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Research in Education

Resources and examples of techniques for researchers in educational psychology, foundations, and leadership studies (EPFLS).

Finding Empirical or Experimental Research using APA PsycInfo

You can use APA PsycInfo to search specifically for empirical research - articles that report an actual experiment or study.  To find research articles type in your search and then - using the "Methodology" option at the bottom of the search page - limit your search to  the option "EMPIRICAL STUDY"

Limiting PsycINFO search results to empirical studies using the Methodology option.

The power of APA PsycInfo Subject Searching

To focus your searches using APA PsycInfo try the following commands:


ERIC search techniques - Boolean Operators - Proximity Operators - Truncation - Quotes


A powerful technique to use in APA PsycInfo is "subject" searching.  If you perform a keyword search on "disabilities" and "reading".  This search returns over 8,000 results - many not particularly focused on either "disabilities" or "reading".


Search results from a keyword search on disabilities and reading.  Most results are not particularly focused on these concepts.



However if you look at the "Subjects" listing under search results that look promising you will find specific subject terms that are linked with that article  e.g.  Learning Disabilities, Reading, Reading Achievement, Reading Comprehension, Reading Development, Reading Disabilities, Reading Skills, Reading Speed, etc.


Each "Subject" heading such as Reading Disabilities indicates that an an article is particuarly focused on that concept - making subject searching much more powerful than keyword search (or Google Scholar searching).


Start with a keyword search in APA PsycInfo ... then identify some potentially useful subject terms ... and then repeat the PsycInfo search limiting to the subject heading by changing the dropdown menu to SU Subjects 

Limiting PsycINFO to the subject heading "Reading Disabilities"



Before you search - you may wish to limit your search to “Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals.”   

To limit to “Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals” be sure to check the box labeled “Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals” farther down the search screen: