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Library Research in Psychology

Resources in psychology.

"I'm interested in the topic of dreaming, and I'd like to find an article on it. I'm not a psychologist, so I don't want anything that is too technical. Where can I find some easy-to-read articles that discuss research and topics in this area of psychology?"

APA receives many requests from individuals looking for general information on psychological topics. These topics include a wide range of issues, from ability tests for employees to research on drugs and the brain, school violence, the impact of AIDS on family members and the ways in which children learn. A variety of resources about psychology are available on the Internet or at any library, including books, journals, newspapers, pamphlets and electronic resources.

Many library resources may be available without leaving your home or office. Your topic can be easily located using the online catalog and Web-based indexes or subject guides and databases. The databases are generally listed by subject category and will help you find resources in a wide array of fields, including psychology.

You may want to review the following consumer health resources to familiarize yourself with the topic including Health and Wellness Resource Center, Health Source: Consumer Edition , WebMD . To consult the resources used by the medical research community, you will be able to access Medline, an abstracts database or PubMED , a database of publicly funded articles. These authoritative sources are produced by the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Indexes such as the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature may also be available to point you to popular sources of information such as magazines and newspapers. A number of electronic resources may be available to you through your school or public library website; consult your reference librarian for step-by-step instruction.

Most large newspapers, such as The New York Times , The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal  are searchable on the Internet. Access to an archive of previously published articles may be available for a nominal fee.

A topic search using one of the well-known Internet search engines, such as Google , Yahoo or Bing  may also provide access to information from a variety of resources. Specific organizations that publish information on your topic area generally make information available on their website.

The American Psychological Association website is also a source for authoritative information and research tools in psychology. It also includes topics of interest to a wide audience such as ADHD ,  bipolar disorder , eating disorders , gun violence , learning and memory , PTSD , and more.

Note: Just because you find information does not mean that it is accurate. Be sure to consider the source of the information and its currency before using it for research.

APA Resources

APA often receives calls from students preparing for their first research assignment. Often instructors will suggest that classes visit the APA website , which is an excellent starting point and provides authoritative information on current topics and issues , press releases , reports , and position papers that can be helpful in selecting your topic. You can access both free and paid resources at the APA website.

Most major university libraries provide electronic access to bibliographic and full-text databases produced by APA. These resources include APA PsycInfo ® , an abstracts database; APA PsycArticles ® , full text of APA journal articles; APA PsycBooks ® , full-text books, book chapters and entries from the Encyclopedia of Psychology ; APA PsycExtra ® , research from outside the peer-reviewed publication; APA PsycTests ® , psychological tests, measures, scales, surveys and other assessments; and APA PsycTherapy ® , videos featuring therapy demonstration. APA also publishes a series of handbooks that provide in-depth information on a number of topics such as research methodologies. 

These authoritative sources are used by research professionals, clinicians and mental health professionals worldwide. Some library catalogs also provide links to the full-text journal articles, and books or book chapters in the databases.

The databases let you search by general topics or keywords. You can consult the Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms ® to find the most current terms in the literature. Consult your librarian for more information.

To become more familiar with the APA database products, visit the product pages to learn more about the publications covered, search tools and information on additional research products that may be of interest.

Which database is most appropriate for your search? The following descriptions will help you decide.

APA PsycInfo

APA PsycInfo is an electronic bibliographic database that provides citations and abstracts to the scholarly literature in the behavioral sciences and mental health from the early 1800s to the present. Material of relevance to psychologists and professionals in related fields such as psychiatry, nursing, business, education, social science, neuroscience, law, medicine and social work is included in the database. APA PsycInfo covers journal titles, doctoral dissertations, authored and edited books, and chapters from edited books. Start your research by using APA PsycInfo.

APA PsycArticles

APA PsycArticles is a database of full-text articles from journals published by APA, the APA Educational Publishing Foundation, the Canadian Psychological Association and Hogrefe Publishing Group. The database includes all material from the print journals with the exception of ads and editorial board lists. APA PsycArticles currently covers peer-reviewed journals from 1894 to the present.

