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Research Methods  

Last Updated: Feb 17, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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What is a research method?

Definition: The process used to collect information and data for the purpose of making business decisions. The methodology may include publication research, interviews, surveys, and other research techniques, and could include both present and historical information.

Research Methodology. (n.d.). In Retrieved April 24, 2014, from 

This guide was created to provide users with a general background on research methods. If you need any help with these resources, ask a librarian!



In the Online Library

Many of the library databases from EBSCOhost contain articles in which the authors have used different research methods in their work. To locate these types of articles use keywords with your searches like:

  • Survey Method
  • Case Study
  • Correlational Design
  • Experimental Method
  • Qualitative

Example searches:

  • child abuse AND survey method
  • holistic medicine AND case study

The EBSCOhost Research Databases are found in the Online Library > Find by Resource > All Resources.


Things to Remember!

When needing to select and use a research method, keep the following in mind:

  • The best method depends on the research question and hypothesis
  • Which method will help me answer my research question?
  • All research methods have strengths and weaknesses
  • Sometimes, multiple methods will need to be used due to the intricate nature of a project. This refers to mixed methods





Search Tips

Boolean Operators are simple words (AND, OR, NOT or AND NOT) used as conjunctions to combine or exclude keywords in a search, resulting in more focused and productive search results. Using these operators can help in significantly reducing or expanding the amount of results returned.

What does this mean for you? Well, it will help save on time, allow your searching to be more efficient, and lastly, result in getting back more relevant information.

AND—requires both terms to be in each item returned. If one term is contained in the document and the other is not, the item is not included in the resulting list. (Narrows the search)

OR—either term (or both) will be in the returned document. (Broadens the search)

NOT or AND NOT ( dependent upon the coding of the database's search engine)—the first term is searched, then any records containing the term after the operators are eliminated from the results. (Be careful with using this option as the attempt to narrow the search may be too exclusive and eliminate good records). 

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