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Human Development and Family Sciences: Help With Research

Combining Search Terms

Combine search terms using connectors (logical operators) to search more efficiently. The most useful connectors are OR, AND, and NOT (also called Boolean operators).

OR  broadens

AND  narrows

Interlibrary Loan

Use the Interlibrary Loan service to get books and articles not available at the UD Library.


Allow extra time; books may delivered by mail or by courier.


May be received in two days or less.

Chapters in Books

Use the Articles request form, not the book request.

Go to the Interlibrary Loan webpage and login with your UDelNet ID and password.

Article DELivery Service

Use to request copies of articles and book chapters from materials available in University of Delaware Library print and microform collections. Interlibrary Loan (ILL) staff will copy articles or book chapters and deliver them electronically to users’ ILL accounts.

From Off Campus

Most Library online resources can be accessed from off campus by current UD faculty, staff, and students. When using links on these pages, you may be prompted for your UDelNetID and password. Please report any issues you encounter while accessing Library databases, e-journals, or e-books.

Research Process

Define Topic

What is your topic?

What do you want to know? What are the important concepts in the topic?

What keywords or phrases can you use to express the concepts?


What do you already know? You may need to consult encyclopedias, general resources, or your textbook for background information and definitions of terms.

Select Resources


Identify the types of resources and the tools to find them



  • DELCAT Discovery  (also covers magazine and journal articles)

Articles in journals databases

  • ERIC (education) -- articles in journals and research documents
  • PsycInfo (psychology) -- articles in journals and books, chapters in books, dissertations, and more
  • Academic OneFile

Articles in magazines databases

  • Academic OneFile
  • General OneFile

Articles in newspapers databases

  • LexisNexis Academic
  • Global Newsstream
  • News Journal (Wilmington, Delaware)
  • New York Times


Citation Manager  


Organizes the articles/books you find in your research. Use to track your research and to insert the in-text citations and create the Reference list.



Documentation guide Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th ed., 2010. 

Search & Evaluate Your Search Results


Choose keywords to express the important concepts you have identified.



Combine the keywords using search commands:

  • and
  • or

"and" and "or" are not words, they are commands that tell the database how to combine your search words.



In the search results:

Were there articles that were off-topic?

Were there words in the article description that suggest new search terms?

You can use new words or phrases to refine your search.

Are these articles you can use in your research?

Do they meet the criteria of your assignment / research project?

Scholarly? Peer-reviewed? Popular resources? Websites?


When you select the articles you want, export the references to RefWorks.



Articles may be contained in the database.

If not, use Get It!


The call number (or eBook url) will be in the Library catalog.

The first letter of a call number indicates the floor where the book is shelved.

A – H      3rd Floor

J – K      Lower Level

P – Q     2nd Floor

R – Z     Lower Level

Many of the books on human development and family topics have the call number "H"

Interlibrary Loan

This service will get articles and books you need that the Library doesn't own.

Get It! is the service that tells you if the articles described in databases are available at the UD Library.

The Get It! button or the words "Get It!" will appear in the database. 


Evaluation of a source

These points apply to both print/electronic articles and to webpages.

  • Authoritative
    • Who is (are) the author? (This may be difficult for a website.) Is the author qualified and/or credentialed in that field? Look for articles that are peer reviewed (refereed).
  • Documentation
    • Is the work documented? Does it have a list of references supporting the author’s point?
  • Currency
    • Is the date of a website clearly indicated? Are the materials you have identified current enough to reflect the latest research?
  • Intended Audience
    • What is the target audience for the work? Is it appropriate for college-level research?
    • In contrast, if you are identifying sources for a different audience, such as clients, does it serve that audience well? Check for academic or professonal terms (jargon) or simple terms.
  • Literature
    • How does this work fit into the body of the research on this topic? Webpages typically do not address this.

Evaluation of your research

  • Do you have enough sources to support your writing?
  • Are there gaps in the coverage of your research?
    • You may need to:
      • Do more searching
      • Followup on works referenced in the articles
      • Use the “Cited by” feature available in many databases.
  • Have you relied on secondary resources when you could have used the original source?
  • Specialized resources, such as statistics and legal sources.
    • If you can’t locate these from the articles or webpages, you should consult your professor, a librarian, …
  • Do you have all the information about the sources for your references list? If not, you should find this before you begin writing.

Write & Cite

Cite your sources as you are writing.

RefWorks creates the Reference list from the in-text citations you include.


Meg Grotti's picture
Meg Grotti
Assistant Head of Instructional Services, Reference and Instructional Services Department
(302) 831-6310

Subjects: Education
Psychological and Brain Sciences


RefWorks: How Can It Help You?

RefWorks is a web-based citation management system. The system can:

  • export references from databases
  • organize references
  • store articles
  • add personal notes about the references
  • share folders
  • format citations and references lists in hundreds of citation styles
  • insert properly formatted in-text citations (or footnotes) and references lists (or bibliographies or works cited lists) when using Microsoft Word or Google Docs