APA PsycExtra

APA PsycExtra, a companion to the scholarly APA PsycInfo database, supplies clinicians, information professionals, policymakers, researchers and consumers with a wide variety of credible information in psychology, behavioral science and health. Most of the coverage is material written for professionals and disseminated outside of peer-reviewed journals. Documents include newsletters, magazines, newspapers, technical and annual reports, government reports, consumer brochures and more. APA PsycExtra is different from APA PsycInfo in its coverage, and also in its format, because it includes abstracts and citations plus full text for a major portion of the records. There is no overlap with APA PsycInfo.

APA PsycBooks

APA PsycBooks is a full text database of scholarly titles published by APA Books. It includes current books published by APA and classic and out-of-print books. The database also provides access to the APA/Oxford University Press Encyclopedia of Psychology . APA PsycBooks contains the APA PsycInfo abstract and bibliographic records for books and chapters and the full text of the book, tables of contents and all introductory material.

APA PsycTests

APA PsycTests is a research database that provides access to psychological tests, measures, scales, surveys and other assessments as well as descriptive information about the test and its development and administration. APA PsycTests focuses primarily on unpublished tests, those developed by researchers but not made commercially available. Most records link to a variety of materials describing the test in peer-reviewed literature, technical reports or dissertations as well as links to related peer-reviewed literature describing test development, review or use. All records include a summary that describes the test, with its purpose and some history of its development. Most records include the actual test instrument.

APA PsycTherapy

APA PsycTherapy is a database containing more than 300 videos featuring therapy demonstrations showing clinicians working with individuals, couples and families. APA PsycTherapy features more than 200 different topics covered throughout hundreds of hours of filmed demonstrations utilizing a wide range of approaches. The database contains only unscripted, spontaneous therapy sessions taped in the last 10 years. APA PsycTherapy is a highly flexible tool with synchronized, searchable transcripts that enhance user navigation and access and provides users the ability to tag segments of each therapy demonstration to create, save or share personal playlists.

APA Handbooks in Psychology ®

Titles within the APA Handbooks in Psychology Series are ideal resources for libraries and institutions—these reference books provide a one-stop shop for both overviews and in-depth analyses of a variety of subfields within psychology. Different purchase options for electronic and print versions are available to institutions looking to provide their users with these comprehensive publications.

Accessing APA Databases

The APA databases are widely available at colleges and universities. If you are a student, faculty member or researcher at a college or other institution, check with your library to see which APA database are available. If the library subscribes, you can access the databases online from your home, office or dorm room. Check with your library for more information.

If you are an APA member, you can purchase access to the databases and search from your home or office. APA offers the databases in a number of packages designed to suit your research and budget needs. A package of databases is also available for professionals who need on-going access. To learn more about the databases, pricing options and how to sign up online, visit APA Databases Subscription Packages.  

If you are not an APA member or need occasional access to the databases, you can search APA PsycInfo, APA PsycExtra, APA PsycArticles, and APA PsycBooks on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Search Help

Contact APA staff to discuss search questions or to get information about APA's databases and services. Telephone help is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. EST, (800) 374-2722. You can also request help by sending an email .

The Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms ®

Users will find all of the index terms that are used in APA's databases in The Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms . Using the thesaurus before beginning a search will save a lot of time in finding articles. The thesaurus provides standardized index terms used for each record in APA's databases. Definitions and information about how the terms are used; and information about related terms and concepts are also provided to ensure that one is able to find all available material on a subject.

The thesaurus is generally updated annually—APA makes the most recent updates to the thesaurus available online. An interactive online version of the thesaurus is also provided with most all APA PsycInfo vendor systems.

Training Guides

Users can find a wide variety of essential tools to search APA's databases in APA's Training Center. APA provides print and online versions of search guides for most vendor search systems. The system-specific search guides help users with basic system navigation. A free field guide with information about the content of and conventions for use of APA PsycInfo record fields is also available.

