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Research Guides

EHRD 371 - Applied Learning Principles (Spring 2021)

Textbook (available online)

Key Databases

Database Searching Strategies

Breaking a Search Query into 2 or 3 Concepts

  • Looking for articles about online military learners. Break it into 3 main search terms: online > veterans > learning

Boolean Connector: OR

  • Use OR and synonyms to get more hits. For example, adult education OR adult learning OR andragogy

Boolean Connector: AND

  • Use AND to combine all concepts. For example, adult  education AND (online OR distance education)
  • Comparing the following two search queries. The 2nd one may yield more and better results.

    adult learning AND online AND veterans

    vs -------------------
    adult education or andragogy or adult learning or lifelong learning
    veterans or military  or soldiers or servicemen
    online or virtual or distance education


Title / Abstract Searchable Fields

  • You can limit one of the concept term(s) to Title or Abstract field especially when you have too many hits or you want to filter out the not-so-related articles quickly.
    > Limit to TITLE = My search terms must appear in the Title of the articles.
    > Limit to ABSTRACT = My Search terms must appear in the summaries of the articles.

    Sample Topic: Looking for theories on adult learning motivation. You may limit the "motivation" concept to the Title field.

    adult education or adult learning 
    theory or theories or model or framework
    motivation    [Limit to Title]


Use Google's "Related Articles" link to find the related articles, or use the "City By" link to find the related and newer papers that have cited a particular paper. This is a quick way to find the related literature.

  • A Sample Search using GOOGLE SCHOLAR:   adult education theory to practice
  • Those entries with higher numbers in their  "Cited by" links are the ones cited most. Use these links to find the related and newer studies. You could also use the 'Related Articles" to fulfill the same purpose.
  • Click on the double arrows icon under each entry >> or the full text links on the left to get full text provided by TAMU Library.
  • TIPS: You can ask Google Scholar to insert a ReWorks link for quick citing. Go to Settings>Bibliography Manager > Replace BibTeX with RefWorks> Save. As a result, each paper retrieved will bear an Import to RefWorks link. You can quickly into an article entry into your RefWorks account with one click.