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Counseling and Student Personnel

A guide identifing basic resources to consult when conducting research in the fields of mental health, community, and school counseling as well as college student affairs.

Empirical Research

To find empirical articles:
PsycINFO (ProQuest):
  • Use the "Advanced Search"
  • Type your keywords into the search boxes
  • Scroll down the page to "Methodology," and choose "Empirical Study"
  • Choose other limits, such as publication date, if needed
  • Click on the "Search" button
Other databases does not have a simple method to locate empirical research. Using "empirical" as a keyword will find some studies, but miss others. One technique is to search for "Research Reports."
To further limit results, look to the left side of the results screen at "Source Type," to limit to, for example "Scholarly Journals."
  • Use the "Advanced Search"
  • Type your keywords into the search boxes
  • Scroll down the page to "Document Type" or "Publication Type" and look for "Reports: Research" as an option
  • Click on the "Search" button
An alternative is to use different terminology. Some useful keywords are:
  • Action Research
  • Case Studies
  • Ethnography
  • Evaluation Methods
  • Evaluation Research
  • Experiments
  • Fieldwork
  • Focus Groups
  • Field Studies
  • Grounded Theory
  • Interviews
  • Mail Surveys
  • Mixed Methods Research
  • Naturalistic Observation
  • Observation
  • Online Surveys
  • Participant Observation
  • Participatory Research
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Questionnaires
  • Research
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Statistical Studies
  • Surveys
  • Telephone Surveys

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