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PSY 340 - Library guide

Article and Journal Databases

PsycINFO and PsycARTICLES are accessible from the same platform, so you can search both simultaneously.  

  1. Click on the PsycINFO database to access the search page. 
  2. On the search page, notice the search boxes at the top and click on the words Choose Databases, located above the search boxes.  
  3. A pop-up window will appear with a list of databases arranged alphabetically. 
  4. Select other databases to add them to your search and then click OK in the lower right hand corner of the pop-up window.  
  5. You will then return to the search screen where you can type in your keywords.   

Search tips

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Search tips for PsycINFO (EBSCOhost)

Use

Purpose

  Quotation marks

Exact phrase searching

  AND

Combine terms

  NOT

Omit or ignore a term

  OR

Expand the search to include either or both terms

  Parenthesis

Structure a Boolean (AND, OR, NOT) search

  *

Truncate a term or complete a phrase

  ?

Wildcard used to replace a single letter

  #

Wildcard used for alternate spellings

  N and a number

Finds terms near x terms

  W and a number

Finds terms within x terms in order

Try not to use punctuation

Databases ignore these unless it is a question mark

Try not to use stop words

Databases ignore these

 

Primary sources

Primary sources are original research articles (empirical research), meaning that they are written by the researchers who conducted the research.  They are most often written once the research is complete or near completion. 

  • Are often written by professionals in the field or a related discipline.
  • Many original research articles found in peer-reviewed journals follow a similar format and usually include an introduction, methods section, results, discussion/conclusion, and references.  Look for all of these elements when you are looking for primary sources. 

The APA Dictionary of Psychology defines empirical as:

  • "derived from or denoting experimentation or systematic observations as the basis for conclusion or determination, as opposed to speculative, theoretical, or exclusively reason-based approaches."

Limit your results to empirical research studies

You can limit your PsycINFO search to select only Empirical Study articles by setting a search limit using the Methodology limiter. 

Notice that an Experimental Replication is categorized within Empirical Research.  On the advanced search page, scroll to the bottom of the page and look for the Methodology section.  Next, scroll through the list of options.

Limit to experimental study

Secondary sources

  • Secondary sources in psychology include articles that summarize or provide interpretations of original research.
  • Secondary sources can be articles or books. 
  • Review articles are also considered a secondary source.
  • Secondary sources can often be easier to read.