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Research in Economics Research Skills Searching is not intuitive. There are techniques you can learn to achieve better search results. Critical thinking is involved in searching and in evaluating search results. Benefits of Learning Research Skills

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research skills
Research Skills
  • Searching is not intuitive.
  • There are techniques you can learn to achieve better search results.
  • Critical thinking is involved in searching and in evaluating search results.
benefits of learning research skills
Benefits of Learning Research Skills
  • Gives you access to a full range of resources.
  • Lets you acquire skills that can be used through the course of your lives and careers.
  • Allows you to do more exciting work as students.
today you will learn
Today you will learn
  • How to conduct research.
  • How to find resources in economics.
  • How to evaluate the results of your searching.
  • Some sources for topic ideas
    • Literature in the field of Economics
    • Work or life experience
    • Instructor
resources for your topic
Resources For Your Topic
  • Books or Government Documents
  • Periodical or Journal Articles
  • Internet
availability of books and government documents
Availability of Books and Government Documents
  • Information on resources available can be found on the Library Catalog
  • Available to be delivered from the Stiern Library – go to and click on distance services for more information
  • Available from other libraries through I.L.L.

(Usually free through Stiern Library for CSUB students)

finding books on a topic
Finding books on a topic.
  • Library Catalogs that you can access from the CSUB Library website at
  • Book Reviews are available through subscription databases like Wilson Web.
  • Works Cited or Bibliographies.
  • Instructor or Librarian.
  • Online Vendors – or
csub library catalog
CSUB Library Catalog
  • Searchable electronic database.
  • 3 types of searches: Author/Title Search, Guided Search, and New Acquisitions.
  • Setting limits is optional.
  • In Command Search, ? for variant endings, Boolean Operators, quotation marks, parentheses, and field codes can be used.
electronic reference materials available through stiern library
Electronic Reference Materials Available through Stiern Library
  • CQ Researcher
  • World Mark Encyclopedia of National Economies under Nation and World and Encyclopedia of Education under Education – Gale Virtual Reference Library
  • Rand California and STAT USA
  • Statistical Abstract of the United States
cq researcher
CQ Researcher
  • CQ Researcher is available under Reference Sources from Stiern Library site.
  • Published by a division of Congressional Quarterly Inc.
  • Contains in-depth reports on current political and social issues written by journalists.
world mark encyclopedia of national economies encyclopedia of education
World Mark Encyclopedia of National Economies/Encyclopedia of Education
  • Both are available from the Gale Virtual Reference Library under Reference Sources from Stiern Library site.
  • World Mark Encyclopedia appears under Nation and World.
  • Encyclopedia of Education appears under Education.
  • Click View Publications to see a list of references under each subject heading.
rand california stat usa and u s trade online
Rand California, STAT USA, and U.S. Trade Online
  • Available through the list of Reference Sources from the Stiern Library Website.
  • These sources would be good for statistical information for California and the United States.
statistical abstract of the united states
Statistical Abstract of the United States
  • Statistical Abstract of the United States, available free online, also under Reference Sources from Stiern Library site.
  • From the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Contains statistical information on United States Education, including public elementary and secondary schools, charter schools, employed students, and home schooling.
  • Comes out annually in print version of the same name.
  • Periodicals include magazine, journal, and newspaper articles.
  • Journal articles are written for a profession by professionals in that field.
  • Peer-reviewed journals have been evaluated by professionals in the field.
periodical databases slide 1
Periodical Databases (Slide 1)
  • Periodical databases are collections of articles or references to articles from journals, popular magazines, or newspapers.
  • Access is primarily through Periodical Databases from the Stiern Library at
periodical databases slide 2
Periodical Databases (Slide 2)
  • CSUB has purchased subscriptions to electronic periodical databases for student use.
  • Indexed and Searchable.
  • The Full Text of the article is often available, if not in the database you are currently using, through other databases, in print form through the Distance Services Link, or through I.L.L. request.
electronic databases

