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SSA 301 - Skills Lab Assignment

Help with locating resources for your assignment

How to do a Literature Search

Develop a search strategy

  1. Divide your topic into concepts/segments/pieces.
    For example: "I want to find research on assessment tools for addressing intimate partner violence with LQBTQ clients." The concepts are assessment tools, intimate partner violence, and LGBTQ.
  2. Brainstorm for synonyms or related terms.
    - assessment OR evaluation OR intervention OR questionnaire
    - intimate partner violence OR domestic partner violence
    - lgbt* OR gay OR lesbian OR bisexual OR transgender
  3. Put it all together.
    (assessment OR evaluation OR intervention OR questionnaire) AND (intimate partner violence OR domestic partner violence) AND (lgbt* OR gay OR lesbian OR bisexual OR transgender)

If you are finding too much or too little information, consider one of these options

  1. Don't look for all 3 things at once (assessment tools, intimate partner violence, and LGBTQ).  Just search for one or two concepts at a time.
  2. If you are finding too much information look for research that will summarize the literature for you, such as evidence-based research, systematic reviews, or literature reviews.
    (assessment OR evaluation OR intervention OR questionnaire) AND (intimate partner violence OR domestic partner violence) AND (evidence-based OR systematic review OR literature review OR meta-analysis)

Please see the Basic Search Skills document (on the left column of this guide) for information on how to use AND, OR, parentheses, and the asterisks. 

Recommended Databases

Searching in Google

You can limit the type of sites you are searching in Google

  • site:.gov - Searches only federal, state, and local government web sites
  • site:.edu - Searches only educational establishments
  • site:.org - The domain was originally intended for non-profit entities, but this restriction was not enforced and has been removed. The domain is commonly used by schools, open-source projects, and communities, but also by some for-profit entities.

Sample search: (assessment OR evaluation OR intervention OR questionnaire) AND (intimate partner violence OR domestic partner violence) AND site:.gov

Warning: always scrutinize for quality and reliability when searching in Google

Finding Data

Locating Assessment Tools

In many cases you may have already found appropriate assessment tools while reviewing the literature and data on your topic.   You may also try the following:

  • Search for assessment tools in Google and limit to a government agency.

For example: sexual history questionnaire AND site:.gov