Are you having trouble getting good search results? Try some of these suggestions:
Write out Acronyms
Instead of ADHD use Attention Deficit Disorders or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Instead of ESL use English Second Language
Think of Synonyms for Your Keywords
mainstreaming -- inclusion, inclusive schools, etc.
Try using some of the suggested search terms that you see in your search results. For example, in PsycINFO and ERIC, after you see your search results look in the left margin and click Subject. You'll see a list of suggested search terms.
Consider Multiple Spellings and Word Forms
disabled -- disabilities, disability, disable
Truncation: often databases will search multiple spellings if you search with an asterisk (*)
Example: searching disab* , retrieves:
disabilities, disability, disable, disabled
Enter in Different Keyword Combinations
Hint: It's helpful to jot down the keywords you tried. What works, what doesn't work, which database gave you the best results, etc.
Use the Database Thesaurus
Consult the thesaurus that's associated with the library database you are searching. Both PsycINFO and ERIC have excellent thesauri.
Using vocabulary from a database thesaurus will help you to get more accurate search results and can help to resolve problems that come up when a search term has more than one meaning.