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Research Methodologies

Searching With Keywords

One option for finding articles that used a specific research methodology is to run a database search using your methodology as a keyword. You can often search just by a type of methodology if you're looking for any examples using the method, or you can combine your topic with a type of methodology.

For best results, make sure that filters for peer-reviewed/scholarly journals are checked.


  • cancer AND treatment AND "systematic review"
  • "consumer behavior" AND "grounded theory"
  • "alternative fuels" AND experiment

Because methodologies are not always readily apparent in the title or abstract, you may need to skim through the methodology section of an article to make sure it's relevant. 

Searching With Filters

Some databases include filters among their advanced search options that you can use to search for studies that use specific research methodologies. This method isn't foolproof. Not all methodologies will be available in these filters and articles that don't have their methodologies listed in the database record may be overlooked.

Using the Methodology Filter

  1. Use the library's list of databases to find a subject-appropriate database. Not all databases have a methodology filter, but there are several databases in health sciences, behavioral sciences, and the physical sciences that do, such as APA PsycInfo.


  1. If necessary, navigate to the database's advanced search page and look for the methodology filter. This example comes from APA PsycINFO:

Screenshot of methodology filter

  1. Choose the methodology you need and run your search. You don't always need to have a topic in the main search box to run this type of search, if you are simply looking for examples.

Using the Subject Filter

Another optionwhich is available in databases that don't have a specific filter for methodologiesis to use the subject filter that appears on the results page of many of the library's databases. These filters take the most frequently occurring assigned keywords and subjects to help you weed out irrelevant results. Because these assigned terms can also include methodology information, you can use these filters to locate articles that use specific methodologies. 

To get started:

  1. Begin a search on your topic. 
  2. Add a subject filter to limit your results by methodology: 
    1. Click All Filters below the search box.
    2. Open Subjects. You will need to expand the list of subjects to find all relevant methodologies. 
    3. Select the relevant methodologies. 
    4. Click Apply Filters
  3. The options on the subject filter will change as your search changes. Check back periodically to see if there are additional useful items that you can filter for.

Short List

Screenshot of short subject menu, with additional methods highlighted

Full List, With Methodologies Highlighted

Screenshot showing expanded subject view

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