Video link: Find Qualitative Articles
Visual: Title image
Narration: This video shows how to locate research articles that use qualitative methodology.
Visual: Qualitative terms image
Narration: You can use terms related to the methodology when you do your search. For qualitative
articles that typically means the type of qualitative method used, or the means of gathering evidence.
For example, a qualitative article may use the term phenomenological, to refer to the methodology, or
focus groups, to refer to the way information is gathered for the study.
Visual: Database search page
Narration: You can search for several alternative qualitative keywords at once by putting an OR operator
between each keyword. Here I am searching for qualitative or phenom* or ethnog* or focus group. The
asterisks tell the database to find alternative endings on the root word, like phenomenology or
You’ll also want to add a topic area keyword to your search, which will help drop out any how-to articles
on methodology. For this search I’m using post-traumatic stress disorder as my topic area. Be aware that
not all research topics lend themselves to qualitative research methods. You may have to adjust your
topic slightly if most of the research done in that area uses quantitative methods.
Visual: Methods section of an article
Narration: To be sure that your article is actually using the methodology you want, you’ll need to open
the full text and look at the methods section. There you will find a detailed description of the methods
used. It’s important to remember that qualitative studies may not use that term. Instead you’ll be able
to tell that a study is qualitative based on the number of participants, the methods used to gather
information, and the nature of that information. This qualitative study, for example, has only 7
participants who are asked open-ended interview questions. This is a good indication that the study is
Created September 2013 by Walden University Library