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FSCI 396 Research Project in Science Teaching and Learning: Home

Land Acknowledgement

McGill University is located in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal) on unceded Kanien'kehá:ka traditional territory.

Getting started

The Health Sciences Research Basics guide is a great starting point for brushing up on your research skills. For more information on literature reviews, check out the Systematic Reviews, Scoping Reviews, and other Knowledge Syntheses. Please also check out the Medical and Health Sciences Education guide for more links and information.

Citing your sources

Find information about the APA Citation Style (American Psychological Association)For information on citation management softwares (ex. Endnote, Zotero, ect.), please see the Citation Guide. For workshops on how to use these resources, please see the library's workshops page.

Accessing Electronic Resources

Accessing resources off campus should be fairly straight forward. If you are off-campus and try to access an electronic resource through the Library web site, or through the "McGill Library Full Text" links in Google Scholar, you will be asked to log in your McGill Username and Password before you can access the resource.

If you use Google Scholar to search for articles, you can configure it to use the McGill Library Link Resolver to access articles that are available through the Library. After doing so, when you search in Google Scholar, you’ll see a link for “McGill Library Full Text” next to items in your search results.

To configure Google Scholar to show McGill Library links:

  1. In Google Scholar, under Settings, click Library links.
  2. Search for McGill, and make sure McGill University Library – McGill Library Full Text  is selected. 
  3. Click Save.

Primary vs Secondary Sources

Primary sources (research articles)

Secondary sources (review articles)

Has a clear hypothesis Provides and overview of the existing primary literature
Reports original research, presents new data and analysis Does not report original research
Includes the following sections: methods, results, discussion May or may not include a methods and results section (depending on the type of review)
Often includes ideas for future research Often discuss trends in a particular topic, or identifies gaps in the literature

Finding articles

Education database

ERIC (ProQuest)

The ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) database is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. It is the key resource for access to educational-related literature. It can also be searched on the EBSCO platform or at

Subject databases

These can be searched to find pedagogical literature specific to a field.

Citation indexes

These multidisciplinary databases can also be searched to take advantage of citation information:

Here are some helpful database specific operators and fields

Planning a search

Use this Search Strategy Builder from the University of Arizona Libraries or fill out the search plan below as the first stage in the research process.

You can create a concept map to help you brainstorm your terms and visualize how they relate to each other.


Evaluating your sources

Not all information is created equal!

Use the CRAAP test to evaluate the relevance and quality of the information or evidence you have found.

Currency- how timely is the information? Does your topic require current information, or will older sources work as well?

Relevance- does the information answer your question and make sense in your context?

Authority- is the source of your information trustworthy? Do the author, journal, publisher or institution have appropriate credentials? Is the article peer reviewed?

Accuracy- is the content reliable, truthful, and correct? Is it evidence-based? Is there a list of references?

Purpose- what is the reason the information exists? Is there potential for bias? Are they selling something?


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Andrea Miller-Nesbitt
Schulich Library of Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Engineering (Office located in the McLennan Library Building during the Schulich closure)

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