PSY 301: Research Methods

Key Databases

  • PsycINFO (at EBSCOhost) contains citations and summaries of journal articles, book chapters, books, and technical reports, as well as citations to dissertations, in the field of psychology and psychological aspects of related disciplines. Through EBSCOhost linking functionality, some articles are available in full text. Journal coverage includes international material selected from more than 1,700 periodicals from nearly 50 countries. The "historic" portion of the database comes from from three sources: Psychological Abstracts (1927-1966), Psychological Bulletin (1921-1926), and all journals published by the American Psychological Association plus the American Journal of Psychology from the first issue of volume 1, number 1 in November 1887.
  • PsychARTICLES (at EBSCOhost) covers general psychology and specialized basic, applied, clinical, and theoretical research in psychology. Over 25,000 full-text articles are available from 42 journals published by American Psychological Association, Canadian Psychological Association, and Hogrefe & Huber.
  • The Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection is a database with more than 470 full-text journals. It covers topics in emotional and behavioral characteristics, psychiatry & psychology, mental processes, anthropology, and observational and experimental methods.
  • Wilson Social Science Full Text covers the latest concepts, trends, opinions, theories, and methods from both applied and theoretical aspects of the social sciences.

Search Tips

Most databases have a Guided, or Advanced, search option that will allow you to easily limit your search terms to specific fields. Boolean operators (and, or, not) are easier to use in this search mode. Additional ways to limit searches are by date, language, peer reviewed journals, and publication.

  • Refining your search: After your initial few searches, evaluate your results. Are there any aspects of your topic you need to add to your search? Make a note of the subject headings or descriptors attached to your results. You might be able to use these for additional searches. Did you receive too few results? If so, try expanding your search. Limit your search if you retrieved too many records.
  • Boolean Operator Basics: he Boolean connectors AND, OR, and NOT are often used to combine keywords or concepts when searching electronic databases. Using these operators can make your search more focused, thus yielding more precise search results.
  • AND is a connector that requires both words to be present in each record in your results. For example, searching for Livy AND historiography will only retrieve citations that include both terms. Use AND to narrow your search.
  • OR expands your search by allowing either word to be present in your search results. For example, as search on Livy AND (historiography OR method) will yield the following: All resulting citations will contain the word "Livy." In addition, all results will contain either "historiography" or "method" (or both).
  • NOT is used to exclude terms from your search. For example, if you did not want to find any references to book reviews, you could try searching for Livy NOT "book review".

I have the citation. How do I find the journal article?

  • Look for the journal title in the Journal Locator - an alphabetical list of our electronic and print journal holdings.
  • If your journal is listed, check that the issue you need is available. Journals that are available electronically have the dates of coverage listed next to the database link(s). For journals available in print or on microfilm, you will see a link to the library catalog labeled "Philip Weltner Library Print/Microfilm Holdings." This will tell you what issues we have in the library.
  • Journal Locator help

Additional Resources