Psychology

Help finding resources for your research.

Tutorials

What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary loan is a system that allows you to request material from other libraries to be sent to Trent for you to borrow. Normally, there are no costs to use the ILL service. Plan ahead because it can take a few days or even weeks for material to be sent, depending upon availability.

Visit the RACER (ILL) page for more information.

Search

Troubleshooting Searches

Too few articles:

  • Check for typos and spelling. Consider using both American and British spellings (eg. behaviour or behavior).
  • Remove long phrases.
  • Make sure you're using a database that is likely to include information on your topic.
  • Try using other synonyms and alternate words joined by the Boolean Operator 'OR' (e.g. aboriginal or indigenous or First Nations).
  • Check your Boolean logic.  Are you using 'AND' when you should be using 'OR'?
  • If you have found at least one good article, look at the references of this article to find other related articles OR use the 'Find citing' or 'Find related' buttons when available in the databases.

Too many articles:

  • Add another concept to your searching using the Boolean operator 'AND'.
  • Add Limits (e.g. Peer Reviewed, Date of Publication, Language, Publication Type, etc.).
  • Check your Boolean logic. Are you using 'OR' when you should be using 'AND'?
  • When Keyword searching, try searching just in the Title field. This is not recommended for all searches, as you will eliminate relevant articles that don't have those keywords in the title, but it will likely find a few articles to get you started.
  • If you're searching in a database that covers all subjects (e.g. Academic Search Elite, Web of Knowledge), look for a database that is subject specific.

Key Scholarly Databases

Search an index (database) to find citations to articles on your topic.  Follow the links to the full article.  See the "Finding Articles" tutorial for details.

The most important database to use for finding articles in Psychology is PsycINFO. Search it first.

  • If it doesn't find enough, try the Web of Science
  • Scholars Portal Journals contains the majority of our e-journals, so it's another good place to search.

If your topic is related to another subject, look at the options in the "Other Useful Databases" box below this one.


 


 


 

Other Useful Databases

These databases might also be useful, depending on your topic and your research needs. They're in alphabetical order.

Video: Using PsycINFO to Find Articles

This video walks you through the process of accessing and searching PsycINFO, then following the link to an online article.  This is a demonstration of the process outlined in the Finding Articles tutorial.

PyscINFO: Limit to Empirical Studies

Need to filter your results to "empirical studies"?  Empirical articles report on a measurable (quantitative) study done by the authors.

In PsycINFO it's easy to show only empirical studies.  After performing your search, look at the results screen. 

  • On the left-side menu, find the heading: "Methodology".  Click the arrow to expand it.
  • It shows a list of the main types of articles you found, and how many of the items fit each one.
  • Click "Empirical Study" to see only those.
    • Depending on your need, "Quantitative Study" or "Longitudinal Study" may also be acceptable.

Screen capture.

Screen capture of the "Methodology" limiter box described.

To remove this restriction, click on the "X". You'll be shown all your results again.

Screen capture of removing a filter.