Educational Psychology Library Lab Manual

Educational Psychology Library Lab Manual

An Introduction to Searching the UofA Library Sources of Information

Denis Lacroix

Educational Psychology Library Lab Manual

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Educational Psychology Library Lab Manual by Denis Lacroix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Introduction & Learning Objectives

1

Welcome to the Library lab manual for Educational Psychology. The manual’s purpose is to give you the foundational knowledge necessary to start searching for information in Educational Psychology using the University of Alberta Library’s catalog and databases. The manual contains step by step instructions, videos, and examples. The successful completion of the objectives below will depend on answering the exercise questions and reviewing the examples whenever necessary.

Learning Objectives

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to:

  • Formulate a research question from a topic
  • Locate the full text of journal or book titles at the UofA Library
  • Identify references to inform your research question(s)

Chapter 1: From Topic to Question

I

Learning Outcomes

After completing this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Develop a research question from a topic

 

1.1 Finding Research Topic Ideas

The following video on Finding a research topic idea will demonstrate basic strategies for developing a research topic.

A video element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can watch it online here: https://openeducationalberta.ca/librarylabmanual/?p=5

 

1.2 Turning Your Topic into a Question

For a more in depth look at research questions, please consult the SAGE Research Methods Project Planner.

1.3 Finding Answers Using Background Information Tools

Educational Psychology Library Guide

Academic or scholarly works often have a bibliography or a list of references and works cited that you may consult for more information at the end of an article or chapter.

The Encyclopedia of Special Education’s entry on “Bilingual Special Education”https://doi-org.login.ezproxy.library.ualberta.ca/10.1002/9781118660584.ese0327 is an example of such writing where a list of references can be useful for more information. The symbol in the image below will highlight such a cited reference.

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Finding the titles cited in a list of references is a result of what is called a known search. See the next chapter for searching for titles that you know exist.

Chapter 2: Searching for Known Titles

II

Learning Outcomes

After completing this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Search for and find a known title

2.1 Where to Start Searching for Known Titles

1

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2.2 Searching the Library Catalog for a Known Title

Your search for a known title will likely start with a reference to a source you wish to find. See the book title below as an example.

Jordan, R., Roberts, J., & Hume, K. A. (2019). The SAGE Handbook of autism and education. SAGE.

The title of the source can be entered in the UofA Library’s Search box, as shown below, or in quotation marks to search for the words together as a phrase, e.g. “SAGE Handbook of autism and education”.

Sage Handbook of Autism and Education book title search

The results presented from the UofA’s Search the Library consists of a list of records, ie. descriptions of library titles both in print and electronic formats.

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See the next chapter for a presentation of library records and how to understand the information they present.

 

2.3 Reading a Catalogue Record

The library book record for the electronic book The SAGE Handbook of Autism and Education shown below presents useful information for accessing the ebook and its bibliographic information. Subject headings are particularly useful for finding other similar titles. Examine the different parts of a record and click on the symbol to learn about each.

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The location of the print book Research-Based Practices in Special Education shown below is indicated in the Where is This? box. The information includes the name of the library that holds that book and where it is located on the shelves. This shelving system is organized by call number order. Print library items can be placed on hold and held for a user to pick up by a certain date. Examine the different parts of a record and click on the symbol to learn about each.

An interactive or media element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here:
https://openeducationalberta.ca/librarylabmanual/?p=76

Please see the UofA Library’s curbside pickup service information during the Covid-19 library closure.

 

2.4 Book Title Searching Exercise

Question 1:

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Question 2:

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2.5 Finding Journal Articles and Book Chapter Titles

Wire, V. (2005). Autistic Spectrum Disorders and learning foreign languages. Support for Learning, 20(3), 123-128.
  1. Search for the journal title or container of the article in the library catalogue, ie. Support for Learning :
    Journal Title Catalog Search
  2. Select the journal title, Support for Learning, from the list of results. N.B. The two records with the same title both give access to the online version of the same journal title. Clicking on either will allow you to access the journal.
    Journal title search result listing
  3. Open the journal title record (e.g. the first one in the list above) and select the online journal access appropriate for the year in which the article was published. In the case of the article citation above, 2005 is the year in which the article was published in the journal; therefore, any of the databases listed on the right-hand side in the record shown below would cover articles published in 2005.
    Catalog record for Support for Learning journal
  4. Follow the steps in the CRKN Wiley Online Library database image below for locating the full-text of the article. Examine the different steps involved in finding the article full-text, starting with Browse, by clicking on the symbol.

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2.6 Finding Journal Articles & Book Chapters Exercise

The following exercise asks you to locate the full-text of a journal article and a book chapter in a given citation.

