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Adult & Higher Education Research Guide

This is a guide designed to assist students in the Adult & Higher Education graduate program in finding information sources.

Using Subject Databases

The field of study or discipline of Education includes particular theories, discourses, and foundational knowledge. Subject databases include discipline specific terms and index publications and journals in the field.

In all the databases, you can limit to scholarly or "peer reviewed" and that helps when doing a literature review on a topic. 

Adding the word "methodology," "research," or "study" to your keyword search can also help. (Example:  classroom management and methodology) Remember "research articles" usually contain the following information (usually denoted by separate headings). ABSTRACT -  RESEARCH - METHODOLOGY - DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS - REFERENCES

When using ERIC, take advantage of the Descriptors field within the article record to refine your search.

Remember that many educational topics spill over into other subject areas like psychology, sociology, and even medical sciences. Generally, it is not effective to combine databases into one multiple database search. For example, retention has one meaning for educators interested in student success and another meaning for psychologists interested in the impact of memory. The Thesaurus in ERIC can help to identify and define subjects and terms, located in the top-left corner of the page.

Search Google Scholar to find citations to scholarly articles.  While some articles are freely available via the web, many are not. If you find a useful article citation using Google Scholar, that is not available full-text, use Western Libraries OneSearch. If the article is not on the Internet or available in the library system, then you can request it through ILLiad (Interlibrary Loan).

Core Databases


Google Scholar

Search Google Scholar for scholarly articles and books. You can see what item are in Western Libraries by setting Scholar Preference Library Links to Western Washington University.

Google Scholar Search

Quick links to policy sources

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