Electronic Databases

Economics and Education

databases for economic and education research
Databases for Economic and Education Research
  • EconLit (EBSCO)
  • Eric (Cambridge Scientific)
  • Omnifile Full Text from Wilson
  • Academic Search Elite (EBSCO)
econlit from ebsco
EconLit from (EBSCO)
  • EconLit provides an index and links to full text for international literature in economics.
  • Electronic database for the American Economic Association
  • It provides access to materials going as far back as 1969.
  • It will show you what articles are available on your topic and links you to those articles.
abi inform proquest
ABI/INFORM (Proquest)
  • A source of business information for more than 30 years.
  • ABI/INFORM includes information from thousands of journals for researching international industry topics and trends, as well as, much more.
eric from cambridge scientific abstracts
Eric from Cambridge Scientific Abstracts
  • ERIC stands for Educational Resources Information Center.
  • It is a database sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education to provide access to educational literature.
  • ERIC corresponds to two print journals: Resources in Education and Current Index to Journals in Education.
  • There is some full text available.
omnifile full text in wilsonweb
Omnifile Full Text in WilsonWeb
  • Omnifile Full Text provides indexing and abstracting plus full text of journal articles.
  • Full text is available from 1995.
  • Selecting Omnifile Mega will search the Business, Social Sciences, Education, and Humanities Databases.
academic search elite in ebscohost
Academic Search Elite in EBSCOHost
  • Multidisciplinary database that offers full text for nearly 2,050 scholarly journals.
  • Academic Search Elite includes nearly 1,500 peer-reviewed titles covering virtually every area of academic study.
  • Once you know what you are looking for and where you think you might find it, then you can construct an effective search strategy.
effective search strategy
Effective Search Strategy
  • An effective search strategy is one that gets the results needed in order to successfully research a topic.
understand your topic
Understand your topic
  • Be able to state your search topic clearly in a single, simple sentence.
  • This sentence becomes the foundation of your search.
  • For example:

Impoverished children do not have access to the same quality of education as affluent children.

look for the individual concepts in your topic
Look for the individual concepts in your topic
  • The sentence: Impoverished children do not have access to the same quality of education as affluent children has three concepts which can be used as keywords.
    • Impoverished or poor or poverty
    • Child*
    • Quality of educat*
making your search clear
Making Your Search Clear
  • Concepts -- People use alternate terms to denote the same meaning, e.g., teens and young adults.
  • Context allows people to understand concepts even if different terms are used to describe the concept.
  • Computers do not recognize context and will not automatically search for possible variations of terms.
controlled vocabulary
Controlled Vocabulary
  • Because computers do not recognize context, it may be better to search within a database’s controlled vocabulary.
  • Many databases have thesauri which enable you to look up the terms that have been applied to your topic so that you will have better search results.
keyword searching
Keyword Searching
  • Keyword searching is when keywords representing concepts are searched in a database.
  • Keyword searching can be problematic because people use different terms for different concepts.
  • Unless all terms are included you may not retrieve all relevant results.
search tools
Search Tools
  • Boolean Logic
  • Truncation
  • Using search tools such as Boolean Logic and Truncation greatly increases your chances of retrieving relevant results in a keyword search.
boolean logic
Boolean Logic
  • And -- education AND economic policy – focuses the search to combine both concepts in the search results.
  • Or – education OR schooling – broadens the search by allowing either synonym to appear in the search results.
  • Not – discrimination NOT rac* – narrows the search by excluding a search term from the search results.
  • Truncation allows the computer to retrieve all words that have the same beginning.
  • For example, Truncat* would retrieve truncation, truncating, truncate, truncates, and truncated.
  • An * is used for truncation in the CSA and EBSCOhost databases.
  • In many databases, an * or a ? may also be used as a wildcard to find alternate spellings within a word: e.g. behav*r would find behavior or behaviour.
use synonyms and truncation to broaden your search results
Use synonyms and truncation to broaden your search results.
  • For example
    • inclusi* OR mainstreaming – both terms express the first concept.
    • education
    • economic policy for the second concept.
    • disab* for the third concept.
link terms with boolean operators
Link Terms with Boolean Operators
  • Inclusi* OR mainstreaming would be linked with OR because either term is acceptable.
  • All of the search terms can be linked with AND.
  • The search string would look like this: (inclusi* OR mainstreaming) AND education AND economic policy AND disab*.
choose appropriate databases
Choose appropriate databases
  • CSUB Periodical Databases
  • CSUB Periodical Databases by Subject
search the databases
Search the Databases
  • Decide between a keyword search with Boolean operators or a controlled vocabulary search.
  • When doing a keyword search, enter terms linked with appropriate truncation and Boolean operators into the search boxes.
  • Evaluate the results of your search.
  • Check the title, abstract, and subject descriptors to evaluate search results and to refine your search. Searching in these fields can give better search results.
searching periodical databases
Searching Periodical Databases
  • Databases are usually fairly similar in terms of searching.
  • Basic search techniques do not change much from database to database.
  • The help menu can give you additional information.
econlit ebsco
EconLit (EBSCO)
  • To access, go to the library homepage
  • Click on Periodical Databases.
  • Click on the database title.
  • Enter your CSUB RunnerCard ID number and last name, then click Login.
other useful sources under periodical databases
Other Useful Sources under Periodical Databases
  • Lexis Nexis Academic Search - legislation in education
  • PsycINFO in Academic Search Elite
  • Social Services Abstracts or Sociological Abstracts from Cambridge Scientific Abstracts
evaluating research sources
Evaluating Research Sources
  • Check to be sure that your results are giving you the information you need. You may need to use different search terms to get better results.
  • If you find one or two good articles check the descriptive terms for those articles and apply them to a future search.
  • Can be a valuable resource.
  • There are many search engines including Google (
  • Advanced search allows for better results.
  • Useful Economics and Education sites can be found under Subject Guides then under Economics or Education at
internet site evaluation
Internet Site Evaluation
  • Authority
  • Objectivity
  • Currency
  • Accuracy
  • Coverage
  • Who is responsible for the site?
    • Contact information should be present, if not, proceed with caution.
    • Site responsibility information can often be found in the header or footer of the page.
  • Look at the domain name for information about the authority behind the site.
    • .edu, .gov, .mil, .org, .com = common domain names
  • Try to find out the purpose or point of view of the site.
  • Is it possible that the material is biased?
    • Try to discover what organization is hosting the site.
  • Links to other pages invite you to compare the information on the page.
  • Advertisements may suggest that the author is trying to sell something.
  • Where does the information come from?
  • Are there references on the site?
  • Look at the content of the page for obvious discrepancies.
  • Check for the site’s currency.
    • Websites should be dated and updated on a regular basis. This is particularly important for scientific, legal and statistical information that is subject to frequent change.
    • When were the site and the articleson the site created?
  • When was it last updated?
    • Creation and revision dates are often found in the footer of the page, in About the Site, or in Frequently Asked Questions.
    • Dead links or lack of a revision date suggest that a site is no longer active.
  • Is the topic adequately discussed for my purpose or is the coverage too shallow?
  • In what way is the information on this page better than other information?
  • Internet information can be more current than print information.
  • American Educational Research Association
  • - Subject Guide to the U.S. Dept. of Education Website.
searching the internet
Searching the Internet
  • Advanced Search offers more options and the opportunity to conduct a more precise search.
  • Domain name limiters
  • Source for websites on Economics and Education is at the Stiern Library website under Subject Guides and Economics or Education.
evaluating internet sites
Evaluating Internet Sites
  • When using the Internet remember that you must be the evaluator of the sites that you use.
citing your sources in apa
Citing Your Sources in APA
  • Publication manual of the American Psychological Association.
  • APA Style| Electronic References – From the American Psychological Association. This site gives updated information on citing electronic resources.
  • OWL at Purdue University: Using APA Format – This site has a workshop and powerpoint presentation to help students use the APA style in their papers.
  • Ask your instructor.
  • Consult with the reference librarian Kristine Holloway in room 405, by phone (661) 952-5072, or email
  • Consult with the Economics librarian: Johanna Alexander at or the Education librarian Sandra Bozarth at or call 1-800-788-CSUB and ask for either by name.
  • Good Luck!