APA Databases & Electronic Resources Blog 

This blog is your source for training materials and information about the American Psychological Association’s Databases & Electronic Resources . It includes updates on web-based and in-person training sessions, as well as highlights from our video tutorials, handouts and other materials. You will also find announcements about new publications that are being added to the databases, new features being added to the APA PsycNet platform, and about new resources as they become available. 

Related Links


Psychology: Research & Articles

Finding articles and research

The business library has excellent resources for psychology-related topics..

Use this information on this page and click the tab for Books & Ebooks to effectively conduct your research.

What's the difference between APA PsycARTICLES and APA PsycINFO?

Find articles using Library databases - Quick Guide

View all recommended library databases for psychology-related topics:  Psychology Databases A-Z

Scroll down this page for short video tutorials - learn how to search effectively.

Peer Review & Scholarly

What does peer reviewed mean? 

Peer review is an editorial process whereby experts in a given field help judge the value of a relevant work or ideas that they were not part of creating. The primary function of peer review is gatekeeping—selecting the best from a pool of submissions. It also serves, however, as a source of constructive criticism, whereby expert feedback by peers can be taken into account to improve ideas, research proposals, and papers.Source: Britannica Academic

Peer reviewed journals  and  refereed journals  are interchangeable terms = same meaning.

Most library databases provide a check-box to limit your search result to articles that are Scholarly and/ or Peer Review.

What are scholarly articles?

Although peer-reviewed journals are always scholarly in nature, scholarly journals are not always peer-reviewed.  Scholarly journals are research focused, reporting results of original research and experimentation. The articles in these journals are heavily cited in the form of either footnotes or bibliographies, and written by, and addressed to, experts in a discipline. However, whereas peer-reviewed journals require a strict "peer-approval" for publishing, a scholarly journal that is not peer-reviewed only requires the approval of an editorial board. Source:  Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Video Tutorials. How to search PsycINFO (you can apply this informaiton to PsycArticles)

Finding Relevant Articles to Anwser Your Research Question


The interface is different in this demonstration, but the interface you seeing using the GGU subscription to EBSCO APA PsycINFO and APA PsycARTICLES has all of the same features - things just look a little different. These videos are really helpful, but if the difference in the interface confuses you, just ask the GGU librarians for help.

The interface is different in this demonstration, but the interface you seeing using the GGU subscription to EBSCO PsycINFO and PsycARTICLE has all of the same features - things just look a little different. These videos are really helpful, but if the difference in the interface confuses you, just ask the GGU librarians for help.

Video Tutorial. Finding the Tests in APA PsycTESTS

Video Tutorial. Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print

This video is produced by Victoria College/University of Houston-Victoria Library. The video introduces the database and at minute 1:20 teaches you how to search using the example: GRE OR "graduate record examination"

Current Issues. Articles. Definitions.

Online resources.

Suggested Peer Reviewed Journals

How to Find Sources for Psychology Research Papers

Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.

How to find sources for psychology research papers?

Emily is a board-certified science editor who has worked with top digital publishing brands like Voices for Biodiversity,, GoodTherapy, Vox, and Verywell.

How to find sources for psychology research papers?

The entire process of writing a  psychology research paper can be stressful for college students. Sometimes, just picking a topic can seem daunting! Once you settled on a subject, actually finding sources to document your ideas and support your claims can be just as difficult. Where exactly should you look to find quality and reputable sources for your psychology research papers?

When you first start researching a subject, figuring out where to begin can be a real challenge. Where should you look for information? What kinds of sources are available? How do you decide which sources to include in your paper? While there is no simple way to make the research process fast and easy, there are steps you can take to ensure that you find the information you need.

If you are working on a psychology paper and are struggling to find sources, consider following the steps below.

1. Start by Choosing a Strong Topic

A good research topic is neither too broad nor too narrow. If you choose a subject that is too general, you will probably find yourself overwhelmed by information. Choosing a subject that is too specific leads to the opposite problem; not being able to find enough information to write about.

