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VAN 546: Research Methods in Organizational Psychology: Step 2: Other Databases

Searching in multiple databases

If your topic involves... Search in:
Economics ProQuest Psychology Journals or Business Source Elite
Social issues SocINDEX, SAGE Journals, or Academic Search Complete
Education ERIC

Databases are highly structured and designed to suit various disciplines. Choosing appropriate databases, and searching multiple databases as appropriate, will help ensure you've done a good search on your topic and have an accurate sense of any gaps in the literature.

EBSCO databases

EBSCOhost is an interface that provides access to databases. Adler University subscribes to the following databases on the EBSCOhost interface: Academic Search Complete, Business Source Elite, ERIC, SocINDEX, and others. Each has different content and a different focus, but you can search them all with a few basic tools.

Start with a keyword search

Type your keywords into the search bar, just as you would in Google. You will likely get a large number of results; browse the first 50 or so to get the lay of the land. Make a note of any subject headings that seem relevant to your search.

subject headings in business source


Use subject headings

Once you've identified several subject headings, add them to your search. Look for a button at the top of the screen that says Subjects or Thesaurus

Add the subject headings to your search by ticking the box to the left, just as you did in PsycINFO. Then, look for the Search Database, Add, or Add to Search button.

Use the Search History link to open a table that will allow you to combine subjects with AND and OR.

business source search history search history

ProQuest databases

The ProQuest databases you will use most are ProQuest Psychology Journals and Dissertations & Theses. ProQuest Psychology Journals contains large amounts of full text, and dissertations can be extremely useful when you are having trouble finding articles -- a good dissertation will have an extensive bibliography.

While some ProQuest databases have a thesaurus of subject terms, you will have the most luck with them if you master keyword searching. As you search with keywords, you will use several tools, including:

Truncation Add a star * to a word to pick up different endings: invest* will retrieve investment, investors, etc.
Phrase searches Put quotation marks around your search terms to search for all of them together: "corporate social responsibility"
Grouping terms Use parentheses to tell the database what to search first: (business OR organizations) AND "social responsibility" will first find articles with either "business" or "organizations", then select those articles that also have the phrase "social responsibility"
Alternate terms Remember to use OR to capture synonyms, closely related concepts, and alternate spellings!: "social responsibility" OR CSR
Proximity Many databases will allow you to search for words that appear close to one another. This can help narrow results down. In both ProQuest and EBSCO databases, type NEAR/[a number]: "corporate social responsibility" NEAR/3 investors will find articles with "corporate social responsibility" and "investors" within 3 words of each other