Question 1 – Find the full-text of a journal article from the citation below.

Lim, N., O’Reilly, M. F., Sigafoos, J., Ledbetter-Cho, K., & Lancioni, G. E. (2019). Should Heritage Languages Be Incorporated into Interventions for Bilingual Individuals with Neurodevelopmental Disorders? A Systematic Review. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders49(3), 887–912.

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Question 2 – Find the full-text of a book chapter from the citation below.

Green, S. L. & Edwards, K. M. (2014). Speech and Language Impairments. In A. F. Rotatori, J. P. Bakken, S. Burkhardt, F. E. Obiakor,  & U. Sharma (Eds.), Special Education International Perspectives: Biopsychosocial, Cultural, and Disability Aspects (pp.183-206). Advances in Special Education (Volume 27). Emerald Group Publishing.

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Please see the next chapter for an alternate way of finding journal and book full-text.

2.7 Using the GetIt Citation Linker to Find Source Titles

Some databases will provide a GetIt Citation Linker which, when clicked, will provide various full-text access points in a new window. The image below shows where the GetIt linker in the Ebsco database is located (click on the symbol for more information).

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The full Ebsco record of the journal article shown above and linked here demonstrates that the GetIt linker icon sometimes appears elsewhere in the record (ie. to the left of the bibliographic information).

N.B. not all resources are available in full-text, some may require ordering through interlibrary loans (ILL).

 

Chapter 3: Topic Searching

III

Learning Outcomes

After completing this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Organize a search strategy using concepts and keywords
  • Combine concepts and keywords using Boolean logic
  • Choose an appropriate database to search
  • Search ERIC using an EBSCO platform and PsycInfo using OVID

 

3.1 Choosing the Right Tool for the Search Job

Your research question(s) will determine the kind of search tools you will need to use in order to answer it. The types of sources you wish or need to consult will also help choose the search tool.

Sample Research Question:
What is the foreign language proficiency of elementary-aged children with autism in Alberta schools?
  1. If you wish to find an entire book or a video on a topic, e.g. autism, then searching the library catalog’s advanced search is a good option.
    Advanced Catalog Search Screen
  2. If you wish to find journal articles or book chapters, a database is best, e.g. ERIC, listed under Education in its subject guides or the subject area’s list of databases.
    UofA Library Subject Guides
  3. The video below will explain where to start searching for information at the University of Alberta Library.

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  4. This next video helps understand the various kinds of databases that exist at the University of Alberta Library.

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    Please see the next chapter to begin determining which concepts you will use to search for information.

3.1.1 Choosing the Right Tool Exercise

Use the following research question to answer the two questions below.

What is the foreign language proficiency of elementary-aged children with autism in Alberta schools?

Question 1: Which of the following subject guides are relevant in answering the research question above? Hint: the information symbol beside each answer provides supplementary information on the guides’ contents. An interactive or media element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here:
https://openeducationalberta.ca/librarylabmanual/?p=296
Question 2: In the image below, click on the relevant library guides useful to answer the question above. An interactive or media element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here:
https://openeducationalberta.ca/librarylabmanual/?p=296

3.2 Combining Concepts for Topic Searching

As you try to find information for your assignment, it is likely that you will alternate between known topic or author searching and topic searching.

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N.B. The more concepts you add to your search the more precise it will be, but the less results you will retrieve. Therefore, if you have more than two concepts and too few results, try changing one or more of the concepts and/or removing a concept to increase the breadth of your search.

Please see the next chapter to begin thinking about the keywords and synonyms that describe each concept.

3.3 Using Variant Terms to Describe your Topical Concepts

Now that you have determined which concepts you will be using to search for information, it is time to begin listing keywords and synonyms that describe each concept. This strategy will help you improve and increase your search results. The video below will give you an overview of this technique.

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The three concepts used in the preceding chapter will now serve as an example in identifying their corresponding keywords and synonyms.

Concepts with keywords and synonyms

The keywords and subject headings you discover when reading and searching for information in the library catalog and other databases will help build the variant terms to describe the concepts. It is important to keep track of them. In chapter 2.3, the image of a catalog record for the The SAGE Handbook of Autism and Education is given and subject headings are highlighted at the bottom of the record. Note the subject heading autistic children, which is relevant to the autism concept and could be added to the concept’s list of variant terms.

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Please see the next chapter for implementing concepts and their variant terms in the context of a database search.

 

3.4 Advanced Searching of the Library Catalog

Chapter 3.1 recommended searching the library catalog’s advanced search, in order to find an entire book or standalone resource on a topic, e.g. autism. The following two images will show how the same search can be constructed in different ways based on the research question concepts and keywords. The symbol in the images below will provide information about the search. By clicking on the title Advanced Catalog Search 1 or 2 below, the search will be performed in the library catalog and the list of results will open in a new window.

Advanced Catalog Search 1 Advanced Catalog Search 2

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An interactive or media element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here:
https://openeducationalberta.ca/librarylabmanual/?p=216

Library Catalog Search Tips:

The next chapter will present a similar search using the same research question concepts in an article database.

3.5 Learning to Search the ERIC (Ebsco) Database

The ERIC database using the EBSCO platform focuses on a wide range of educational topics and contains references to  journal articles, book chapters, reports, and other information source formats. The following examples will be based on the concepts and research question given in chapter 3.3.

What is the foreign language proficiency of elementary-aged children with autism in Alberta schools?
  1. Take each concept and divide them into separate search boxes using OR Boolean operators between each concept keyword (open the search example).
    ERIC (EBSCO) initial search
  2. First search each concept across all fields using the Select a Field option from the drop-down menu to the right of each concept.
    Note the use of the * truncation symbol at the end of some of the search terms. A truncation symbol accounts for multiple endings of a word and is usually placed at the point where the spelling of the word may change.
  3. Examine some of the results to see if your search is providing expected results. The record below shows in bold which search terms appear in the record.
    ERIC record for Exploratory longitudinal study
  4.  Special attention can be given to the list of subjects. Relevant subjects not in bold can be added to your search to revise and improve it.
    ERIC revised search with new keyword added
  5. Note also in the subjects listed in the sample record above that an age concept appears, which can be added to your search as a fourth concept.
    ERIC search with 4th concept
  6. To limit your search results it is possible to change which fields are being searched. For example, try limiting one concept at a time to a subject field search. Subjects in ERIC are also called descriptors.
    ERIC search with subject/descriptors
  7. Use the Thesaurus link at the top of the screen to consult which subjects/descriptors to use in ERIC. For example, the term “foreign language learning” is not a subject/descriptor in ERIC, instead the Thesaurus recommends using “second language learning.” Click on the symbol in the image below to learn about searching the Thesaurus.

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  8. To further limit your search you can use the Refine Results options located on the left-hand side of the database screen. Choose to limit your search by publication dates and source types (e.g. academic journals, books, etc.).
    ERIC search limits - scholarly and datesERIC search limits by source type
  9. To expand your search, a few options are available:
    1. remove one or more concepts from your search,
    2. add more keywords describing a concept, and/or
    3. search keywords within the full-text sources included in ERIC, ie. change the field to TX All text in the drop-down menu next to each search box.

For a general overview of searching ERIC (EBSCO), see the following video.

Please see the next chapter to learn the basics of searching PscyInfo.

3.6 Searching PsycInfo (OVID)

PsycInfo covers international scholarly literature in psychology, including educational psychology. Access the PsycInfo database from the Educational Psychology subject guide or from the list of UofA Education databases. OVID is the vendor platform on which the PsycInfo database is available.

PsycInfo Search Tips

Search History: At the top of the screen, look through the list of searches performed. If the first searches are no longer visible, click on the Expand button located to the right of the list.

    1. Combine your searches with AND/OR :
      1. Combine keywords relating to the same concept with ORs,
      2. Repeat for each concept,
      3. Combine the concepts with an AND
      4. See the video below for a demonstration of the steps above

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Results are visible below the search box, or click on Display Results in the list of combined searches.

The EdPY subject guide provides more information on searching PsycInfo.

Watch the APA PsycInfo tutorial for more in-depth information on using this database.

Please try the following chapter exercise to practice what you have learned so far.

3.7 Database Searching Exercises

Exercise Research Question:
How prevalent is secondary traumatic stress among high school teachers in Canada?
Question 1: Which major concepts are present in the research question above?

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https://openeducationalberta.ca/librarylabmanual/?p=303

Question 2: Consult PsycInfo to find the subject heading or descriptor used to describe secondary traumatic stress. An interactive or media element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here:
https://openeducationalberta.ca/librarylabmanual/?p=303
Question 3: In the following exercise, drag and drop in the search boxes the relevant keywords in the order in which they appear as concepts in the research question. An interactive or media element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here:
https://openeducationalberta.ca/librarylabmanual/?p=303

The next set of chapters focus on evaluating, citing, and managing information.

Chapter 4: Evaluating, Citing, and Managing Your Sources

IV

Learning Outcomes

After completing this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Evaluate sources of information for their reliability, authority, and accuracy
  • Find resources to help you cite in APA style
  • Devise a strategy for managing your sources of information

4.1 Evaluating Sources

The following video tutorial on evaluating information will go through the questions to ask to determine the reliability of the sources you find.

