Finding Research Articles
Purpose of this page:
This page was created by Alexander Goberman, Ph.D. to help BGSU students find research articles within Communication Sciences and Disorders and related fields. Some of the links on this page may only be accessible from BGSU computers.
There are many different places you can search for research articles. Below is a list of websites where you can enter any combination of keywords, authors, dates, or journal names to access journal article listings. All databases should provide you with article abstracts. In addition, some databases will give you links to electronic copies of the articles. For help finding full text articles, please see the box on this page.
To view articles, you may need to to have Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader installed on your computer (free at http://www.adobe.com).
Summon allows you to search for articles using the name of the article, the authors name, or key words that are in the article. If you are off-campus, you can log in to use Summon using your BGSU username and password.
This site allows you to use keyword, author, or journal title searches. You may also browse journals by topic. You will need to use your BGSU ID number to log into this service.
- BGSU University Libraries Catalog
The following research databases are useful in finding research related to Communication Disorders. These can all be accessed via the above BGSU database listing.
This site allows you to search for articles by keyword, title, author, subject, call number, or journal (via the menu at the top of the page). This site also allows you to search through many other databases.
Note that sometimes Medline via PubMed will give you more or different articles than Medline via the BGSU databases.
When completing a research paper for a CDIS course it is recommended that you use research articles from the following journals:
NOTE: This is by no means an exhaustive list. Please check with your instructor to see if he or she recommends other sources.
- America Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) journal directory:
- The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America *
- Journal of Voice *
- Speech, Language and Hearing
- Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics *
- International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology *
- Journal of Communication Disorders *
- Speech Communication *
- Journal of Neurolinguistics *
- Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology *
- Journal of Fluency Disorders *
- Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica **
- Topics in Language Disorders *
- EuroAmerican Journal of Applied Linguistics and Languages
* BGSU has a subscription to these journals. This means you should be able to access full-text articles from the BGSU Library website. For many journals, BGSU only can provide access to articles that are 18 months and older.
** These journals are available in print at the BGSU Library.
Searching for Sources Using Keywords
When searching for research articles,.it is often difficult to determine what words to type in the search box. The words you type into the search box are often called keywords.
Finding the right keywords is a multi-step, trial and error process. The following steps will help you get started.
1. Determine your research question. For example, your research question may be: What is the effect of speech disorders on learning in school-aged children?
2. Determine the most important words in your research question. For example, in the research question above, "speech disorders," "learning," and "school" are most important. Words like "what" and "effect" will not be as helpful because many unrelated research articles contain those words.
3. Search using your keywords and other tricks to find articles. Typing in your keywords alone may not be the most effective strategy to finding the articles for which you searching.
You can connect your keywords using Boolean Operators. The table below explains Boolean Operators for the example research question. The Boolean Operators should be typed in all capital letters. Some search engines will change OR and NOT to AND. Be aware of this if you are getting results that are not what you are expecting.
|AND*||Returns articles that contain the keywords that are connected by the operator||speech disorders AND learning
||Returns articles that do not contain the keyword after the operator
||NOT college aged|
|OR||Returns articles that contain one search term or the other search term
||students OR school aged|
* Google Scholar automatically places AND between all words. If you want to search "language disorders," Google Scholar returns "language AND disorders" results. To search specifically for results containing "language disorders," type " "language disorders" ".
** BGSU Summon allows "-" in place of NOT.
It is also helpful to type multi-word phrases into the search box using quotations. For example, when searching for information about speech disorders you should type "speech disorders" into the search box.
If you are interested in performing a more advanced search, you may wish to using truncation and wildcard symbols. Truncation symbols allows you to search root words and see alternative endings. If you are searching for information about disorders, the articles may have used the words "disorders," "disorder," or "disordered." To truncate your search type, "disorder*" into the search box. This will return any ending for disorder. Not all databases use the "*" symbol to indicate truncation. Some use the "$" symbol. Be sure to determine what symbol the database you are using requires. To do a wildcard search, place the "?" symbol in the word such as, "n?t" to return "not," "net," etc., but not "neat" as the wildcard symbol can only replace a single letter. The table below presents the truncation and wildcard symbols for popular academic search engines.
|BGSU Summon and EbscoHost||?||Will match one letter only. If you can't remember if the last name of the author is Olsen or Olson, type "Ols?n" to return both.
||Will match zero or more letters or numbers. Type "disorder*", to return "disorder," "disorders," "disordered," "disorderly," etc.|
||Google Scholar does not currently recognize truncation or wildcard symbols
|Google Scholar||+||Using a plus sign before a word, as in "+disorder" will return results that contain the word "disorder" and not "disordered," "disorders," or "disorderly."
|EbscoHost||#||Use this symbol when searching for words with multiple spellings. If you are searching for articles about pediatric patients, you may search for "pediatric" to return "pediatric" and "paediatric" results.|
4. Revise your search terms. After typing in your first search, you may have way too many results or too few results. If you have too many results, make your search terms more specific. If you have too few results, make your search terms more broad or do not use Boolean Operators or quotations.
It may also be helpful to use an article your search provided to find new keywords. Most research articles will list several keywords under the abstract. These keywords may help you to refine your search.
- This page offers a variety of links to aid in everything from choosing keywords to checking citations to make sure they are correct. Link
- For specific help choosing words (keywords) that will help you find the best research articles, visit Walden University's webpage called "Keyword Searching."
Using Sources in Your Paper
Not all sources you find are appropriate to use in a research paper. After you find sources you need to evaluate the quality of the sources. Below are some topics that will help you to evaluate the quality of your sources.
