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RMP 612: Therapeutic Communication and Facilitation Techniques in TR (UNH Durham)

Information and resources for Prof. Patricia Craig's course

Approaches to Searching and Finding Related Articles

Use 2 or 3 significant words or terms from your research topic. Use the connector "and" to retrieve records with all the keywords you list to focus and narrow your results

  • stress and management and exercise

Develop synonyms and alternative terms. Use the connector "or" indicate that any one of the terms listed needs to be in the results shown; this usually increases the number of relevant results

  • teens or youth or adolescents
  • exercise or physical activity

 Try a broader concept if a specific term doesn't retrieve enough results

  •  instead of Girls, Inc, try programs for adolescent girls

Try a more specific aspect or element if you get too many results with a very broad concept

  • instead of sports, search a specific sport or category such as baseball or water sports

Use quotation marks to indicate a phrase

  • "cognitive behavior therapy"

Use an asterisk * to pick up words with the same stem but different endings

  • therap* returns therapy, therapeutic, therapists

Look for new words or terms to search when reviewing your results or reading the full-text article.

Searching by the subjects assigned to articles helps

  • identify articles in which the subject is a main focus and not just not just a passing reference
  • pull together results on same concept even if author uses different terms in title or abstract
    • the subject "capital punishment" will retrieve articles using the term "death penalty" as well as those using "capital punishment"
  • when a keyword may have multiple meanings or a more general meaning
    • the subject "flow (conscious state)" will get more relevant results than just searching the keyword "flow"

Look at the subject terms in records for articles that fit your topic closely and search those subjects for more articles

Use the thesaurus available in some databases to see if your keywords are subjects or if alternative terms are used

  • PsycINFO uses "Anger Control" as a subject but not "Anger Management"

Thesaurus may offer related or narrower terms that may be useful

  • In PsycINFO, the subject "reminiscence" has as related terms "autobiographical memory," "life review," and "retrospective memory"

Some specialized databases allow you to limit your search in other useful ways: educational level, age, population group, research methodology, language, etc.

Limiter options vary by database:

  • check the advanced search screen
  • view the limiters to the left or right on the search results page.

Make connections through ideas and concepts rather than specific words

Look at the reference list at the end of a relevant scholarly article you found. This may lead you to earlier articles related to your topic. Search the UNH Library catalog by the name of the journal to see if we have the article online or in print.

Check "Times CIted" links, if available, in databases such as PsycINFO and Sociological Abstracts to identify some newer articles citing the article in the database record. This may lead to related relevant articles.

Use Web of Science to follow citations from published articles to identify older and newer related articles across many disciplinary fields in the sciences, social sciences, and arts & humanities.

What else have the author(s) published on this topic? Search their names in the relevant database or look for their CV (curriculum vita) online.

Subject-specific journals may publish articles on similar topics, so try searching within specific journal titles that you see appearing frequently in your search results.

Suggested Databases

RMP is a multidisciplinary field. Using some of these databases and a variety of the search methods described above will help you be more effective searchers and get results from recognized, reputable academic sources.

Getting Articles

Click on the Check for UNH Full Text icon in the database record to see how to get a copy of the article: whether online, in print or from another library.

This 2-minute video provides a brief demonstration.

If the UNH Library doesn't have the article you want, request it through Interlibrary Loan.

Google Scholar

Keyword searching across citations, abstracts and full text of articles (even if the full text isn't available to you).

It's possible to get some relevant articles, especially if your search is pretty specific. However, it's hard to organize or sort in useful ways. You won't be able to search by subject or limit by anything other than time.

Can be useful for exploratory purposes or when you're "covering all the bases"

To enhance efficiency, adjust these GS settings so that

  • Library Links shows library access links to UNH (so you have quicker access to full text that UNH is subscribing to)
  • the Bibliography Manager shows links to import citations into Zotero (if you're using Zotero)

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