April 25th, 2008

Searching for Specific Methodologies

While at the Atlanta colloquium, I was asked the same question over and over: How do I find a research article that uses a specific methodology?

There are many types of methodology terms you may run into: qualitative, quantitative, case study, mixed method, phenomenological, action research, content analysis, etc. The list goes on and on, and will depend on the school and specialization you are in. Knowing the methodology terms in your field is the first step (look at your textbooks or articles you’ve already read for help with this step).

Next you’ll go into the library databases and use a methodology term to search. Most authors will mention the methodology they are using in the abstract of the article. Because searching by methodology will greatly reduce your search results, you may need to search a broader topic.

Here’s an example of a search in SocINDEX for case study research articles about juvenile delinquency:


Why search by a specific methodology? By looking at research articles that use a particular methodology you can learn a lot about your field. What types of research are common? What types of methodology are appropriate for a specific research question? How do you construct a research study? What methodologies should you consider for your dissertation research?

For more help finding articles using specific methodologies, you can look at our library guides Search by Methodology or Search by Methodology: Case Study.

Or you can always Ask a Librarian.

– Erin


Comment from Lyle Sharp
Time August 31, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Broken link…


Comment from kstaley
Time September 14, 2010 at 9:01 am

Thanks for letting us know. The link has been fixed.


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