Posted by rveal included in Research Tips
Often times I get calls from learners who want an overview of a topic or perhaps a theory. They are inclined to turn to journal articles. However journal articles tend to focus on very specific questions and often do not have the broad overview you may be looking for. So where do you turn?
The Library has a database called Gale Virtual Reference that has subject specific encyclopedias in education, psychology, business, criminology and many other areas. The articles in these encyclopedias are often lengthy and written by experts in the field. For example if you do a search under the words “research methods” (putting the words in quotation marks to search as a phrase), one of the many articles that comes up is from the Encyclopedia of Education. It is 18 pages long and gives a good overview of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research.
So if you are having trouble understanding a concept and need an overview or definition, this is a great place to start. Reading the article will also give you ideas for other words that describe the concept and that you may want to use in searching for further information.
Check it out and let me know what you think!
If you have other questions about this resource Ask-a-Librarian.