A primary source in the area of CDIS are original research reports (written and oral) and original case studies. In CDIS primary sources are generally published in academic journals or conference proceedings. Secondary sources include websites, research reviews, and textbooks that describe the results of research reports or case studies. Secondary sources generally provide a summary or the main points of one or more primary sources.
Reading and citing the primary source, and not the secondary source, will ensure that the information that you include in your research paper is an accurate reflection of what the author of the primary source meant. Very often, secondary sources do not provide you with enough information to evaluate the quality of the primary source.
Not all articles are considered scholarly articles. Scholarly articles meet the following requirements:
1. Scholarly articles are written by an author or group of authors who are considered experts in the field. Do a Google search to determine if the authors of the article are considered to be experts in the field. When search determine if the authors work at a university, if the authors have published on this topic before, and if the authors have presented at conferences about this topic. If you have a difficult time finding information about all of the authors listed, this source may not be appropriate.
2. Scholarly articles are published in academic journals. An academic journal is a source that publishes primary and secondary sources on a specific topic or related to a particular discipline. Generally, articles published in academic journals are peer-reviewed. This means that other scientists or experts in the field determined that the article has scientific merit.
When searching for articles, you can generally select an option to show only "peer reviewed," "scholarly," or "referred" articles. If you need help determining how to limit your search results to scholarly articles, please ask a BGSU librarian.
3. Scholarly articles contain citations of other sources. A scholarly article will mention other research that has been done related to the topic and will provide a formal list of the sources used in the article at the end of the article. Non-scholarly articles may mention other sources but will not provide a formal list of other sources.
4. All pictures in scholarly article serve a purpose. Scholarly articles are very unlikely to contain clip art or full-color pictures that serve no purpose in the text. Images in scholarly articles are usually graphs showing trends in the data or images of the experimental set-up used in the study.
5. Scholarly articles generally follow a standard organization. Research articles are divided into the following sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. If the paper does not have those sections or sections with similar headings, it is not a scholarly article.
A review article is an article that summarizes and organizes many research articles on a topic. A review article is considered a secondary source.
A review article may not provide you with enough information to include in your research paper. However, the reference list of a review article is a valuable tool to help you find more research articles. Look over the review article and determine which sources used in the review article are appropriate for your research paper. You can then search for those sources and use them in your research paper.
Some instructors will allow you to use a website as a source while other instructors will not allow you to use a website as a source. Not all websites are considered good sources. Remember, anyone can publish a website. Use the following guide to help you determine if the website offers quality content:
1. Does the website list an author? Is the author an expert in the field? Has the author published articles related to this topic? If the website does not list an author, it is probably not a reliable source. If the author has not published articles on the topic or you have a difficult time finding information about the author, the website is probably not a reliable source. If the author has published articles on the topic, it would be better for you to use the article instead of the website.
2. What is the date of publication of the web page? If the web page does not say when it was published, the information on the page may not be current and probably should be avoided.
3. Does the website contain a lot of advertisements? Are the advertisements not labeled as advertisements? In general, quality websites will not contain advertisements because they are funded and supported by universities or government sources.
4. What is the purpose of the website? The purpose of quality websites is to inform the reader. If the website is trying to persuade you to believe something, trying to sell you something, or has any motive besides educating, it is not a quality source.
5. Does the information on the website make sense? Check to see if you can find other sources that use information found on the website. It is likely that the information on the website is published elsewhere. If you cannot find the information anywhere else on the Internet it may not be true. A quality web page will contain sources to support the statements of the author or authors.
6. Can I trust the website the information is found on? If the website is from an organization you have never heard of or an organization you can find very little information about, it is not a quality website. Generally websites that end in .edu, .gov, .org, and .net are considered higher quality than websites that end in .com.
Always ask your instructor if they consider the website to be a quality website. When in doubt, it is safer to move on to a different source.
No. You should never use Wikipedia as a source. Articles on Wikipedia can be edited by anyone so there is no way to ensure the quality of the information on a Wikipedia page.
In CDIS, APA is the most commonly used writing style. Other writing styles include MLA and AMA. Please consult your instructor regarding which style you should use for your paper.
All sources used in your paper need to be properly cited. Proper citation involves an in-text citation and inclusion of the resource in the "reference list" at the end of your paper. Every paper in your "reference list" should be included somewhere in the text of your paper.
The following websites offer citation help:
- Purdue OWL Link
- The BGSU Learning Commons offers questions and answers to common APA questions.
- This page offers a variety of links to aid in everything from choosing keywords to checking citations to make sure they are correct.
- The BGSU Library provides this webpage for evaluating and citing sources. Link
Not citing a source in a paper is considered stealing the ideas of another person. At BGSU and in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, we expect students to pursue a higher education with honesty and integrity.
BGSU has an Academic Honesty Policy that should be reviewed by all students. BGSU's Academic Honesty Policy
Two key parts of the BGSU Academic Honesty Policy related to providing citations are plagiarism and fabrication. These terms are defined in the BGSU Academic Honesty Policy:
- Plagiarism: "Representing as one’s own in any academic exercise the words or ideas of another, including but not limited to, quoting or paraphrasing without proper citation." (from the BGSU Academic Honesty Policy, p. 3)
- Fabrication: "Falsification or invention of any information, data, research or citation in any academic exercise." (from the BGSU Academic Honesty Policy, p. 2)
If you have any questions about the academic honesty policy, please ask your course instructor for clarification.
Faculty members are required to report any instance of suspected academic dishonesty.