Guide to resources and research strategies for professors and students focusing on counseling studies

Key Databases for Counseling Research

Research tips

Research papers are those you will write for classes that review and discuss existing scholarship, scholarly literature, and academic articles.  

What makes up an academic article?

They are formal research reports written by researchers. Academic articles follow an established format that consists of:

  • Addressing a problem
  • Writing a problem statement
  • A review of the relevant existing research
  • A statement of methodology, including the characteristics of the population to be studied. It also includes the method of data collection and analysis of the data.
  • The results
  • Discussion of the results
  • Addressing the Limitation of the Study
  • (optional) Including Future Work

References support all scholarly work and published research.

These articles are published in research publications only after blind peer-review. A blind peer-review means that other researchers in the same field assess the article submitted for review.

  • The reviewers do not know who wrote the article, and the author(s) of the article do not know who reviewed it, thus a "blind" review.
  • The reviewers evaluate the article for the quality of the research and its value as a contribution to the field, 
  • They can recommend publication, suggest it not be published, or suggest revisions.

Finding academic articles

  • The best way of finding relevant articles for your papers is by searching relevant databases or Google Scholar.
  • You must identify the keywords for your search.  As you do your searching, you might find better or more accurate keywords in article titles or abstracts.  Thus modifying your search is part of the process.
  • When you find relevant articles, read the reference list or bibliography.  Since the authors are required to review the relevant research, they have already gathered previous articles on the same and related subjects.
  • You can access the full-text of the article by clicking on the link that says Full Text or PDF.  You can then print the article, email it to yourself, or save it to your computer or flash drive. 
  • You can download or email the citation to yourself.  Be sure to edit the citation to fit APA style for your reference list.
  • If you are using bibliographic management software, you can export the citation directly to that program.

Bibliographic Software