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CNED 516: Statistics and Research Methods for Counselors

Boolean Operators

Boolean operators are words or symbols that are used in conjunction with words to refine searches. 

Here are six helpful ones to use: 

  1. AND - narrows 
    1. Ex: ADHD and boys (this narrows down our results to only include ADHD and boys) 
  2. NOT - excludes
    1. Ex: ADHD not boys (this narrows down our results to include things about ADHD excluding those that mention boys) 
  3. OR - expands
    1. Ex: boys or males or guy (this expands our our search to search for multiple possible terms) 
  4. * - expands 
    1. Ex: rac*  (using the asterisk in replace of an ending on a word will expand your search to include results that have any ending on the base word.)
  5. " " - exact phrase
    1. Ex: "executive functioning" (this pulls up results that are stated in the item exactly as written) 
  6. ( ) - confine
    1. Ex: (ADHD or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder) AND (boys or guys or males)     - (this will instruct the database or search engine on what parts go together in your search phrase

What is a Literature Review?

The purpose of a literature review is to provide an overview of literature (scholarly articles, books, etc.) on a particular subject matter. 

Literature reviews are not meant to be persuasive or argumentative. They are meant to be summative and provide an analysis on information that has already been published on the topic being researched. 

Peer Review

Peer Review is a process that articles may undergo to be published in a journal. It can be a lengthy process, taking months or years for an article to go from submission to publication. 

Once an article is submitted, an editor reviews it to determine if it fits in the topic scope with the journal. If it does, the editor passes it on to a team of reviewers. These reviewers are experts in the field of study the article is based in. They will read the article and determine if it meets a selection of criteria, including but not limited to authority, relevancy, etc. Many times reviewers make comments on the article and expect revisions to be made before the article is published. This revision process could occur multiple times before the reviewers feel the article is of a high enough quality to publish. 

To take a look at the peer review process first hand, visit The Royal Society. Authors and reviewers can opt for an open review process. This process allows the readers to look at the review history of an article and see comments made. 


Ethics, particularly those geared towards research, are important for any field. Ethics can vary from discipline to discipline, especially in terms of research. While some disciplines work with human subjects, others do not. Thus, the research ethics in each discipline can vary. 

The American Counseling Association and the American School Counseling Association each has an Ethics Guide. 

It is important that scientists follow research ethics for a variety of reasons. One of the most important is that it keeps data from being misreported or fabricated. Having data that is accurate and reliable is crucial for everyone. If a reader is unknowingly incorporating fabricated or misrepresented research into his/her own practice, it could be detrimental and cause great harm. 


Librarians are available to help in several ways: 

  • Visit the Reference Desk in Milne Library
  • Call the Reference Desk at 607-436-2722
  • E-mail a question to a librarian and receive a response within 48 hours
  • Request a Research Consultation to meet individually with a librarian