For example, if you chose "drug abuse" as the topic for your research paper, you would quickly find that there is no way to fully cover the subject in the limited number of pages you have to write. However, you can easily narrow this overly broad topic into something that will work.

Start by thinking of some questions that you might have about drug addiction . "How does drug use impact the health and well-being of college students ?" is an example of a research question that would yield plenty of information without being overwhelming.

2. Find Basic Background Information

The next step is to search for some basic background information on the topic for your psychology paper. At this stage, you're mostly looking for introductory information, but many of the sources you browse at this stage may also contain information on more in-depth sources.

For example, you might look through encyclopedias, online reference sites, lecture notes, supplementary course readings, or your own class textbooks for information on your topic. Pay careful attention to any sources that are cited in these readings and make note of these references so you can locate them in your school's library or online during the next phase of the research process.

Sometimes finding sources involves following a trail of sources starting with general information until you drill down to more specific references.

3. Use Library Catalogs to Search for Books

The next step is to pay a visit to your university library. The basic background research you did in the previous step should have offered some hints on what you need to look for. If you're still struggling, be sure to ask the librarian for assistance. Library staff are trained and skilled at locating all kinds of information.

If you are a distance education student, don't fret; there are still plenty of ways to access library resources. Start by checking with your school to see what type of distance resources they offer to online students. In many cases, you can access the materials you need via an interlibrary loan in which your local library is able to borrow books or other documents that are owned by another library.

Once you've located some books on your topic, spend some time browsing through the references listed in each book. For each and every source you find, think of the bibliography as a guide to further sources of information that might be helpful.

4. Utilize Online Databases to Find Periodicals

The next step is to start looking through online databases such as PsycINFO, PsycNET, and EBSCOhost in order to find journal articles on your topic. While some of these can be accessed online from your home computer, you might have to visit your library in order to access your school's subscription to certain databases.

In some cases, full-text versions of articles might be available online, but you will probably have head to the stacks to look up hard copies of many articles in your university's library. If you're not sure how to access these databases or how to perform a search, be sure to seek assistance from a librarian.

5. Search for Online Sources

The Internet can be a great way to find sources for your psychology research paper, but you need to know how to use it effectively. Start by checking with your instructor to find out what kinds of online sources can be used as references. Some instructors do not allow students to use any online references, while others allow only certain types. Online journal articles, newspapers, magazines, forums, blogs, and informational websites are all possible sources of different types of information.

A number of professional journals offer free access to full-text articles .

Even if your instructor does not allow online sources, the Internet can still be a useful tool. Online articles often contain information about books, journal articles or other offline sources that you are allowed to use in your paper.

6. Carefully Evaluate Each Source

Once you have assembled a good selection of possible sources, the next step is to start carefully evaluating each one to determine if it is credible and appropriate for your paper. Evaluating your sources involves a number of things, including noting the age of the information, the author, and the publisher.

Evaluating online sources can be a bit trickier. While there is a lot of great information out there on the web, there are also plenty of websites that are poor quality, misleading or downright incorrect.

7. Create a Working Bibliography

Even if your instructor does not require you to write and hand in a bibliography, creating one can be a very helpful part of the research process. A bibliography is basically a list of all the sources that you might use in your paper. In addition to listing all of the sources you've collected, consider adding a brief annotation to each entry that describes what the book or article is about. As you begin outlining your paper, refer back to your working bibliography in order to determine which sources to use in order to back up your arguments, analysis, or claims.

 A Word From Verywell

While finding sources for your psychology papers can certainly be challenging at times, breaking it down into a step-by-step process can make it a lot less daunting. Most importantly, don't be afraid to ask your course instructor or university library staff for help. Your teacher might be able to point you towards some sources of background information, while a librarian can aid you in searching and locating source materials related to your topic.

American Psychological Association.  Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association  (7th ed.). Washington DC: The American Psychological Association; 2019.

By Kendra Cherry Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.

