You have several assignments in SPCE 290 which require you to do library research.
This guide is meant to provide you advice, tailored to each assignment.
For starters, please remember that doing library research can take a long time. Allow yourself a big chunk of time, so that you can find the resources you need. And remember that some documents may need to be requested from other libraries (through Interlibrary Loan), which takes several days.
Additionally, bear in mind that research is an iterative process, requiring you to continually search, evaluate and revise. As you search and read what you've found, you're able to improve your searches using terms and ideas you've found in your results.
When you're doing academic research, start on the Ball State University Libraries' homepage. Then look for the Databases link. Use the options under the "Subjects" drop-down menu to explore the available resources.
There are two principle research databases in the field of applied behavior analysis: ERIC (under the Education category) and PsycINFO (under the Psychology category). Try both of them, but depending on your topic, you may find that one is more helpful than the other. (More info about these are on the Resources -> More About Article Databases page.)
While you can use the same general search techniques in both databases, be alert for differences in terms used.
The words you use as your search terms have a big effect on the relevance of the results that you get. So choose carefully!
Unlike Google and OneSearch, library research databases like ERIC and PsycINFO assign subject headings to each record, indicating the focus of the article.
When you're trying to come up with good terms to search on, THIS is the place to look!
When searching in a database, put quotes around phrases of two or more words where it's important to keep the words together. Then your words will be searched as a unit; it prevents the database from searching for the words individually.
So, when searching on a topic this can be important:
It's also helpful when searching for a title -- of a governmental act, an organization, an article, etc.
What if I find a ton using these techniques?
What if I need to find more articles?