Tracking Down Studies: Going Around Obstacles

While I’ve spent a lot of time teaching about databases and indexes, they certainly are not the only way you can track down studies. In this final installment of the tracking down studies part of the Understanding Research series, I’ll show you how you can track down studies in other ways.

Last May I read an interesting blog post on Teri Shilling’s blog.


She posted about some research she’d read about in a magazine. The study had found that attending a childbirth class was the only significant predictor of whether or not a woman was satisfied with her childbirth experience.

Naturally, I wanted to know more, and being the “go straight to the source” type, I wanted to see the actual study. Teri had listed a few key pieces of information:

Study author = Angelina Arcamore

Study author’s place of work = Villanova University

Teri’s source: CBEreporter article written my Marsha Rehms

I started by asking Teri what she knew.


Next I tried doing a search in EBSCO and PubMed for the author. Nothing. Tried searching for  the key words “Childbirth Education” and “satisfaction”. A few results, but nothing like what I was looking for.

Did a general Google searches for “Angelina Arcamore”, “CBEreporter” and for “Marsha Rehms”. Nothing helpful there.

So my only remaining clue was Villanova University. I went to their web site:


I searched their site for “Arcamore” and got nothing. Then I tried “childbirth education” and got a single hit:


And voila! I found the faculty bio page of Angelina Arcamone!


Notice her name is actually spelled “Arcamone” instead of “Arcamore”! Somewhere along the way, a letter got misread as an r instead of an n. Very easy mistake.

So then I go back and do EBSCO, PubMed and Google Scholar searches for the correctly spelled name.

Still no results.

But remember how the faculty bio page had an e-mail address on it? Well, I decided to write to her and ask about the study. Within 24 hours she responded with a very nice e-mail:


While I found the information she sent me to be helpful, I am looking forward to seeing her study published!

Did you like this step-by-step of how I tracked down this study? You can find more articles like this on my web site.  If you have a study you’re having trouble finding and would like me to give it a try, send me an e-mail andrea [at] lythgoes [dot] net and I just might do it here on Science & Sensibility!


Tracking Down Studies: Going Around Obstacles

December 9, 2009 07:00 AM by Kathryn
Andrea, Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and research techniques! Kathryn

Tracking Down Studies: Going Around Obstacles

December 9, 2009 07:00 AM by MomTFH
Good post! This is such a wonderful series. I have found curriculum vitae websites of authors and researchers to be very helpful, and they are usually linked to at the bio page. In fact, many of them will list every article published, and some will link to free copies that are not available from the publisher website. Contact information never hurts, either. As shown in the original post, researchers do email back and you can make a good contact.

Tracking Down Studies: Going Around Obstacles

December 9, 2009 07:00 AM by Teri Shilling, MS, CD, IBCLC, LCCE
Nice post Andrea - thanks for sharing! I started to type that you certainly earned your "gumshoes" as in detective shoes and that sent me on an internet search for the origin of that term and verification that it was shoes and not boots! In case you're curious: It turns out that the original "gumshoes" of the late 1800's were shoes or boots made of gum rubber, the soft-soled precursors of our modern sneakers... At the turn of the century "to gumshoe" meant to sneak around quietly as if wearing gumshoes, either in order to rob or, conversely, to catch thieves. "Gumshoe man" was originally slang for a thief, but by about 1908 "gumshoe" usually meant a police detective, as it has ever since. Happy to hear that an article in the JPE is in process!

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