Educational Research

About This Guide

This guide presents the resources the education librarian considers to be the most important academic databases to search, the leading journals to follow, and so forth. You’ll also find some tips to help you evaluate sources, organize your work, and accomplish your literature review.

If you are new to this topic, you may want to begin by finding background information through an encyclopedia such as Wikipedia or Britannica Online, though in most cases it is not appropriate to cite these in a college-level paper. Anyone can contribute content in Wikipedia – so watch out for biased viewpoints, incomplete or simply incorrect material.


Use these databases to discover articles, books, and other literature on your topic. Note that if you come across a citation without full text attached, do not assume the library has no access. Learn this nearly foolproof way to Get the Full Text of an Article.

Two largest:

BU Libraries Search
Our Search represents by far the most comprehensive grouping of resources we’ve ever been able to provide. You can find extensive search tips on our site, build an eShelf, and export citations to RefWorks.

Google Scholar
Off-campus users need to set two “Scholar Preferences” to take advantage of library subscriptions: type “Boston University” in Library Links and also choose RefWorks next to Bibliography Manager.

Other important databases:

Academic search premier
Child Development and Adolescent Studies
EdITLib Education and Information Technology
Education Full Text
LexisNexis academic
Mental Measurements Yearbook and Tests In Print
ProQuest Dissertation and Theses
ProQuest statistical insight


The best way to discover articles is to search databases (try Search) – you will be searching millions of records at once. But following journal literature periodically is still a very important aspect of scholarship. Depending on the provider, you may be able to set up Table of Contents alerts, save personalized searches, or even contribute to the editorial process.

Find each title below through our Search. The following journals are leading in this field.

American Educational Research Journal
Australian Educational Researcher
British Educational Research Journal
Educational Research
Educational Research Quarterly
Educational Researcher
International Journal of Educational Research
Issues in Educational Research
Qualitative Report
Review of Educational Research
Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research


Discovering our print books and eBooks can be done through Search. Additionally, for more comprehensive literature reviews I suggest going beyond what BU already owns by using WorldCat. Current members of the BU community can borrow books that we don’t own through our interlibrary borrowing services. Other important book tools include the Internet Archive, Google Books, and of course

Subject Headings

  • Action Research in Education
  • Education — Research
  • Education — Research — Evaluation
  • Education — Research — Methodology
  • Interviewing
  • Qualitative Research
  • Social Sciences — Research
  • Social Sciences — Research — Methodology

Selected List of Recent Titles

Action Research Guidebook : A Four-Stage Process for Educators and School Teams

Education LB1028.24 .S33 2011

Educational Research : Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Approaches

Education Reference  LB1028 .J59 2012

Ethics in Qualitative Research : Controversies and Contexts

Mugar H62 .H2336 2012

Handbook of Research on Learning and Instruction

Mugar LB1060 .H34575 2011

Integrating Teaching, Learning, and Action Research: Enhancing Instruction in the K-12 Classroom

Education LB1028.24 .S87 2010

Methods Matter : Improving Causal Inference in Educational and Social Science Research

Mugar LB1028 .M86 2011

The Qualitative Dissertation: A Guide for Students and Faculty

Education Reference LB2369 .P48 2009

A Realist Approach for Qualitative Research

Mugar H62 .M324 2012

Researching Education : Data, Methods, and Theory in Educational Enquiry

Mugar LB1028 .S343 2011

The Sage Handbook for Research in Education : Pursuing Ideas as the Keystone of Exemplary Inquiry

Mugar LB1028 .S14 2011

The Sage Handbook of Interview Research : The Complexity of the Craft

Mugar H61.28 .H36 2012

A Tale of Two Cultures : Qualitative and Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences

Mugar JA86 .G56 2012

Virtual Knowledge : Experimenting in the Humanities and the Social Sciences

Mugar AZ195 .V57 2013

U.S. Government Data Sources



Non U.S. Government Produced Data Sources

  • American Statistics Index Mugar Reference Z7554.U5 A46 (2009-2011+) Also online via Lexis Nexis Statistical
  • Eurostat Statistical Office of the European Communities. Gathers and analyses figures from the different European statistics offices to provide comparable data to the European Institutions so they can implement and analyze Community policies.
  • Eurydice An information network about education in Europe, including a database about European school systems.
  • Index to International Statistics Mugar Reference Z7552 .I53 (2010-2011+) Also online via Lexis Nexis Statisitical
  • Population Reference Bureau Worldwide data and analyses about population and health
  • Social Science Data Analysis Network Demographic Media about U.S. Census data (e.g., DataCounts).
  • Source OECD OECD’s Online Library of Statistical Databases, Books and Periodicals. See Books on Education.

Research Centers