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HD4850: Professional Development in Translational Research: Searching the Literature

This guide is for students enrolled in the PRYDE Scholars program. It includes an overview of youth development resources and tips for searching the literature, evaluating information, and managing your citations.

Searching the Cornell Library Website

Types of Scholarly Resources

It is important to be able to identify different categories of scholarly literature.  Keep in mind the following definitions as you're doing your research:

Peer-reviewed (or refereed):  Refers to articles that have undergone a rigorous review process, often including revisions to the original manuscript, by peers in their discipline, before publication in a scholarly journal.  

Empirical study (or primary article):  Aims to gain new knowledge on a topic through direct or indirect observation, research, and quantitative or qualitative data and analysis. Sections of the article may include:  Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion.

Review article:  A type of article that provides a synthesis of existing research on a particular topic.  Useful when you want to get an idea of a body of research that you are not yet familiar with. 

Systematic review:  A methodical literature review focused on a particular research question. Aims to identify and synthesize all of the scholarly research on a particular topic in an unbiased, reproducible way to provide evidence for practice and policy-making.  It may involve a meta-analysis (see below). 

Meta-analysis:  This is a type of research study that combines or contrasts data from different independent studies in a new analysis in order to strengthen the understanding of a particular topic.  

Finding Full Text Articles

Use the Get it! Cornell links wherever you see them!

  • If you have citations for specific articles, check the Library Catalog to see if we subscribe to the journal that contains the article.
  • The Catalog will show whether or not we have access to the electronic version and/or the print version. 
  • If we don't have it, we can get it for you for free in a few days! Request materials through Borrow Direct or Interlibrary Loan by clicking the Request Item button.
  • Reference librarians are here to help you - so please contact us with any questions!

Off-Campus Access to Full-Text

If you're off-campus and want access to full-text, you can either go to the resource via the library website or use the hand PASSKEY tool. Using either method, you will be prompted to log in with your netID and password to gain access to our licensed resources.

Searching Databases

Most databases allow the use of AND, OR and NOT to broaden or narrow and search. 

  • AND will narrow the search to include only records with both terms. 
  • OR with broaden the search to include records with either term.
  • NOT will narrow the search to exclude records with one of the terms.

Truncation:  You can use an * at the end of a word stem to broaden your search to include related terms.  For example, to search for child, children or childhood use the search term child*

Putting quotes "" around words allows you to search for a phrase.  For example, searching language development, without quotes, finds records with both the word 'language' and 'development' somewhere in the record.  Searching "language development", with quotes, only find records with the phrase "language development".

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