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EDCI 811: Quantitative Research Methodology (McNeese, Fall 2015)

by Theresa Rhodes last modified Aug 08, 2016 09:09 AM

Welcome to the community of scholarship!  As you progress on your doctoral program, you are adding to your knowledge discoveries and exploring a variety of research sources.  By the time you take this class, you should have already been introduced to the basics of using the resources of the University Libraries.  Updated guides on more of the basics are available, including EDCI 809 and the specific guide for Education resources.  The purpose of this guide is to focus on refining searches to identify scholarly articles that focus on quantitative approach in educational research.  New:  Follow this link to an updated guide created for the Educational Leadership track by my colleague, Stephen Michaels.

Finding resources

Mercer University Libraries and GALILEO have licensed a discovery service that allows you to search many of our databases simultaneously.  You are now able to search the library's physical holdings (books, DVDs, etc.) and our licensed content (journal articles, indexes, etc.) at the same time!  We have been able to include the vast majority of our databases and full text resources in this tool, but unfortunately, we cannot include some resources.  For that reason, you would need to keep in mind that you are not searching everything when you use Discovery.  For example, ProQuest's Education Journals resource is not included.  Another important reminder is that when you search these resources simultaneously, your results may be overwhelming.  This is a great tool, but this is not always the best starting point.

For example, a basic search in Discovery for academic achievement quantitative research returns almost 500,000 results!

While you can, and should, refine the results using the options down the left side of the page, I recommend that you save the Discovery search option for later and take a more targeted approach for identifying research articles with quantitative statistical analysis.  Disclaimer:  this search tool launched in early August, so I am still learning; page may be adjusted, as I become a better searcher!

Once you have logged in to the website, click on the Research Tools & Help or Research Guides & Tutorials link and select Education from the list.

Starting with the first tab for databases, we will use Education Full-Text for a more refined search than our 475,000 results using Discovery.

A search in this targeted resource using academic achievement and quantitative research as subjects returns a manageable 25 results.

  • Remember to take advantage of the Thesaurus tool available in this resource that allows you to narrow your selected term(s) to words beginning with your term, containing your term, or a relevancy ranking.
  • Try including terms such as quantitative research, quantitative study, quantitative research methods, and quantitative data in addition to your selected subject.
  • Remember to use the database help option, especially for searching to take full advantage of wildcards and Boolean operators as well as other features.
Using Proquest Education Journals

Another approach to finding sources is to search your topic in specific journals.  Browse the database list to search Education Journals (Proquest).  The syllabus includes a sample list of professional journals, three of which are included in this resource that includes over 900 titles with over 600 available in full text.  Check with Dr. McNeese about using other titles available through this database that are not listed in the syllabus.

Search this resource using the Publications tab

Pay close attention to the coverage dates, since the availability of full text will vary for each title.


Citing resources

You are already familiar with APA format, so this section is included for easy reference.  Tarver librarians are available to assist you with reviewing your citations.  Please ask a librarian for assistance!  It is important to remember that instructors may have specific guidelines of their own.  When in doubt whether or not to use a particular aspect of APA style, always ask your instructor to clarify.

The following guides and tutorials are a sample of the resources available to help you learn your style manual.  The more you use the style, the more comfortable you will become, but it will take time!  Tarver Library has two copies of the printed APA style manual available for a three-hour library use checkout from the Circulation Desk.

  • Purdue OWL: APA Formatting and Style Guide
    The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University is one of the most used resources on using the APA citation style.  Links on the left margin lead you to specific information on Reference lists, in-text citations, and formatting.  You may find it helpful to look at their sample paper as you work on your own.  This paper may also be downloaded as a PDF document.
  • The Writer's Handbook: APA Documentation Guide
    The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin - Madison created this guide.  Links on the right margin lead to specific information parenthetical citations, Reference lists, format and heading, and usage and style.  The Writing Center also provides this PDF handout on common APA guidelines.
  • The Basics of APA Style
    The American Psychological Association created this tutorial for those with no previous knowledge in using the style manual.  You will need to click on a link within this URL to start the tutorial.  This page also provides links to quick answers on References and formatting.
Managing resources

You may or may not have begun to use Zotero for managing your resources.  If not, I highly recommend that you explore these timesaving resources. 

Zotero (pronounced "zoh-TAIR-oh") is software that collects, manages, and cites research sources.  It is easy to use, lives in your web browser where you do your work, and best of all it is free and accessible after you leave Mercer.  This tool will help you keep track of the sources you use for your projects, and help format the citations!

We also have some video tutorials available:

A search on YouTube for Zotero retrieves over 8,000 results!


You are not in this alone!  Remember to login to the website, especially if you are using the resources outside the library.  Logging in authenticates you against the library's proxy server providing access to all resources purchased for Mercerians.  

Your professor is an expert on the subject matter.  Tarver Librarians are available to help you locate and interpret sources needed to complete your assignments, including:

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