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ELEMECML 6214--Recent Research in Early Childhood Education

This guide includes links and general tips for graduate researchers. It was last updated for Dr. Hsieh's class in spring 2021.

Slides from Class

Make a Research Plan

Research, particularly for literature reviews, often requires more than one database or tool. Depending on your topic, your research plan may start with "big" tools like Rod Library's OneSearch (everything we subscribe to, have purchased, and more!) or Google Scholar; a large database like Academic OneFile; or a subject database like Education FullText or PsycINFO.

If you have any questions, please email


In general, though, here's one possible research plan:

  • Brainstorm search terms.
    • Generate synonyms, older terminology, etc., for the concepts you're interested in. You will probably discover more as you start reading articles.
    • Break down questions into subject terms.
      • For example, "how does food insecurity affect school readiness in preschool and kindergarten students?" can be broken down into "food insecurity" "school readiness" (preschool OR kindergarten)
        • Watch out for words with more than one meaning! For example, when looking for studies about students who are blind, I use "blind students" instead of just blind because the terms "double blind" and "single blind" are common in academic studies.
      • As you search, you may expand your search terms. For example, instead of just preschool, you might search for "early childhood".
  • Start with OneSearch from the Rod Library homepage. Filter search results to Peer-reviewed Journals or other useful subsets.
  • Collect some potentially-useful articles; read the abstracts and start narrowing down a relevant set.
  • Bring in Google Scholar, subject-specific databases, and/or the "snowball" techniques (using citations to find other articles--see the "Research Techniques" tab for more information) to continue finding relevant articles.

Places to Start

Databases for Education Research

APA Style: Purdue OWL

APA Style: Purdue OWL 
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Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan

If the library does not have the item you need, interlibrary loan staff will try to get it for you.