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Search Strategy Description Samples: PhD Search Strategy Description Sample

PhD Search Strategy Description Sample

In the example below, notes follow some of the paragraphs.

PhD Dissertation Example (Psychology)

Literature Search Strategy

I searched for relevant literature from the PsycINFO, Business Source Complete, PsycARTICLES, PsycBOOKS, PsycCRITIQUES, PsycEXTRA databases. The search was limited to peer-reviewed scholarly journals using the search terms psychological capital or PsyCap (611 results); mental time travel or thinking perspective (1,086 results); construal-level theory or temporal focus (1,372 results); safety performance or construction safety (8,408 results); and organizational citizenship behaviors or OCB (2,099 results). Next, the search was narrowed to articles published since 2006 using the same search terms across the same databases: psychological capital or PsyCap (553 results); mental time travel or thinking perspective (725 results); construal-level theory or temporal focus (786 results); safety performance or construction safety (2,176 results); and organizational citizenship behaviors (1,706 results).

In the second sentence in the previous paragraph, the student has cleverly incorporated the number of results, which is an important detail, in the list of search terms.

I then added filters by subject and/or classification to the search term groups. Specifically, the classification filters organizational behaviors, personality traits and processes, and industrial and organizational psychology were added to psychological capital or PsyCap (83 results); the classification filters cognitive process, organizational behaviors, personality traits and processes, and industrial and organizational psychology were added to mental time travel or thinking perspective (77 results) and to construallevel theory or temporal focus (116 results). The subject filters construction projectsperformance, and job performance were added to the search terms safety performance or construction safety (103 results). Last, the filters subject organizational citizenship behaviors and classification organizational behavior were added to OCBs (128 results).

In the previous paragraph, this thorough, step-by-step overview of the search process is helpful to readers and researchers who might be examining the same topic.

One last search across the same databases targeted peer-reviewed printed material that referred to a combination of the constructs of interest. Specifically, the search term  combinations were psychological capitalPsyCap, and safety(24 results); psychological  capital and time orientation or time perspective, or thinking perspective, or temporal perspective, or temporal focus, or mental time travel, or construal-level theory (six  results); accident, OR safety, OR construction site safety and time orientation, or time  perspective, or thinking perspective, or temporal perspective, or temporal focus, or  mental time travel, or construal-level theory (155 results); time perspective, or thinking perspective, or temporal perspective, or temporal focus, or mental time travel or construal-level theory and OCBs (nine results).

The inclusion criteria for literature to be included in the review were as follows: (a) organizational-related articles, (b) non-medical-related articles, (c) relevance to the construction industry, and (d) written in English. The references list of selected articles led to seminal works from as far back as 1971 on temporal focus, construal-level theory (CLT), the theory of MindTime, mental time travel, safety performance models, and PsyCap. This research also included six books.

In the previous paragraph, additional information makes this a thorough overview of the search process.