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RSCH 8301 Week 2 Major Assignment 1: Week 2 Major Assignment 1


This week’s assignment requires you to search for the three articles related to your personal topic of study. One will be a literature review or meta-analysis article, one a theory article, and one research article.

The research article may either be from a quantitative or qualitative perspective. This will begin your annotated bibliography that will be a part of the final assignment.

The theoretical or conceptual framework article will also be used in your week 2 discussion

Objective and goals

After reading through this guide, you will be able to find various types of scholarly articles by:

  • Establishing effective keyword searches
  • Recognizing indicators that an article is a research article

Choosing a database: subject databases vs Thoreau

Thoreau is a search interface that will allow you to search across many of our databases at once.  It does not cover every database in our collection – but the coverage is broad enough that it can be a useful tool for topics that may be covered in more than one discipline.  When you enter search terms in the Thoreau search, you’ll get results from a variety of databases, and that can be useful for turning up more results and seeing a variety of professional perspectives.

So why not use Thoreau for all your research?  The individual databases feature search limiters that are particularly useful to that discipline, and that allows you to shape and refine your search in powerful ways.  For example:

  • Psychology databases may allow you to limit your search to studies that use subjects in a particular age group or that use a specific methodology. 
  • Management databases will offer the capability to search using an industry code or a corporate entity name. 
  • Education databases offer limits for level of education, such as primary, secondary, etc.

Be sure to explore the search limiters available in your subject databases – they are usually displayed on the main search page, below the search boxes. 

Also, Thoreau is not able to index all of the content in the various databases – and so you may miss valuable material if you use only Thoreau, without trying searches in the individual subject databases.  For that reason, we generally recommend using the subject databases for research, particularly at the doctoral level where your research needs to be comprehensive.  Use Thoreau when you’re not finding good results in the subject databases, or when the topic you’re searching may be covered in a variety of disciplines.


Finding a theorist

You can view our Theorists and Theories guide to learn about how to find information on theories and theorists in a variety of sources, including databases, encyclopedias, and books.

If you know the name of the originator of your theory, you can conduct an author search to see what materials may be available.

You can follow these steps to search by author name in or multi-database search tool, Thoreau:

1.  On the Library website, click the Start Your Research link near the top right of the page.

2.  In the Search by database box, click the link for: Thoreau Multi-Database Search 

3.  Type the author's name in the first search box. You'll get the most results by searching for variations of the author's name, including both the full first name and initials.For example:

Maslow, Abraham

Maslow, Abraham H

Maslow, AH

Maslow, A. H.

Connect the name variations with OR. For example:

Maslow,  Abraham OR Maslow, A. H.

Note:  Learn more about Boolean operators

4.  Change the drop-down menu next to the first search box to AU Author.


5.  If the author has a common name (e.g., John Watson), or multiple theories associated with them, you can focus your search in by adding topic keywords to the other search boxes. Adding additional terms to your search helps to narrow results to the specific author you want to find.


6.  Click Search.

Finding a research article

Please note, this article can also be used for your week 3 discussion.

You can find research articles in most of the Library databases by including the keyword research in your search.

Research articles are a type of primary source that reports on research that the author(s) did. They generally include the following sections:

• Methodology- how the data was gathered or generated and how the researcher analyzed it

• Results - a report of of the findings based upon the methodology used

• Conclusions or implications- designed to help the reader understand why the research matters

Here is an example of a search that you can do in the Academic Search Complete database to find research articles. You can try searching just like this but in a subject-specific database instead. Learn how to find databases by subject.

1.  On the Library homepage, click on the Databases A-Z button.

2. You now see an alphabetical list of databases. Click on the link for Academic Search Complete.

Note: If you have not already logged in to the Walden Library databases, you will be prompted to log in with your myWalden Portal user name and password.

3. Once you are in the database, go to the search boxes at the top of the page and in the first search box enter:


 In the second search box enter your topic. For example, you could enter:

online education


4. If you are interested in only peer-reviewed research articles, go down below the search boxes and click in the box under Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals.


5. Then click on the Search button to run your search.


Look through your results, making sure to check that the article you choose does in fact report on research the author(s) did.


Finding a meta-analysis

You can view How do I find a meta-analysis research article? to learn how to use CINAHL Plus with Full Text, MEDLINE with Full Text, PsycARTICLES, and PsycINFO databases to limit your search to meta analysis. In all other databases you will need to search for meta analysis as a keyword.

A search related to characteristics of great leaders may be set up in the following way.

First Search Box: leader

Second Search Box: characteristics

Third Search Box: meta analysis


Here is how that search would look in EBSCO databases, such as Business Source Complete.


This is how the same search would look in ProQuest databases, such as ABI/INFORM Complete. Note that you will need to click Add a Row in order to add a third row to your search.

Finding literature reviews

You can find literature reviews in many databases, however the method of locating them can vary slightly in each.

In the ProQuest Central database you can select Literature Review from the list of document types.


In PsycINFO and PsycARTICLES you can choose Literature Review from the Methodology section.


In all other databases you will need to enter the term literature review into the search box.



You may need to change the menu to the right of the search box to SU Subject for better results.


To find a literature review on a specific topic, you can add in a keyword pertaining to your topic in the second search box.  Learn more about keyword searching.