Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
site header image

EDFOUND 780: Reading, Analyzing, and Evaluating Educational Research

This guide also supports HELEAD 780, CIGENRL 723, EDUINDP 724, 726, and other capstone preparation courses.

Keywords & Limiters for Locating Empirical Research

When searching for empirical (primary or original) research articles, look to subject headings and key terms for clues. 

subject headings and empirical research clues

These are examples of some key words you might use in your database searches to help narrow your results to this type of research. Use of these keywords does not guarantee that all articles found will be empirical research. You will need to analyze each potential article to see if it contains empirical or original research.


 Thesaurus- Subject Search:

case study
method* (method or methodology)
sampl* (sample or sampling)
statistic* (statistics or statistical)

quantitative studies
qualitative studies
Chi Square Test
analysis of variance
confidence intervals
statistical significance
T-tests, P-value
data Analysis

 Additional Limiters:

Look for the Advanced Search option in each database. If the database allows, such as EBSCOHost CINAHL, limit your search by publication types that are quantitative by definition. For example:

  • randomized control trial
  • meta-analysis
  • clinical trial

Limiting to "peer-reviewed" articles will also prove useful.

This example shows available limiters in CINAHL (EBSCOHost). Not all databases in EBSCO offer limiters like those pictured below. When that is the case, type subject headings as described above in your search.

Ebsco limit options