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PSYCH 351: Advanced Lab in Developmental Psychology

Tools and techniques for finding information for Psychology 351, taught in Fall 2017 by Prof. Evans

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PsycINFO: Top Database for Psychology Literature

Start with PsycINFO! It's a great place to find the articles for your Psych 351 paper.

PsycINFO contains more than three million citations and summaries of journal articles, book chapters, books, and dissertations in the field of psychology.

Watch the videos on this page for help getting started with searching, and see the bottom of the page for additional tips.

PubMed: Supplementary Database for Psychology Articles in the Health Sciences

You may want to use PubMed in addition to PsycINFO if your topic is closely allied with issues in the health sciences.

PsycINFO - Finding Peer-Reviewed Empirical Study articles

PsycINFO - Why Use the Thesaurus?

Selecting and entering your search terms

Tips for selecting search terms:

  • Try several synonyms, connected with OR, to find the maximum number of articles on your topic.  Each concept gets its own line.  Use quotes around phrases.

  • Find an article you like, and note its subject headings or descriptors.  You can run a new search using these terms or phrases for more robust results.
  • If you have a term with several possible endings, use an asterisk to stand for the different endings. (Example: child* = child, children, childhood, etc.)
  • If you are getting too many results, try searching for your terms in the Title, TI=,  Abstract, AB=, or Descriptors, DE= fields instead of the default.

Focusing your search using date, language, format, etc.

PsycINFO allows you to place limits before you search, and "filters" after you have your results.  The most useful ones include:

  • Language: select a language from the dropdown, or simply check the box for English.
  • Age group: specify the age group that you need to have included in the study.  The articles you get might include other age groups as well, but this will help you filter out articles that don't deal with your population of interest.

  • Methodology: limit to Empirical Study to only get that type of article. Or, limit to Literature Review if that's what you want.  Very helpful!

  • You can also limit by year of publication, and you can view a list of journals or subject terms in the results set.