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PSY 301: Research Methods in Psychology

Library sources for PSY 301.

Searching a database

The most effective way to search the online databases is to enter terms or keywords that effectively describe your topic.

  • Use broad, meaningful keywords when you search. Don't use sentences or phrases.
  • Use just a few keywords (1-3). You can always add keywords later if you need to refine your search.
  • Use the facets or limits to help refine you search. For example, you can narrow your search by date or by geographic region.
  • When you review your results, look at the abstracts or subject headings for other keywords you can use to improve your search.
  • Be prepared to do several searches. Research is a process that takes time.

Recommended Databases

Psychology-specific databases at OSU Libraries

Finding the full text of an article

Locating articles: Once you find your citation, you will need to locate the journal to read the article. Some citations will have the full-text of the article available online. For others, click on the FindIt@OSU button to see if OSU subscribes to the electronic or the paper copy of the journal. 

FindIt@OSU will open a new window and will display a link to full-text when available. If not, request the article from Interlibrary Loan: http://osulibrary.orst.edu/ill/.

Smart searching

When searching in catalogs and databases:

  • Be creative in the words you use; if one doesn't work, try something else. Think of words with related meaning, such as natural resource management or restoration or conservation
  • Begin with keywords, and use the subjects found in the articles that come up to find more information
  • Use quotation marks around phrases, so they won't be searched as individual words.
  • Use advanced search features in catalogs and databases to limit by date, language, type of article, etc

For more in-depth information about developing advanced search strategies, check out a tutorial from Purdue University at http://gemini.lib.purdue.edu/core/files/strategies0.html