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SWK 370 Course Guide OLD: Library Research Guide


 This guide offers a roadmap of resources to help you successfully complete the research paper in SWK 370.5 Step Cycle of Evidence Based Practice


The diagram at right illustrates the steps to keep in mind as you define your client, determine their need, and gather evidence to help you support a particular intervention that will address their need.


Use the resources laid out below to help you learn the necessary background information on the client's problem, and identify studies that demonstrate the potential effectiveness of your chosen intervention.


Please help fill out the worksheet for your assigned group during the hands-on segments of our library session!

Step One: Background Information from Library

Look at the encyclopedia resources below to gather information on your client's problem, its prevalence, the people impacted by it, and possible interventions to address it.

Step Two: Background Information from Government

Next, search for government statistics to help you define the scope of the social problem, particular groups affected, and trends over time.

One approach: use Google to search something like children mental illness, and add site:gov to your search box to limit results to government sources only.

Another approach: see the US Government Agencies box on the Websites tab of the Social Work research guide, and search the sites of any agencies that seem relevant to your social issue.

Finally, try searching Statista for tables and charts of data on a wide variety of topics.

Step Three: Systematic Reviews

A "systematic review" is an in-depth analysis of multiple scholarly studies about a particular issue or intervention.  By reviewing so many different studies, these can help you pinpoint a particular study that is relevant to your issue, intervention, and/or client's demographic group.

Try searching the two websites below for reviews about your chosen social problem or intervention.  Then scan the review to identify a promising study and copy out its citation information.

Step Four: Find that Study!

The next step is to obtain the full-text of the study that you found in a systematic review.

First, search the journal's title (NOT the article title) in the Journal Finder.  If the journal is available in the year when the study was published, follow the link to the journal's page and search the title of the study to find the full text.

If the journal is NOT available but you really want the study, you can fill out the Interlibrary Loan request form.  We will obtain the study from another library and email it to you, normally within 2-4 business days.

Step Five: Find Additional Scholarly Studies

If you didn't find a suitable scholarly study through the systematic reviews, try searching for studies about your social problem and intervention in one of the library's article databases.

For example, to find studies of Cognitive Behavior Therapy as used with substance abusers, search:

"cognitive behavior therapy" AND (drug* OR substance)

Remember to use quotation marks around phrases, and use the AND/OR searching technique that you learned in ENG 200.

You can also add the word review as a keyword to your search, to seek review articles covering multiple studies.

Contact Your Librarian

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Jeff Waller
109 Carlyle Campbell Library