EDUC 5143-Qualitative Research

General Information for Students

Resources 1- Books, catalogs and databases
Search Tips
Suggested Keywords (search terms)
Resources 2 - Internet Sites
Evaluating Websites
Following APA style rules

Many of the resources listed below may be accessed remotely 24/7 through the links listed below.

NSU Broken Arrow Library:

NSU John Vaughan Library Web Page:

Search the NSU Libraries' Online Catalog:

If you need an item that is held in the library on a different NSU campus, you can hit Request/Hold while in the library catalog. You will need to enter your full name, a 2 plus your SS# (that is your library bar code), the location where you'd like to pick up the item, and a "cancel if not filled by" date.

If you need an item that NSU doesn't own, you can order it through our ILLiad system.

Resources Part 1

If you are unfamiliar with the terminology you encounter while searching article databases (or while reading articles in journals) you may wish to refer to sources such as textbooks, dictionaries, and other reference resources in the field of study.

Reference Materials on the Broken Arrow Campus

Digest of Education Statistics Call # Ref L11 .D48

The Educator's Desk Reference : A Sourcebook of Educational Iinformation and Research (EDR) Call # Ref LB1028.26 .F74 1989

Encyclopedia of Education Call # Ref. LB15 .E47 2003

Historical Encyclopedia of School Psychology (Electronic book – enter title into library catalog)

Social Work Almanac Call # Ref HV90 .G53 1995

A few books on Qualitative Research:

Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory Call # HA29 .S823 1998

Handbook of Writing Research Call # PE1404 .H358 2006 [Electronic Book]

Qualitative Evaluation Methods Call # H62 .P3218 [BA Campus]

The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research (3rd Ed) Call # H62 .H2455 2205 [BA Campus]

Reference Materials on the Tahlequah Campus

A Critical Dictionary of Educational Concepts Call # Ref. LB 15.B29

Encyclopedia of Learning & Memory Call # Ref. BF 318.E53

Handbook of School Psychology Call # LB 1051.H2356 (Note that this title is held on third floor)

Historical Encyclopedia of School Psychology Call # Ref. LB 1027.55.H57

The Language of Learning: A Guide to Education Terms Call # Ref. LB 15.M32

Books (Catalogs for finding)

Print format books are available by searching the NSU online catalog.

Search the NSU Libraries' Online Catalog:

Searches may be limited to just the Broken Arrow campus for convenience. Books available on the Tahlequah campus may be ordered for delivery to the Broken Arrow campus. It usually takes two to three days for materials to arrive via campus mail.

Here are the subject headings used in the catalog:
education research
action research in education

Electronic books: Netlibrary provides access to over 42,000 academic books to NSU students 24/7.

Search for E-Books using EBSCO e-books collection:

Journal and Magazine Article Databases

Information about Remote Access to NSU's Databases:

Academic Search Premier - This is a general database, which means it contains article citations and full text articles covering many academic subjects. It is one of the twenty-five databases produced by EbscoHost for which NSU has a subscription. It is probably our most widely used database and is sometimes referred to simply as "Ebsco."

ERIC - This is another database produced by EbscoHost. ERIC stands for the Educational Resource Information Center. It contains more than 2,200 digests along with references for additional information and citations and abstracts from over 1,000 educational and education-related journals. ERIC contains a thesaurus, which can be very helpful in figuring out which search terms to use when looking for information.

Professional Development Collection - Designed for professional educators, this database provides a highly specialized collection of more than 550 high quality education journals, including more than 350 peer-reviewed titles. This databasealso contains more than 200 educational reports.

PsycARTICLES - a definitive source of searchable full-text, peer-reviewed scholarly and scientific articles in psychology. The database contains more than 40,000 articles from 53 journals - 45 published by the American Psychological Association (APA) and 8 from allied organizations. It includes all journal articles, letters to the editor and errata from each journal. Coverage spans 1985 to present.

PsycINFO - PsycINFO, from the American Psychological Association (APA), contains more than 2 million citations and summaries of scholarly journal articles, book chapters, books, and dissertations, all in psychology and related disciplines, dating as far back as the 1800s. 97 percent of the covered material is peer-reviewed. Journal coverage, which spans 1887 to present, includes international material selected from nearly 2,000 periodicals in more than 25 languages. Contains a thesaurus.

