The Psychology Resources tutorial is intended to help students:
Many instructors assign term papers or projects for their courses in psychology. You will need to know how to find and evaluate resources that you will use to complete these assignments. Your psychology professors will also expect you to use the editorial style of the American Psychological Association (APA Style) when you write papers or reports about research projects.
Most psychologists will begin a literature search in PsycINFO or PsycARTICLES. However, some topics will require that you search for literature in other data bases. For example, many journals that publish research on children and education are indexed by the ERIC data base and will not be found in a PsycINFO search. Similarly, if you are interested in a topic in health psychology, neuroscience, or biological or physiological psychology, you should probably conduct a search using MEDLINE, which indexes medical journals that are not indexed by PsycINFO.
If you find yourself having difficulty finding resources on a given topic, consult with one of the Reference Librarians. These individuals know the types of journals indexed by the many electronic data bases available through our library. A Reference Librarian can help you identify the most useful data bases to use in your literature searches. They can also help you construct effective search strategies. Electronic data bases are continually updated and the interfaces with users change frequently. Reference Librarians are knowledgeable about these changes to the data bases and can assist you in learning how to use the new interfaces.
The Reference Librarians provide several useful workshops every semester. These include face-to-face workshops and on-line tutorials. Click on Library Instruction(located in the right-most menu of options on the library home page) to learn about the different types of library instruction. The basic workshop will provide you with an overview of the library and the use of the electronic catalog. You can also sign up for specialized workshops that will show you how to conduct searches in the various data bases. The Reference Librarian at the Information Desk will provide individual students with help on any of these matters. Don't be shy! Reference Librarians are eager to help students use these resources.
Many professors require that you base your research on scholarly work. If you are uncertain about the difference between scholarly articles (peer reviewed journals) versus popular press articles, you may find the tutorial on scholarly vs. popular sources helpful.
PsycARTICLES and PsycINFO are the online databases that most comprehensively cover psychology literature:
PsycINFO is a collection of references to psychological literature from the 1800s to the present. PsycINFO covers material published in 50 countries and written in more than 25 languages. Books and chapters are also included in the database, as well as technical reports and dissertations from the last several decades.
PsycARTICLES is a database containing the full text of articles from APA journals and EPF (Educational Publishing Foundation) journals, from 1985 to the present. The articles are provided in HTML and PDF format.
Here's how to perform a search:
Boolean operators are used to broaden and narrow your search.
AND Finds articles that include both terms.
For example, anxiety AND stress.
OR Finds articles that include either term.
For example, anxiety OR stress.
NOT Finds articles that contain one term but not the other.
For example, anxiety NOT stress.
The examples below illustrate the kinds of searches you can build in Quick/Basic Search or Fielded/Advanced Search using operators and fields:
Finds articles that contain the word anxiety.
anxiety AND speech
Finds articles that contain the word anxiety and the word speech.
"Blair Witch Project"
Finds articles that contain the phrase Blair Witch Project.
Always enclose phrases longer than two words in quotation marks.
Finds articles containing the words; education, educator, educate, educating.
The "*" is the truncation symbol to find multiple forms of a word.
Here are some related resources that you can use if you'd like to learn more about this particular topic.
Now it's time to test what you've learned. Click here to test your knowledge. Be sure to print out your score or e-mail it to yourself or your instructor as proof that you have completed this tutorial.