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RSCH 8260 Week 2 Assignment: Article Critique


Throughout this course, you will be asked to find scholarly articles that use a given quantitative research methodology and write a critique about each article. The goal of this guide is to enable you to find scholarly articles to critique. This guide will go over how to:

  • access a suitable Library database
  • use appropriate search terms to find specific types of quantitative studies
  • identify the methodology used in a particular article

Access a database

Which database you search in will determine the results that you get. For example, if you search in a health or nursing database, the results you get will be geared toward the health sciences and nursing. If you search in an education database, you'll get results that are focused on education.

To help you find a database that is relevant to your area of study, we have divided the Library databases into subject areas. Here is how you can access them:

1. On the Library Homepage, click the Research by Subject drop-down.


2. Click the subject area that most closely matches your area of interest:

subject areas

3. Once you have clicked on a subject, you'll be on the Research Homepage for that subject. Scroll down until you see the list of databases and click on the title of a database to access it.

Note: The databases are organized with the largest collections at the top of the list, so selecting the first database is generally a good place to start.

Search for quantitative studies

Throughout this course, you will need to find seven scholarly articles, each with a specific research methodology, to critique. Below you will find suggested search terms that you can use in the database of your choice to find articles with each type of research methodology. Because the different Library databases use different terms to describe the same methodology, the terms that work for your search will depend on which database you are searching. If one term doesn't bring back relevant results, try another one. You may also wish to combine all of the listed terms with OR. To learn more about using OR and AND in your searches, please refer to our guide:


Note: Not every research methodology is appropriate for every research topic. This means that you may not find an article on a very specific topic that uses a certain methodology. If you are trying to find an article on your particular research interest using a specific methodology, keep your search terms broad or you may not get any results.


How to use this table: For each of the research methodologies listed below, any of the terms in the bulleted lists may be used to search for that particular methodology. Some bullets have multiple terms linked with AND, this means that all terms should be used in the search. If you don't get any results by using a term, try another one of the terms.

Moderation Testing

  • Moderator Variable
  • Moderation Analysis
  • Moderation (Statistics)

Mediation Testing

  • Mediator Variable
  • Mediation Analysis
  • Mediation (Statistics)

Binary Logistic Regression 

  • Binary Logistic Regression
  • Logistic Regression AND Binary
  • Logistic Regression Analysis AND Binary Outcome

Factorial Analysis of Variance (Two-way ANOVA) 

  • Factorial ANOVA
  • Two-way ANOVA
  • Two-way Analysis of Variance


  • Analysis of Variance


  • Multivariate Analysis of Variance

Reliability, Validity, and Scale Analysis

  • Quantitative AND Reliability AND Validity AND Scale



Here is an example of how you can search in the PsycINFO database for scholarly articles that used moderation testing. Please see the access a database instructions above for information on how to access a database appropriate for your research. Depending on your subject area, the database you search may look different than this example, but you can still use a similar search strategy.

1. In the first search box enter:

"moderator variable" OR "moderation analysis"

Notes: Connecting these terms with OR tells the database to search for either term. Using quotation marks around these terms tells the database to look for these exact phrases and not just these words anywhere in the results.

2. In the second search box you can enter a broad topic related to your research interest, if desired. For example:

quality of life OR well being

Here is what your search boxes could look like:


3. To limit your results to only peer-reviewed articles, go below the search boxes and click in the box under Peer Reviewed Scholarly Journals.

Click here to see this image in context.


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

5. As you look through your results, you can refer to the evaluate your results section below to make sure the article you pick does use the desired methodology.


Not finding anything? Here are a few things you can do:

  • Try different search terms for the research methodology.
    • For example, if you tried Binary Logistic Regression, you could try Logistic Regression AND Binary.
  • Try different search terms for your research interest, or don't include your research interest at all.
  • Try a different database. You can either try another database in your subject area, or try searching in the Thoreau: Multi-Database Search.

Evaluate your results

Entering keywords associated with the research type you are trying to find doesn't guarantee that all of your results will use the desired research methodology. Once you have your list of results, reflect on the keywords associated with your desired research method. With those keywords in mind, here are a few places you can look to check that you've truly found what you wanted:


  • Title: Sometimes the research methodology will be stated in the title of the article. For example:
    • "Is attention to feelings beneficial or detrimental to affective well-being? Mood regulation as a moderator variable."
    • "Periodic analysis using two-way analysis of variance for the circadian rhythm of intraocular pressure in primary open angle glaucoma."


  • Abstract: If the title does not specify what type of research methodology was used, the next place to look is the abstract. The abstract gives you a short summary of the article and will generally include the research methodology.

Here is how you can access an article's abstract:

1. From the list of results, click on the title of the article.

2. If you are not automatically taken to the detailed record page, click on Detailed Record in the left column.

3. Scroll down until you see the abstract section.

Note: Not all articles have an abstract. If the one you picked does not, you'll need to look at the full text of the article.

Abstract with multivariate analysis of variances and MANOVA highlighted.


  • Article: If neither the title nor the abstract makes it clear what type of research methodology was used, you'll need to go to the full text of the article. The sections where you are most likely to find out what type of research methodology was used are the Introduction, Methodology/Method, and Design.

Note: These sections may have slightly different headings, but will generally be near the beginning of the article.


To learn more about evaluating your results, please see our guide: