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Research & Applications MSED/MSOD

Strategies and tips for locating resources for your literature review project.

Requesting Article Copies

Please email all article copy requests to: library@newmanu.edu

Searching for Journal Articles

The library provides access to a wide variety of databases.  Some are general in nature, meaning they have articles that cover a multitude of topics.  Others are specific in nature, focused on a single discipline or subject area. When getting started, we suggest that you begin with the general databases, moving toward subject or discipline databases as you narrow down your topic.

You can begin searching by using the keywords and subject headings that you've identified.  You'll find a mixture of both full text and non full text articles in your result list.  You can request copies of articles through interlibrary loan, this is a free service for you as a Newman University student. If you're not sure what databases to search or where to get started, please be sure to ask one of our librarians.  We'd be happy to help you get started.

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Identifying a Research Article

A research article is a scholarly article that essentially reports the results of original, primary research and typically appears in peer-reviewed or refereed periodicals.  For this reason, research articles are considered the pinnacle of information sources. Research articles are almost always written in the same format.  Understanding the format of research articles should help you to more easily navigate databases and select appropriate sources for you to use for your research.  Most research articles incorporate five standard elements. The format that research articles follow mirror the research process.  

  1. Introduction: summarizes the problem researched, its significance, and the nature of the study
  2. Literature review: provides a framework for understanding the problem and the theoretical rationale behind conducting the study; sources cited are typically listed at the end in some sort of reference page
  3. Methodology: describes how the data were collected, including things like the population studies and the data collection instrument used
  4. Results/findings: presents a summary of the data collected, typically in the form of charts and tables with accompanying narrative
  5. Discussion/conclusion: includes such information as the interpretation of the data, recommendations for further study, and limitations of the study.

Other elements that you many find in research articles are an abstract or summary, information about the author(s), and a list of references.  The references can be very helpful in directing your to other possible sources of information.

"The student's survival guide to research," M.L. McAdoo, p. 123-4.


It is important to remember that the articles you locate to use in your topic presentation need to be about primary research, an original study or experiment.  

While most articles will have a brief literature review included, this should not be the main focus of the articles that you select to use for this assignment. If you use the information provided above and keep in mind what was discussed in class, you should not have any problem locating up-to-date and relevant research articles!