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Advanced Psychology Research Guide

Advanced Research Processes and Sources in Psychology

Access Library Resources Online

Trying to access library resources online? Follow the instructions on the Online Access to Library Resources page to access library databases, articles, and ebooks, both on-campus and off-campus.

PsycINFO and PsycARTICLES

PsycINFO and PsycARTICLES databases are great starting points for Psychology research:

  • PsycINFO has more than 3.7 million records, for peer-reviewed journals and books back to the 17th Century. Includes original research studies as well as metanalysis, systematic, and literature reviews.
  • PsycARTICLES has more than 153,000 searchable full text articles from nearly 80 APA scholarly journals
  • Includes related disciplines such as medicine, social work, and neuroscience
  • Help with original research design and publication in your research area:
    • Research methodologies used
    • Tests and measures used
    • Populations, age groups, and genders studied
    • Grant sponsorships and fellowships received
    • List of journals in which articles for your research area have been published
    • Linked Cited Reference lists (links to citations in the research article)
  • Use PsycINFO Thesaurus to identify the words that PsycINFO and PsycARTICLES use to describe your research area
  • Take a look at this User Guide for more help searching these databases 

Use the Search FAQs below to help you find relevant articles in this PsycINFO & PsycARTICLES search box:

Search PsycINFO & PsycARTICLES

Search FAQs

1. How do I search for articles about my research area?

  • Identify the keywords of your topic and use those as your search words. 
  • Each book and article has tags assigned to it, words or shorts phrases that make each book or article searchable
    • You want your search words to match those tags 
    • Words like impact, benefits, effects, or causes are not used as tags
  • Example topic: Does physical exercise provide any memory benefits to elderly people?
    • Search: physical exercise memory elder*
    • elder* searches for elder, elders, and elderly 

2. I have too many irrelevant search hits. How do I focus them to my assignment requirements?

  • Use Refine Results on the sidebar of your search hits to focus them to sources more relevant to your assignment needs

3. How do I focus search hits to review articles like literature reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses?

  • Under Refine Results, scroll down to Methodology and click on show more
  • Check the boxes beside Literature Review, Systematic Review, and Meta-Analysis and then click on Apply

​4. How do I focus search hits to articles using specific methodologies, populations, or tests/assessments?

5. How do I know my search words match the tags assigned to articles about my research question?

  • As you scroll through the search hits, look at the assigned Subjects (tags), and see if they match your search words 
  • Example: The articles about physical exercise are tagged with the Subjects Physical Activity and Exercise
    • Replace physical exercise with "physical activity" OR exercise
    • OR searches for articles tagged with either physical activity or exercise
    • "physical exercise" searches for physical exercise as a phrase, not separate words
  • Subjects (tags) also help you identify the specific issues around your topic so you can give it direction and develop it into a focused research question
  • Use PsycINFO Thesaurus to identify the words that PsycINFO and PsycARTICLES use to describe your research area

6. I can't find anything on my research area. What do I do?

  • The search words you're using to describe your topic may not match the tags that PsycINFO or PsycARTICLES has assigned to books and articles on your research question
  • There may not be research tying your main ideas together yet.
    • Try searching for your main ideas separately and linking their findings together
  • If you've found one article that's relevant for your topic, look through the sources in its References list to see if any of them are also relevant to your research

7. Can I set up search alerts?

What Is Peer-Review?

What is peer-review? Watch this video and find out.

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