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Psychology *

Searching tips, psychology literature databases, more broadly focused databases, online journals, and for items not available in full text, database help guides & tutorials.

The USC Libraries'  Developing Keywords  tutorial can help you practice using effective search terms so a database can find what you seek. Additionally, many databases index their records (e.g. PsycINFO and PubMed/MEDLINE ). In these cases, it is important to add to your search strategies those subject terms that are related to your key words. These can be found in a Subject Index or Thesaurus. Visit the Searching Solutions Research Guide for more information and tips.

More under an item offers links to tutorials.

For a comprehensive list of USC Libraries databases focused on psychology, visit: Databases for Psychology

USC login required

To receive articles or books that the library that are not in full text:

For additional information: visit IDD and Home Delivery .

Princeton University Library

Psychology research guide, psychology databases, tests & measures databases, supplementary resources, general search tips, citation searching, full text options.

The list below is a small subset of the databases on the  Articles and Databases page on the library's website. For a full list of databases relevant to your research, see the Psychology Subject List .

How to find sources for psychology research papers?

Boolean Operators

Many catalogs and databases allow the user to put a search string together using the boolean operators AND, OR, or NOT.

In many catalogs and databases, truncation is represented by an asterisk ( * ). To use truncation, enter the root of a search term and replace the ending with an *.  

For example, type behav* to find the words behav e , behav ior , behav iour , behav ioral , behav iorism , etc..

PsycINFO has included cited references appearing in journal articles, books, and book chapters. Although comprehensive coverage of cited references began in 2001, references appear in some records for earlier years, and APA will continue to add retrospective coverage. This cited reference data enables the "Find Similar" and "Find Citing Articles" functions.

Web of Science is the most complete and comprehensive citation tracking database with coverage from 1900 to the present. It provides thorough coverage of ~5900 major journals. Includes cited author searching. Abstracts, keywords, and additional subject categories are included and searchable from 1991+. Video Tutorial

Scopus Provides International coverage of journal articles, selected web sites, and patents in the sciences and social sciences; provides citation tracking from 1996 to the present. Interactive Tutorial

Google Scholar provides access to peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations. Although it is not as standardized, thorough, or reliable as BIOSIS, Web of Science and other literature databases, Google Scholar  has a simple interface that many find convenient and easy to use.

If Princeton does not have access to the full text you can use either Article Express, Borrow Direct, or Interlibrary Loan (ILL) to request the article or book from one of our partner institutions: 

Article Express : ArticleExpress is the Library’s electronic document delivery service available to current members of the Princeton University community. Journal articles, book chapters or selections, conference proceedings papers, and newspaper articles are available through ArticleExpress. The service offers electronic delivery of these materials in the shortest possible time.

Borrow Direct : is a rapid, patron-initiated borrowing and lending service offered by Princeton University Library and twelve partner libraries--Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, MIT, the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, and Yale.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) : Interlibrary Loan (ILL) provides academic materials not available at the University. Service is available to any member of the University community who needs material for an academic research project or course-related assignment.

Online Research Guide

Staff Writers

Contributing Writer

Learn about our editorial process .

Updated August 17, 2022

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The advent of the internet has changed the way students go about conducting academic research. Before online research, students had to make the trip to their university library; comb through the stacks of physical research materials or microfiched content; read through the sources for relevant information; and manually include quotations, citations, and bibliographical entries. The internet has enabled students to access research materials digitally from anywhere in the world. Researchers can zero in on the content most pertinent to their work and automatically generate citations and bibliographies. The internet has made academic research and manuscript construction unbelievably faster and more efficient, resulting in higher-quality work.

Though online research offers many benefits, students may encounter significant drawbacks. Academic journals and books go through editing and review to vet the contents for reliability and accuracy; however, anyone can post something on the internet. As a result, researchers must learn how to discern a credible source from a non-credible one. Additionally, the wealth of information available online can make students feel overwhelmed about where to start.

The research methods in this psychology study guide can help students learn how to conduct online research. The guide includes information on search tools, strategies, and accuracy.

