1. Identify your information need
For beginning your search for research articles, consider your research question and identify the key components.
How does teenage bullying impact school performance?
Also, consider the other criteria; for example: Do you need peer-reviewed articles? Do you need the most recent research or an overview of how the research has evolved over time?
2. Define your terms
Do any of the concepts need to be operationalized or more focused? Remember, the variables need to be measurable in some way.
For example, what does "school performance" mean? We'll need to decide if we want to look at academic achievement (measurable via grades, graduation rates, etc. or something captured via an instrument or survey (like strong social networks).
3. Brainstorm synonyms or related terms that might be helpful for the search
Before you start searching for resources, take a few moments to think of the relevant terms that you might want to search with. This will help you build and revise your search.
When you're ready to search for articles, the next thing to consider is "Who cares?" Research literature databases are often organized around disciplines or research areas. For example:
|Research Topic||Best Article Database||Other Suggested Database|
|Bullying in school||ERIC (Education)||PsycINFO (Psychology)|
|Racial discrimination and drug enforcement policy||Criminal Justice Abstracts (Criminal Justice)||Sociological Abstracts (Sociology)|
|Domestic violence prevention programs||Social Services Abstracts (Social Work)||PsycINFO (Psychology)|
|Substance abuse treatment for adolescents||PsycINFO (Psychology)||Social Services Abstracts (Social Work)|
Social Services Abstracts searches a defined set of resources, all focused on social work, social welfare and services, policy, and community development
PsycINFO searches a defined set of resources, all focused in the field of psychology
Google Scholar searches across resources from all disciplines/subject areas:
Another valuable way to find related articles is to utilize the references and "cited by"s of any article you already have. Article authors have done a literature review, and so they have identified more articles on the topic for you.
Also, after an article has been published, other authors working in the same research are likely to cite it in their literature review. Most databases will display a "cited by" link to other articles. For example: