Arrow
Campus Library
Office: BALB 135
918-449-6449
Website

JVL Librarian - Whittle

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Sarah Burkhead Whittle
Contact:
John Vaughan Library 214C
918-444-3262