Methods of Psychological Research

There are several methods for conducting research in psychology. The particular type a researcher chooses often depends on the type of data they wish to obtain and whether this data should be qualitative or quantitative. Researchers can then determine whether they will base their study on descriptive, correlational, or experimental research. From there, they decide which methods of data collection best suit their study.

The following section provides an explanation of these types of data, research, and collection methods. Students conducting online research may find that they lean heavily on descriptive and correlational research. Students also often use case studies and archival data collection. No matter your preferred methods of psychological research, online sources usually provide enough data for students' research papers and literature reviews.

Quantitative Data

Quantitative data is obtained through research based on a mathematical model and statistical inferences. Researchers manipulate variables to determine causal relationships. Quantitative data includes numerical values, percentages, and statistics.

Qualitative Data

Qualitative data uses non-numerical data such as personal accounts, descriptions, observation, and interviews. This method of research often studies behavior in a natural setting.

Psychological Research Methods

Correlational research.

Correlational research is a form of non-experimental research that studies the relationship between two factors. In this method, the researcher does not manipulate any variables. This method of data analysis can help identify whether and how two factors may be associated with each other.

Descriptive Research

Descriptive research uses methods such as case studies, observation, and surveys to build an assessment of target cognitions or behaviors. Researchers do not manipulate variables or identify correlations. Instead, they describe current circumstances in order to gather information for later study.

Experimental Research

Experimental research develops more definitive conclusions about causal relationships. Researchers manipulate an independent variable and measure the effect it causes on a dependent variable. However, some variables cannot be experimentally controlled in a realistic setting, especially in the field of psychology.

Data Collection Methods

Archival data collection refers to the review of pre-existing materials or secondary sources. Researchers consult data that others have collected in order to answer questions relevant to the research subject. Researchers also use archival data to construct an understanding of a phenomenon that may require further study in the form of a direct experiment.

Case Studies

Content analysis.

Researchers in psychology frequently use content analysis to quantify findings from qualitative research. The analyst develops coding units to identify and track data points of interest. For example, content analysis may document the number of positive versus negative signifying words from a subject's qualitative response to a stimulus.

Experience Sampling

Experience sampling relies on self-reporting from participants. Participants describe their subjective perception of the study's focus. Participants may document their experiences at the request of a researcher, at pre-set intervals, or each time they encounter a specific stimulus.

Experimental Psychology

Experimental psychology endeavors to answer a theoretical question using the scientific method. In general, researchers begin with a question, propose a hypothesis, and develop an experimental study to prove or disprove their hypothesis. Usually, researchers manipulate a particular variable in a controlled setting in order to determine its effect.

Participants in a survey answer questions that may be objective, such as demographic information, or subjective, such as opinions on a topic. Surveys may come in the form of questionnaires or structured in-person interviews.

Using Google for Online Research

A simple Google search yields a plethora of information, but not all of it is reliable, applicable, or relevant to students' research. Altering search engine settings can help filter out unreliable sources and provide you with search results that are more relevant to your topic. The following section outlines some ways you can tweak your searches to net the type of results you want. We use Google for these examples, as it is the most commonly used search engine.

Refining Your Search Results

Combing through a seemingly interminable list of websites to find the information you need is a painstaking and inefficient endeavor. In order to narrow down your search results and focus on sources that fit your needs, you can take advantage of several tools Google offers. Search shortcuts allow you to target specific search results. These symbols or words allow you to indicate precisely which phrases or keywords you would like to include or exclude from your results. Shortcuts can also help you search for results on a particular site or related pages.

Site search allows users to search within a particular domain. To perform this function, simply type "site:" (without quotation marks) followed by the domain you want to search within. Note that there should be no spaces between "site:" and the domain name that follows. You can add a keyword before the site search to find information about a specific topic within that domain. For example: "psychology certification" followed by "" This will bring up information about psychology certification on the official website for the American Psychology Association. Using the site function, you can filter results to a particular class of site (such as .edu, .gov, .org).

