METHODS OF EDUCATIONAL INQUIRY
A Guide to Library Resources for Curriculum & Instruction 550
Welcome! This site has been created to assist you in exploring library resources related to your C&I 550 class. Our library is one of the largest in the United States and it can be a bit overwhelming at first. We will try to make things a little easier for you, but don’t hesitate to ask questions.
Scholarly journal articles are one of the primary means of communicating research ideas. They are an important component of academic research and give you some insight into ongoing debates and scholarly conversations about your topic. You can find articles through database searches.
Finding articles is a two-step process:
- First, search for the topic you are interested in by using the article databases listed below.
- Try words to describe the group of individuals you are researching: Asian Americans, Latino Americans, Gays and Lesbians, Christians, Teenage mothers, Upper class, etc.
- Try words to describe your research area: stereotypes, oppression, historical landscape.
- Consider searching for these concepts together. For example, “Asian Americans” and “ stereotypes” = some great articles and books.
- Use the thesaurus to find additional or similar terms.
- Find an article that looks interesting? Look at the article’s citation for subjects use in that database and run additional searches using these subjects.
- Next, find the actual text of the articles you want by clicking on the PDF, HTML, or Discover button in a database.
- If the Discover link leads you to the library catalog and indicates that we have online full text, click the link to get to the article. In some cases, we may have the full text article available in multiple sources so be sure to check the dates to be sure they match the publication date of the article. If the library catalog page says there is no online full-text available, request full-text access through Interlibrary Loan.
- If you know the citation of the articles you want, from bibliographies or suggested readings lists, you can use the Journal and Article Locator to determine if we have full-text online or in print.
Recommended Article Databases
- Education Full Text – Education Full Text indexes and abstracts articles from English-language journals and yearbooks published in the U.S. and elsewhere. English-language books relating to education published in 1995 or later are also indexed. Abstracting coverage begins with January 1994. Abstracts describe the content and scope of the source documents. Full-text coverage begins in January 1996.
- ERIC – ERIC is a national education database sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. Presently the largest education database in the world, ERIC contains over 1,000,000 citations covering research documents, journal articles, technical reports, program descriptions and evaluations, and curricular materials in the field of education. In addition to ERIC subject descriptors and extensive abstracts, limited full-text access to selected items is available. Covers 1966-present.
- Professional Development Collection – This EBSCO database draws from over 500 education journals, of which more than 350 are peer-reviewed. Includes extensive full-text links.
- Web of Knowledge: Social Science Citation Index – This database is primarily designed for citation searching rather than subject searching. However, citation searching can be very helpful when trying to locate and define a specific body of research.
Depending on your research topic, you may want to consider additional databases such as Human Resources Abstracts, Business Source Ultimate (both are useful for HRD topics); PsycInfo for topics related to behavior and attitudes; and SocIndex for topics related to social policy, social justice, and social welfare issues. Databases are linked from the A-Z Databases guide at https://guides.library.illinois.edu/az.php.
Library catalogs are used for two purposes. First, if you know exactly what you are looking for – an exact title or author – you can use the catalog to locate your material. This works for book titles and journal titles. Second, you can use library catalogs to discover material that might be helpful to you by doing subject and keyword searching.
- Online Library Catalog – Look here to find books, DVDs, magazines or journals containing articles that you need, and many other resources. In addition to the 14 million volumes we have on this campus, you can connect to 90 other libraries in Illinois and request that books be sent to you. When you find something you want in the catalog, write down the following:
Location– in which library the item is kept (or libraries, if we have multiple copies)
Call Number – this number is essential for finding the item on the shelf
Status – is it available for you to check out?
- WorldCat and Interlibrary Loan – The places to verify citations for books and request books and articles you cannot find elsewhere. Ordering books and journals via interlibrary loan is free and generally fairly quick.
- Digest of Education Statistics – Available both electronically, as well as in print (370.973 Un3d1) in our reference collection, the Digest of Education Statistics is the official U.S. authority for statistics on almost every aspect of education.
- The Encyclopedia of Education (Q.370.3 En193 2003/SSHEL Reference) – This eight-volume encyclopedia provides detailed explanations for many of the terms and concepts related to the study of education. In addition to the general information provided by this source, its 8th volume provides detailed entries for court cases, legislation, and international agreements that have influenced the history of education.
- The Greenwood Dictionary of Education (370.3 G856 2011)
A comprehensive dictionary for a variety of subjects within education. It provides more than 3,000 terms, acronyms, and initialisms that are in contemporary use and understanding. The dictionary includes a preface, the dictionary itself, and a bibliography for the definitions.
Guidelines for citing electronic and print resources are available from the Undergraduate Library’s Citation Styles guide.
Need help collecting and organizing your citations and producing a list of works cited? Citation management tools can help! The guide “ Citation Managers” helps users choose a citation management tool and provides links to other guides on specific options like Zotero, Mendeley, and EndNote.
Ask-A-Librarian for Help with Your Research
Use our Ask-A-Librarian Service to IM, chat, email, phone or find a reference librarian.
Office: Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library, 100 Main Library
Contact a librarian to request an appointment for an in-depth Research Consultation.
Finding Your Way Around
There are over 25 departmental libraries on our campus, and sometimes it may be difficult to determine where to find the resources you need. For your class, the library that you will be using most is the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library (SSHEL). We are located in SSHEL North (Room 100) and SSHEL South (Room 101) of the Main Library building. Do not hesitate to contact us and ask for assistance.