Go to all EbscoHost databases

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Search Tips

1. Be prepared with synonyms in case your original search produces no results. Use a thesaurus if the database is equipped with one.

2. Pay attention to 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 - it will help you to avoid frustration!

3. Remember that most databases allow for Boolean Searching. Use and to narrow, or to expand, not to exlude. Truncation is also useful for bringing back all relevant results. For example, type counsel* to bring back documents containing the words counsel, counseling, counselor...

Click here for a search string generator that will help you develop an effective search query!

4. Take advantage of the following sources of help:

- NSU Library Tutorials

- Reference On Call at JVL is staffed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday - Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday by reference librarians or other experienced library staff members.

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Suggested Keywords to use when searching for information on topics in educational research

One of the first steps in creating a research plan is to select “key words” which best describe the topic you plan to research.

If you are unfamiliar with the terminology you may wish to refer to sources such as textbooks, dictionaries, and other reference resources in the field of study. Contact your instructor if you are unsure if a particular topic is appropriate. It is usually wise to make sure if you are on target with your topic before you begin to spend much time researching a project.

Use the following terms individually or in combination with one another:

social, physical, emotional, educational
education and psychology (combine terms using and)
"student-centered learning" (enclose phrases in quotation marks) OR "student centered learning"
teach* and "at-risk students " OR "students at risk" (truncate to search for all forms: teaching, teachers, etc)(use or to get all possible versions of the term)
"cognitive style"
"learning modalities"
"learning strategies"
"learning motivation"
"thinking skills"
"classroom techniques"
"learning styles "
"multiple intelligenc*"
elementary or primary
middle school
junior high
high school
teen* (truncate to get all forms: teen, teens, teenagers, teenaged, etc.)

A good way to find articles based on qualitative research is to combine terms with the word qualitiative - quite often, the abstract will indicate the type of research used. Also try case study, interview, observation, and other specific qualitative methods.

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Resources Part 2

Internet Sites


Sites for Teachers:

Can Teach:

United States Department of Education:

The Internet Public Library:

Internet Sites relating to topics in educational research and/or psychology

Qualitative vs. Quantitative Chart

Hard Work and High Expectations: Motivating Students to Learn:

Motivating Students:

Students: How They View Learning And Their Schools:

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Evaluating Web sites

It's important to remember that publishing on the web is very easy - almost anyone can do it! The problem with that is knowing what's credible (worth your time) and what's not.

Here are some of the thing you want to look at or for:

the URL (.gov, .mil, .us, .edu are usually pretty credible);
links to information about the author or sponsoring organization;
links to other sites that are credible;
how current it is

Ultimately the researcher must be the one to determine whether or not to use information found on a web site. The following information from the University of California at Berkeley provides some excellent guidelines for evaluating sites:

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Following APA style rules

The American Psychological Association originally created a publication manual to provide a common structure for all journal manuscripts in the area of the social sciences.

Many other disciplines (including psychology, the behavioral sciences, nursing, personnel administration and many areas within education) have adopted this as their professional writing standard as well.

In an academic environment, you will often be expected to conform to this standard when writing. At this point, you should be mostly concerned with creating an accurate reference list using proper format and providing citations within the text to give credit for an idea or concept to the source from which you got it.

Important Note: There is a new citation format for articles found online (APA Style Guide to Electronic References, 2007). The biggest change is including the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) at the end of the citation instead of: Retrieved on date from name of database.
Click here to see an example.

If there is no DOI listed (look on the item record and the first & last page of the article), replace that with Retrieved from name of database. Click here for an example.


Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). (2010). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

The library owns several copies of the style guide; however, only the 5th edition circulates (can be checked out). The NSU libraries have seven copies of the 6th edition in reference and two on reserve. ( BF76.7 .P83 2001)


Using APA format (Purdue University) - this comprehensive guide summarizes the print version of the book. Click on Your Reference List to find examples of the proper format to use when listing sources you used.

APA's Frequently Asked Questions

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Sarah Burkhead

Page maintained by: Sarah Burkhead
Last Updated: January 19, 2012