Subject Guides

This Subject Guide will no longer be updated as SMC library has adopted new Library Guides that are available here. Alternatively, you may navigate from the library homepage: 

Research Guides

Albert Search

Search Albert to find books, movies, etc..

If SMC does not own the book you are looking for, check in Link+: a group of libraries have agreed to share books between them for free. Often Link+ requests arrive faster then any other method. 

If neither SMC nor Link+ has the item you are looking for you can order it from Interlibrary Loan (AKA Illiad): a service that is free to students, and recieve books, book chapters and articles within 5 business days. 

Encyclopedias and Handbooks

Credo Reference Logo


Scholarly articles written by professors and doctors are generally very, very specific. It's hard to translate all that jargon when you are just getting into your topic.

One easy way to learn about your topic is to read about it in an encyclopedia - an entry will give you an overview without bogging you down with specific. Then, when you have the bigger picture, you can start combing through the specifcs. 

Real World Example: "I read an entry on 'seperation anixety in children' in Encyclopedia of special education before I read Dr. Brandias's article on school refusal in School Psychology International and it was much easier to understand" 


Essential Databases for Education:

Having trouble knowing where to begin? Start with one of these databases:

 includes peer reviewed articles, books, gray literature and more from 1966 to present. About 20% of materials in ERIC are full text. ERIC stands forEducational Resource Information Center 

updated weekly, this database includes journal articles, book chapters, books, dissertations and technical reports, all in the field of psychology, behavioral science and mental health. Information ranges from 1800's to present

content ranges from 1983 to present (anything after 1996 is full text) includes varied content slightly larger then ERIC. Contains scholarly articles, books, technical reports and more. 

 includes millions of doctoral dissertations in all subject areas completed at over 700 academic institutions worldwide

a combination of multiple databases that cover many topics from science to arts & humanities. Includes scholarly works and more. Useful tools include Citation Networks, refining by organization, and more


U.S. Education Statistics: a guide to locating statistics about U.S. education

American FactFinder: The US Census Bureau developed American FactFinder to make it easier to find census data 

National Student Clearinghouse Research Center: analyzes data and compiles reports on nearly all aspects of education

Department of Education Data Express: provides state profiles, data explorer, and a data table builder

College Completion: Created by The Chronicle of Higher Education that shows completion rates in American higher education a collection of 23 Federal government agencies involved in research and activities related to children and families

California Specific: 

California Department of Education: Data & Statistics:  Identify trends and educational needs in California schools

DataQuest: Facts about California schools and districts 

Looking for more information on how to find data and statistics? Check the SMC Library's Statistics Library Guide

Alliance for Excellent Education - A national policy and advocacy organization focused on high school reform

American Association of University Women - the nation’s leading voice promoting equity and education for women and girls

American Men's Studies Association - develop the critical studies of men and masculinities globally through the advancement of feminist-informed scholarship

Center for Evaluation & Education Policy - Fom Indiana University, this center strives to improve education by providing nonpartisan research and evaluation, encourage rigorous program evaluation and expand knowledge of effective strategies in evaluation and policy research 

National Association for Multicultural Education - a non-profit organization that advances and advocates for equity and social justice through multicultural education

National Association for Professional Development Schools - a well known advocate for the educational community

National Council for Social Studies - provide leadership, service, and support for all social studies educators

National Council on Teacher Quality - researches, evaluates, and provides information and guidance to working teachers


Getting Started

Articulate your research plan

Identify the steps needed to complete a literature review.

Background Information

These types of resources can help you:

  • Build a context for your topic

  • Build a vocabulary to use when searching

  • Understand how to organize your topic

  • Identify theory and theorists


Albert > Link+ > Illiad.

Subject Encyclopedias, Handbooks, Subject specific dictionaries, books published by academic press.


Online Reference Sources

Get started by choosing Reference Sources Section on the Education or Counseling pages.

(Begin with Gale Virtual Reference & Sage E-reference)


  • ILLiad

  • Document Delivery

  • AskUS

  • Cloud Print

All sign up for ILLiad


Searching for Evidence/Research

Research Articles

Journal articles are where current research is reported. Research articles will help you identify

  • key researchers

  • key journals

  • more research articles in your topic area.

Get started with databases:


PsycInfo & PsycArticles

Google Scholar

Evaluate the quality of the article

Scholarly vs. Popular Periodicals.

Find an article from a citation

See Section: Find articles from a citation  (Education and Counseling web pages)

Boolean Tips

  • And

  • Or

  • *

  • “quotes”


Additional Strategies


Dissertations are where the most current research on your topic is reported. They can be useful in many ways:

  • Use as a primary resource in your research

  • Observe how someone else has organized your topic

  • Read an example of a literature review

  • Review the bibliography to find additional research

  • Locate samples of surveys or assessment instruments (In Appendices)

Get started with these databases:

Dissertations and Theses

Albert (online catalog for SMC thesis & dissertations)

Master of Teaching and Leadership (MATL) theses

(Some are on EPrints)

Google for Research

  • Find key researchers web pages with CV

  • Find bibliographies

  • Find Centers for Research on your topic

  • Use Google Scholar cited by

  • ERIC documents are on the web



Google Scholar

Citation Tools

Help citing in APA? APA Tutorial

APA Exposed (Guttman Libary)

Zotero (Citation Mangement Tool)

Social Justice in Information

Consider: When we seek information, we examine the privilege of the voices and sources of our information and we learn to identify whose voices are present

and whose voices are missing and how that impacts & influences our understanding of information.





Literature Review Tutorial

SMC Literature Review Tutorial

NCSU Literature Reviews

Conducting a Literature Review (Adelphi)

Citation Help: 

Looking for help with APA for a paper or prensentation? There are many options available: 

Research Assistance: 

The SMC Library staffs the Reference Desk both physically in Saint Albert Hall and online through a chat feature. A trained librarian is available to you for drop in research help any time this desk is open. If you would like one on one help from the Education Librarian, please make an appointment by emailing Conrad at

The Writing Center:

The Writing Center offers peer-to-peer advising sessions for both undergraduate and graduate students. You can call or stop by to make an appointment, or can also drop in and do a session immediately, if an adviser is available. See their website for more information. 

No time for this option? Check out a writing manual: 

If you have been directed to this box by Conrad at the end of a library instruction session, please proceed to the Library Instruction Response Survey and let them know what you learned today and what could be improved - thank you!