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Research Methods in Psychology  

Last Updated: Jun 10, 2014 URL: http://libraryguides.muhlenberg.edu/researchmethodspsychology Print Guide RSS Updates
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Getting to Know Your Topic with Reference Books

  • Credo Reference
    Hundreds of dictionaries, encyclopedias, fact books, guides, companions and more from respected publishers across dozens of major subject areas, including many notable titles for psychology. Full text is linked directly in the database.

Finding Articles

See a list of all databases via the Library Homepage  --  Databases A to Z (in the Research navigation area).

Check the Psychology Subject Guide for other recommended databases and resources.

PsycINFO
Premier database of scholarly and professional literature in psychology and related areas.


SEARCHING

1. Start with keyword searching on the main screen.  Enter keywords that describe your topic. 

    Search tips to remember:       

    • Brainstorm alternate keywords (synonyms) for your concepts. Connect synonyms with OR. Example: stress or anxiety; women or female; "academic achievement" or "educational achievement"
    • Use * for truncation. Example: therap* retrieves therapy, therapies, therapeutic, etc.
    • Use " " for phrase searching. Example: "obsessive compulsive disorder"

2. Browse through your results.  Click on any article that looks relevant to see more information about it.  Read the abstract, summarizing the article. 

As you look through your results, use them to your advantage.

    • What other words could you use in your next search?  Look in the title, keywords, and abstract sections of relevant article records.
    • What subjects could you use?  Each article has been assigned subjects that describe the content of the article.  The subject of one article should lead you to more like it. 
    • When you find a useful article, don't forget to look at its reference list.  Is there anything there you might be able to use?

      
     

    Getting the Full Text of Articles

    To get the full text of an article, consider the following options:

    - If you are in Encompass Search or a library database, look for "Check for Full Text buttons," "Access Online," or "Check eResources" buttons. These buttons will take you the full text of the article or tell you that the full text cannot be found. If the full text is not available from Trexler Library, look for buttons to request the item from another library via interlibrary loan. Or go directly to the interlibrary loan request forms.

    - If you have citation information for the article (i.e., journal title, article title, publication year, etc.), type the information about your article in Encompass Search on the library website. If the library subscribes to the full text, you will be directed to the article (see first bullet above). If not, you can request a copy of the article via interlibrary loan.

    - If Trexler Library does not have access to the full text of the article, search Google Scholar by article title to see if the author has made a copy freely available online. If not, you can request a copy of the article via interlibrary loan.

    Finding Books

    Encompass Search finds information by searching through a massive collection of books, scholarly journals, newspapers and magazines, dissertations, conference proceedings, music, video, maps, and more. 

    To find only books, use the Books limit on the left sidebar of your search results page. Many items will be in Trexler Library; note the call number and status of the item to check its location and availability. For items not in Trexler Library, use the Interlibrary Loan to request a copy from another library.

        

      Citing Your Sources

      • For information on APA Style, see:
        • APA Style (Trexler Library, Muhlenberg College)
          Examples of in-text and reference list citation formatting.
        • APA Style (Purdue Online Writing Lab)
          General orientation to APA Style, plus examples of paper and citation formatting.
        • APA Documentation Guide (University of Wisconsin)
          General orientation to APA Style, plus examples of paper and citation formatting.
      • Zotero
        "Free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources." Download instructions and help available on the site.
          

        Working in Groups

        • Dropbox
          https://www.dropbox.com/
          "Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily."
        • Google Docs
          http://docs.google.com/
          "Create, share, and collaborate on the web with documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more."
        • Zotero
          http://www.zotero.org/ 
          Zotero is a "free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources." Download instructions and help available on the site.
            

          Need Help with Your Research?

          Contact:

          Jen Jarson
          Social Sciences Reference Librarian
          phone: 484-664-3552
          email: jarson@muhlenberg.edu

              
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