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Education: Finding Quantitative & Qualitative Research

PsycInfo

To find empirical articles in APA PsycINFO:

  • Type your keywords into the search boxes
  • Scroll down the page to "Classification Codes." Choose one of the following:
    • 2200 Psychometrics & Statistics & Methodology
    • 2227 Educational Measurement
    • 2240 Statistics & Mathematics
    • 2260 Research Methods & Experimental Design

You can also use the PsycInfo Thesaurus for terms such as:

  • Action Research
  • Causal Analysis +
    • Attribution
    • Experimentation +
    • Path Analysis
    • Statistical Regression +
    • Structural Equation Modeling +
  • Cohort Analysis
  • Content Analysis +
  • Data Collection +
  • Empirical Methods +
  • Experiment Controls
  • Experimental Design +
  • Experimental Instructions
  • Experimental Laboratories
  • Experimental Replication
  • Functional Analysis
  • Journal Writing
  • Literature Review +
  • Mail Surveys
  • Measurement +
  • Meta Analysis
  • Mixed Methods Research
  • Online Experiments
  • Online Surveys
  • Program Evaluation  +
  • Statistical Analysis  +
  • Statistical Measurement +
  • Statistical Tests  +
  • Surveys +
  • Telephone Surveys
  • Testing Methods  +
  • Systematic Review
  • Teacher Report
  • Telephone Surveys
  • Theory Formulation
  • Theory Verification

Qualitative Methods:

  • Data Collection +
  • Digital Content Analysis +
  • Empirical Methods +
  • Ethnography +
  • Focus Group +
  • Grounded Theory
  • Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
  • Interviews +
  • Mixed Methods Research
  • Narrative Analysis
  • Observation Methods +
  • Participant Observation
  • Phenomenology
  • Program Evaluation  +
  • Qualitative Measures
  • Scientific Rigor
  • Semi-Structured Interview
  • Surveys  +
  • Systematic Review
  • Test Types  +
  • Thematic Analysis
  • Empirical studies are those based on actual and objective observation or experimentation.
  • Articles that describe empirical research studies are published in scholarly or academic journals.
  • Many scholarly or academic journals are peer-reviewed or refereed, meaning that a panel of experts in the field selects and reviews the articles published in the journal. These articles are often, but not always, empirical studies.
  • Empirical studies articles comprise the following parts (wording may vary):
    • abstract
    • introduction (and review of the literature)
    • method
    • results
    • discussion (and/or Conclusion)
    • references

(Thanks to the  McIntyre Library Staff at University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire- created by: Jill Markgraf)

Most databases will let you limit your search to articles that are:

  • scholarly
  • academic
  • peer-reviewed
  • refereed

Many, but not all, of these will be empirical studies.

To further focus your search, try adding one of the following terms to your search (try different combinations):

  • study
  • methodology (or method)
  • empirical
  • research
  • findings
  • results
  • participants
  • qualitative or quantitative

In addition, in the database ERIC you can limit "publication type" to Reports - Research to retrieve empirical studies.

(Thanks to the  McIntyre Library Staff at University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire- created by: Jill Markgraf)

ERIC

ERIC does not have a simple method to locate empirical research. Using "empirical" as a keyword will find some studies, but miss others. One technique is to search for "Research Reports":

  • Use the "Advanced Search"
  • Type your keywords into the search boxes
  • Choose other limits, such as publication date, if needed
  • Click on the "Search" button

Use terminology recommended by the ERIC thesaurus. Some useful keywords are:

  • Action Research
  • Case Studies +
  • Behavior Science Research +
  • Data Collection + 
  • Ethnography +
  • Evaluation Methods +
  • Evaluation Research
  • Experiments +
  • Focus Groups
  • Field Studies
  • Interviews +
  • Mail Surveys
  • Mixed Methods Research
  • Naturalistic Observation
  • Online Surveys
  • Participant Observation
  • Participatory Research
  • Qualitative Research +
  • Questionnaires
  • Opinions +
  • Research +
  • Scoring
  • Semi Structured Interviews
  • Statistical Analysis +
  • Statistical Studies +
  • Surveys +
  • Telephone Surveys

You can also limit by some "Research Types," although this might miss studies in journal articles:

  • Reports - Evaluative
  • Reports - Research-Practitioner Partnerships
  • Tests / Questionaires