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ESS 265 & ATTR 540: Research Methods in Athletic Training/Human Performance: Topics/Keywords

Keywords to Try When Searching

Place quotation marks around phrases of more than 1 word when searching. (EX: "athletic training")

Research method terminology:

  • case reports
  • case series
  • clinical research
  • data analysis
  • empirical study
  • literature review
  • meta-analysis
  • methodology
  • narrative review
  • qualitative
  • quantitative
  • randomized controlled trial
  • systematic review

Subject Headings to Try When Searching

Keywords are useful as a first step in searching when you're trying to find the terminology that is works best for researching your topic. You can look through your results for possisble subject terms and use those to narrow your results even further.

When using an EBSCO database to search subject terms, change the "Select a Field" option to indicate "SU Subject Terms."

Place quotation marks around your subject terms as indicated above.


Database subject terms for research methodologies:
  • Bias (Epidemiology)
  • EVIDENCE-based medicine
  • META-analysis
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • RANDOMIZED controlled trials
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic methods
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic statistics & numerical data
  • Research Design
  • Review Literature as Topic
  • SYSTEMATIC reviews (Medical research)


Human subjects:

  • Female
  • Male


  • Put a check in the Human box

In general, include the following as a Boolean NOT phrase:

  • NOT rats or mice or rodents





Human Performance & Exercise Science


athletic training word cloud


Finding and Narrowing a Topic

Find ideas in the syllabus, your text, class discussion, or Google News.

   Narrow down a broad topic by asking yourself
   the 5 W's: who? what? where? when? why?

   As you search the databases, looking at
   subject headings and abstracts can help you
                focus your topic.

Boolean Operators

Using Boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT) with your keywords will help you narrow or expand your results.

The highlighted middle section represents the use of AND. Searching for poverty AND addiction will give you results with both words present. Therefore, your results are fewer.

Using OR between similar keywords will give you results that include both words. Therefore, your results are greater. A search for teenagers OR adolescents will retrieve either or both terms.

The NOT operator gives you results from only one of your words. Therefore, your results are fewer. Searching for addiction NOT alcohol will eliminate alcohol from the results.

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