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BEHV 3103: Measurement in Behavior Analysis: Start Your Research

Information and links to materials appropriate for students enrolled in BEHV 3103: Measurement in Behavior Analysis


Never use sentence structure, such as your research question or thesis statement.

A keyword is a word used to search library catalogs (GIL-Find, GIL-Find Universal), article databases (GALILEO), and web search engines (Google Scholar) in order to locate results that match that word in a specified part or in any part of the item, such as the title or in the full text. Once you have identified your key search concepts, start noting down some related terms or synonyms to your key concepts.

Use a general thesaurus, subject dictionaries, subject encylopedias, and subject headings to help you formulate keywords. 

research question chart

Developing a Search Strategy

Developing an effective search strategy involves:

  • Identifying the key search concepts 

  • Identifying related terms to your key search concepts

  • Using standard search structures to broaden and narrow your search results

While there is not one right way to do a search, the strategies identified here will improve your results.

Search Techniques: Boolean Operators

boolean chart

Boolean searching involves adding or subtracting terms from your search to either broaden or narrow your search. It uses 3 terms (AND, OR, and NOT) to tell the search engine or database whether to include or eliminate certain terms.



Search Techniques: Quotation Marks

Quotation marks can be used to identify phrases.

By using quotations marks, you are telling the computer to only bring back pages with the terms you typed in the exact order you typed them.


“mental health”
Instead of
mental AND health

“Psychological Development”
Instead of
Psychological AND Development

“Rearing Order”
Instead of 
Rearing AND Order 

Search Techniques: Truncation

Truncation allows you to search various forms of a word by finding alternate endings.The character (*) is placed at the end of the first few letters of a search term or at the end of its root.

Psych* retrieves