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PSYC 4473 - Directed Research: Find Articles

Independent research under the guidance of a faculty member

Search Tips

There is a lot of content in this box, be sure to scroll down for additional tips/techniques.

  • Be prepared with synonyms for your search terms in case your original search produces limited results. Use the "Subject Terms" or "Thesaurus" feature for the database you are searching for additional help with finding relevant subjects.
  • Pay attention to any search tips or help screens provided by each database. Take the time to learn how to use the tools because they will help you avoid frustration later.
  • Remember that most databases allow for Boolean Searching
  • Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT)
    • Use AND to focus your search and combine different aspects of your topic.
      • Example: aging AND loneliness will return only those articles that contain both terms.
    • Use OR to expand your search and find synonyms/related terms.
      • Example: aging OR loneliness will return any article that contains either term.
    • Use NOT to exclude a word or phrase from your search.
      • Example: relationships NOT marraige will return articles on every form of relationships but exclude marraige.
  • Phrase searching is another useful technique for narrowing a search to retrieve the most relevant results. 
  • Use quotation marks (") to search for an exact phrase.
    • Example: "social isolation" will only return hits on the exact phrase (not the individual words).
  • Truncation is also a useful techniques for expanding a search to retrieve all relevant results. For example:
    • Use an asterisk (*) to find variations of a word.  Put an asterisk following the root of a word to find all variations of that word (including singular as well as plural).
      • Example: teenwill retrieve documents containing the words teen, teens, and teenagers..

Useful Databases - Psychology and Counseling

Scholarly / Peer-Reviewed vs. Popular/Trade

While Wikipedia can sometimes be a good starting point, it is not considered "scholarly."  If you are you having trouble distinguishing between the peer-reviewed/scholarly journals from the trade publication or popular magazines, Below is a link to a document that will help explain the differences.  

REVIEW VERSUS RESEARCH

It is also important to be able to distinguish between review articles and research articles. A review article’s primary purpose is not to present new research, but to summarize, analyze, discuss, and provide an overview of previously published work on a topic. A research article is designed to present new research, methods, and/or findings. Research articles often employ the IMRAD (Introduction, Methods, Research, and Discussion) format. Below are a few articles of interest on this topic.

Your Librarian

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Sarah Burkhead Whittle
Contact:
John Vaughan Library 214D
918-444-3262

JVL Librarian - Whittle

Profile Photo
Sarah Burkhead Whittle
Contact:
John Vaughan Library 214D
918-444-3262