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Determining whether a journal is popular or scholarly is one possibility in limiting your search to more reliable sources. The video on popular and scholarly sources provides a good overview of the characteristics of both types of sources and suggests tools for knowing whether a journal is academic or popular, peer-reviewed/refereed or not.

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Ulrich’s database mentioned in the preceding video tutorial has descriptive information about most journal titles and will tell you whether a journal is peer-reviewed/refereed. Ulrich’s is accessible by searching the UofA Library’s list of databases.

Assessing a source’s  research methodology is also a good strategy. In the sample PsycInfo record below taken from a peer-reviewed journal, one can see that the article is an empirical study using quantitative methods in a child population located in Canada. Information about the tests and measures used is also available.

PsycInfo Record Methodology Information

Ouellette-Kuntz, Helene, Coo, Helen, Lam, Miu, Breitenbach, Marlene M, Hennessey, Paula E, Jackman, Paulette D, et al. (2014). The changing prevalence of autism in three regions of Canada. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders44, 120-136. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-013-1856-1
PsycInfo Methodology Information
To learn more about research methodologies, please consult the SAGE Research Methods database.

Please see the next chapter to learn about how to cite sources in APA style.

4.2 Citing Sources

4.3 Managing Sources

As you search across databases, it is important to keep track of the search terms you use and where you have searched. Keeping a search diary (e.g. in a Google doc) will help you remember what you have searched where and when. Also remember to note where you have saved the relevant references that have resulted from the searches (e.g. RefWorks).

Saving the complete bibliographical information of the relevant references that result from your searches is crucial to your research. Bibliographical managers, like RefWorks, will help you manage your sources and keep them safe. It is good practice to save your references in multiple locations.

Please try the chapter exercise below to practice what you have learned so far.

4.4 Chapter Exercise

Citation for exercise questions:
Krop, J. (2013). Caring without tiring: Dealing with compassion fatigue burnout in teaching. Education Canada, 53(2), 42.
Question 1: Use the Ulrich’s database to determine what type of journal published the article described above. An interactive or media element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here:
https://openeducationalberta.ca/librarylabmanual/?p=310
Questions 2: To properly cite this article, you will need to know whether it is available electronically or in print. Please search the library catalogue for the journal title and determine whether the article is available online or in print. An interactive or media element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here:
https://openeducationalberta.ca/librarylabmanual/?p=310
Question 3: In the reference above, which APA elements, if any, are missing? An interactive or media element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here:
https://openeducationalberta.ca/librarylabmanual/?p=310

AskUs

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UA Library Banner with AskUs link

If you have any questions about finding, evaluating, and citing information, please talk to staff by chat or email using the UofA Library’s AskUs service, linked on the right-hand side of the banner as shown above.

If you would like to contact subject librarians, please find them listed by subject area.

Glossary

2

Citation

A cited passage or quotation.

Concept

A major topic included in a research question.

Database

A collection of data (e.g. article or book titles, full-text) searchable and available electronically

Ebook

Electronic book

Ebsco

EBSCO is a provider of research databases, e-journals, magazine subscriptions, e-books and discovery service to libraries of all kinds.

ERIC

ERIC contains records and links to hundreds of thousands of full-text documents. It includes records for a variety of source types, including journal articles, books, conference papers, curriculum guides, dissertations and policy papers. Further, researchers can limit search results by education level such as Early Childhood Education as well as on the intended audience such as Counselors or Teachers.

Full-text

The complete text of a book or article

Hold

A term used to describe the process of requesting that a library item be sent or returned to a library branch and held for a specific person for a short period of time.

Journal

A periodically published set of articles that may take the form of an academic periodical, magazine, or newspaper.

Keyword

A term used to describe a source of information, e.g. words in a title, names of authors, subject headings, place of publication, etc.

Ovid

A Wolters Kluwer provider of research databases focusing on areas like health, behavioural sciences, etc.

Primary Source

Information that is a result of first-hand experience or original research.

PsycInfo

Also known as APA PsycInfo. It covers the international literature in psychology. Topics include: applied psychology, communication systems, developmental psychology, education psychology, experimental psychology, personality, physical and psychological disorders, physiological psychology, psychometrics, social psychology and sports psychology. Formats covered by this database are: journal articles, book chapters, dissertations and technical reports.

Record

A bibliographical description of a published work in a library catalogue or database.

Reference or Cited reference

A cited work listed and systematically described in a list of references.

Reference Title

A publication that can be considered a tertiary source, e.g. dictionaries, handbooks, encyclopedias

Secondary Source

Information that is derived from primary sources or original research, e.g. second hand information.

Subject guide

An online library help manual

Tertiary Source

Information that derives from primary and secondary sources, like dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc.