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Education Research

Search Strategies in Databases

1) PHRASE SEARCHING use " " quotation marks to search for a phrase e.g. "organizational culture", "academic promotion", "performance-based funding"

2) AND to join dissimilar term e.g. "self reflection" AND pedagog*

3) OR to join similar terms e.g. "self reflection" OR metacognition; instruction OR teaching

4) TRUNCATION use an * to look for end variation on a word e.g. leader* = leader, leaders, leadership etc.

5) Use FIELDS to limit one or more search terms to e.g. Title field.

6) Leverage SUBJECTS.  These can vary between search tools. e.g. Portfolios in education.

7) Use FILTERS including publication date or source type.


  • in ERIC (ProQuest)
    • (reflective OR reflection) P/3 student (within 3 words & in order)
    • "multi-disciplinary approach" N/3 teach* (near, any order)
  • in Education Full-Text (EBSCO)
    • "self reflection" W3 sociology (within 3 words & in order)
    • "self reflection" N2 bias (near, any order)

Cited By

Google Scholar provides Cited By information for many books and articles.  This may be especially useful if the title is a bit older and has had time to be cited.


1. Search for the title in Google Scholar. e.g The first-generation student experience: implications for campus practice, and strategies for improving persistence and success (2010) by Jeff Davis.

2. Locate the title and click the "Cited By X" link.

screenshot Cited By Link in Google Scholar


3.  Browse the Cited By titles and/or  "Search with citing articles" by adding one or more search terms to the search box.

screenshot - search within Cited By titles in Google Scholar