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Disability and Human Development: Research Process Tips

Resources for students, faculty, and researchers focusing on topics in the area of disability and human development.

Tips for Searching

The following techniques can improve your success with online searching, whether you're searching a catalog for books or a database for articles:

  • Enter phrases in quotes:  "developmental disabilities" "assistive technology"
  • Use truncation symbols to search for alternate word endings: In most databases, entering disab* searches for disability, disabilities, and disabled
  • If one term doesn't work, try a few others. Experiment with different vocabulary related to your topic. Brainstorm ideas for relevant keywords and use background sources such as encyclopedias for suggestions. You can OR together terms to do a search for multiple terms at once, retrieving all results that include any one of them. Example: adolescen* OR teen* OR youth*
  • If you get too many results, see what options the database gives you to limit/filter. Databases will often allow you to limit by publication date, by publication type, and also sometimes by assigned subject headings.

Accessibility Services at the UIC Library

The UIC Library is committed to providing accessible services, spaces and resources. This includes services such as pulling books from the shelf for users, allowing users to designate someone to check out books on their behalf, scanning library materials, providing quiet areas, distraction-free study areas, accessible restrooms, and more.

Please find further details on this page:

If there are additional accessibility services you would find helpful, or you have any questions, please let us know by contacting the Library Accessibility Committee at

Citation Management

As you embark upon a more extensive research project, you will likely be assembling a large amount of materials. As such it is highly recommended that you use a consistent approach to storing the materials that you find on your topic.

One approach that can be very useful is using a Citation Management Tool, which is designed to serve both as a repository for your located materials and as a way to largely automate the process of putting these materials into the correct citation format.
More information on these tools are available in our RefWorks and Other Citation Management Tools guide:

I am also very happy to help you with setting up and using the tool that you select! Please email me at or use my online appointment calendar ( to set up a time for us to discuss this together.

Text-to-Speech Function

EBSCOhost will read out-loud articles that are available as HTML documents. There is also an option to download an audio file for these documents.

Databases we have from EBSCO with at least some HTML documents include:

To limit your search to HMTL documents, use “FM T” at the beginning of your search:

Example: FM T AND “disability studies”

Spreadsheets for Concepts & Database Searching

Keywords vs Subject Headings