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Research Guides

SWK 4510: Research for Evidence-Based Social Work Practice

For SWK 4510 students, and other social work students, using database search strategies to locate relevant research evidence for papers and assignments.

Locating qualitative studies

Qualitative Search Filters: Below are examples of search filters that will help in your database searching for qualitative studies. Use them to help filter your search results to find different types of qualitative evidence. 

Important note: These search string formats vary from one database to another. We have pasted the words for the key databases below.

Filters for ProQuest

(("semi-structured" OR semistructured OR unstructured OR informal OR "in-depth" OR indepth OR "face-to-face" OR structured OR guide OR guides) NEAR/3 (interview* OR discussion* OR questionnaire*)) OR ("focus group*" OR qualitative OR ethnograph* OR fieldwork OR "field work" OR "key informant" OR interviews OR "group discussion" OR "mixed method*")

Filters for EBSCO

( ("semi-structured" OR semistructured OR unstructured OR informal OR "in-depth" OR indepth OR "face-to-face" OR structured OR guide OR guides) N3 (interview* OR discussion* OR questionnaire*) ) OR ( "focus group*" OR qualitative OR ethnograph* OR fieldwork OR "field work" OR "key informant" OR interviews OR "group discussion" OR "mixed method*" )

Filters for OVID Medline

((("semi-structured" or semistructured or unstructured or informal or "in-depth" or indepth or "face-to-face" or structured or guide) adj3 (interview* or discussion* or questionnaire*)) or (focus group* or qualitative or ethnograph* or fieldwork or "field work" or "key informant")).ti,ab. or exp interview/ or exp focus groups/ or exp qualitative research/

Filters for PubMed

Paste this string into the advanced search builder

(((“semi-structured”[TIAB] OR semistructured[TIAB] OR unstructured[TIAB] OR informal[TIAB] OR “in-depth”[TIAB] OR indepth[TIAB] OR “face-to-face”[TIAB] OR structured[TIAB] OR guide[TIAB] OR guides[TIAB]) AND (interview*[TIAB] OR discussion*[TIAB] OR questionnaire*[TIAB])) OR (“focus group”[TIAB] OR “focus groups”[TIAB] OR qualitative[TIAB] OR ethnograph*[TIAB] OR fieldwork[TIAB] OR “field work”[TIAB] OR “key informant”[TIAB])) OR “interviews as topic”[Mesh] OR “focus groups”[Mesh] OR narration[Mesh] OR qualitative research[Mesh] OR "personal narratives as topic"[Mesh]