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EDIS 3045: Mathematics in Early Childhood

What is Empirical Research?

So, you need to find empirical articles for this course. What exactly is an empirical study anyway? Watch and learn!

Locating Empirical Research

Now that you know what empirical research is, you need to be able to search effectively for it.

When searching databases, your librarian likes to give a Lord of the Rings analogy. There is no one database to rule them all!

You need to use multiple databases in order to be successful. Why? Because different databases own the rights to different journals. No matter what they may pitch themselves as, no one database offers comprehensive coverage. If you only use one, you could be missing out on valuable research articles!

The databases that have search functions for empirical research that are relevant for this course are:

  1. ERIC (hosted through EBSCO)
  2. PsycINFO (included in our APA PyscNET database package)
  3. Child Development and Adolescent Studies (hosted through EBSCO)

This does not mean that other databases do not have empirical research articles. These are the databases with the most direct methods to searching for empirical research.

Searching PsycINFO

PsycINFO is the world's largest resource devoted to peer-reviewed literature in behavioral science and mental health. Produced by the American Psychological Association, it is an indispensable tool for the discovery of global scholarly research.

To find empirical articles in PsycINFO (APA PsycNET):

Using the "Advanced Search"

  • Type your keywords into the search boxes
  • Check the "Peer-Reviewed" box
  • Scroll down the page to "Methodology," and choose "Empirical Study" or "Qualitative Study" or "Quantitative Study"
  • Choose other limits, such as publication date, if needed
  • Click on the "Search" button

Searching ERIC

ERIC is an online library of education research and information, sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education. It is the largest Education-research database.

To find empirical articles in ERIC, there are a few methods. There is not one magic search option to gather all empirical studies. 

Using the "Advanced Search":

  • Type your keywords into the search boxes
  • Check the "Peer-Reviewed" box
  • Scroll down the page to "Publication Type," and choose either "Reports: Research" or if you are specifically looking for quantitative studies select "Numerical/Quantitative Studies"
  • Choose other limits, such as publication date, if needed

Searching Child Development and Adolescent Studies

Child Development and Adolescent Studies is a source for references to the current and historical literature related to growth and development of children through the age of 21. To find empirical articles:

Using the "Advanced Search":

  • Type your keywords into the search boxes
  • Check the "Peer-Reviewed" box
  • Scroll down the page to "Publication Type," and select "Academic Journal" and/or "Report"