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Library Research Guides

PSYCH 351: Advanced Lab in Developmental Psychology

Tools and techniques for finding information for Psychology 351

Empirical Research Articles

  • Reports of original research studies
    • May use quantitative or qualitative methodologies
  • Published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals

Start by reading the article abstract. Does the author talk about their data and methodology?

Look at the article itself. Most will follow a particular structure:

  • Introduction and Literature Review
  • Method
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • Reference/Bibliography

Review Articles

  • Report based on summary and synthesis of the majority of the research studies that have been completed on a topic
  • Published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals

Start by reading the abstract. Does the author talk about gathering literature and reviewing existing studies?

You can use a review article in your reference list to talk about the overall trends and findings on your topic. 

  • Consider choosing one or more studies discussed in the review article for your own references
    • Look up the studies using the review article's bibliography and entering the citation information into the MGet It Citation Linker.

Using PsycINFO methodology criteria to identify article type

The PsycINFO database records the Methodology for each article indexed in the database. You can use this criteria to limit your search to a particular article type, or to verify the type of article you have found.

There are several ways to do this:

1. When setting up your search, use the Advanced Search - Search Options

  • Scroll down to the Search Options
  • Limit your results by Methodology (bottom right corner)
  • Empirical Study and Literature Review are both options

screenshot of Methodology limit box


2. After running a search, use the Refine Results facet 

  • Refine Results are on the left-hand side of the page
  • Scroll down to the Methodology header and click it
  • Check the box for the methodology type
  • Your results will automatically update
  • Note that you may see no options for empirical studies or literature reviews if there are none if your list of search results

screenshot of methodology facet


3. When looking at the detailed record for an article

  • Scroll down to see all of the indexing details
  • Methodology will be listed