You can use also the advanced search function to refine your searches without shortcut text. Advanced search allows you to add filters to control for the types of results you get, such as articles published within a certain timeframe.

Google Scholar

Students conducting psychological research online can also benefit from using Google Scholar. This tool allows you to limit your search results to scholarly sources. These sources may include articles, theses, books, and court opinions. Results from academic journals, universities, and professional societies have been vetted by their respective publishers and are highly likely to be reliable sources.

Search results from Google Scholar are sorted by relevance and ranked according to where they were published, who they were written by, and how frequently and recently they have been cited in other academic works. Information about the origins and credentials of your search results can help you to ensure your sources are as reputable and accurate as possible.

Additionally, students can set up their Google Scholar Preferences to access resources available through their college or university library. Patrons of a particular library can provide their login information and indicate that their library's resources are to be included in Google Scholar search results. The Google Scholarship Search Tips page features more details on getting the most out of Google Scholar.

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Beyond Google

Psychology students interested in conducting online research do not have to use Google as their only search tool. In fact, many academic search engines and databases offer free or discounted services to students. The following section describes some common resources for general academic research, including several options that may prove especially helpful for psychology students.

For Psychology Students

Evaluating Sources

Since the internet features hundreds of both reliable and unreliable sources, it is important to screen your sources to ensure the research is accurate and dependable. Determining whether a source provides helpful and relevant information can seem confusing. However, you can analyze certain aspects of a piece to determine its accuracy. Check whether your source has a qualified author, honorable purpose, professional appearance, objective tone, current data, and relevant links. The following list features tips from Georgetown University and the University of Chicago Press .

Organizing Your Research

Finding, managing, and organizing sources for a research paper can seem like a daunting task. A disorganized research process and haphazard filing system can result in wasted time and a sloppy paper. Some forethought and a methodical approach may help you save time and work more efficiently. The following list provides some tips for organizing your research.

Use Reviews and Abstracts: Reading reviews and abstracts for academic papers and journal articles can help you quickly evaluate a source. If the abstract does not contain relevant information, you can avoid reading the full text.

Follow the Trail to its Source: When you find an article you think may be a good source for your research, follow the links provided in the citations. This may help you identify the original data, evaluate credibility, and find additional sources.

Stick to One Topic at a Time: In order to avoid distraction and disorganization, stick to one topic at a time. Make sure you address each one sufficiently.

Bookmark Folders: It may be helpful to create individual bookmark folders for each topic or section in your research paper. This way, you can find the right source when you need it.

Complete the Bibliography as You Go: Instead of waiting until you've finished writing the body of your paper to craft your bibliography, add citations as you go. This may help streamline the process.

Online Tools to Manage Your Research

Citing Online Resources for Psychology Students

Students and researchers use many different citation styles and writing formats. The style you use generally depends on the subject about which you are writing. Students conducting online psychology research studies usually use APA Style . Most science and social science disciplines follow this style. When writing research papers and creating presentations, psychology students should expect to follow APA's general format and citation rules.

Each type of source material requires a different citation format. It can be confusing for students to try and figure out how to cite their various sources. The following section provides examples of some common sources psychology students might cite. The Purdue Online Writing Lab offers excellent resources for students who need information on how to cite various sources in their academic papers.

Articles From Online Periodicals

What is a doi.

A DOI , or Digital Object Identifier, is a longer-lasting alternative to a URL link to particular document. You may include a DOI in your citation as a way to direct your readers to the precise location where they can find the source material you used. Most publishers of online scholarly journals provide the article's DOI on the first page of the document.

Without DOI

Newspaper articles, electronic books, latest posts.

PSYCH 303: Research Methods in Psychology

Library Contact

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Welcome to the PSYCH 303 Library Research Guide

This guide provides recommended library resources and information on conducting scholarly research in order to help you complete your course assignments.

Questions? How to Get Library Research Help

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Psychology Research Guide

Welcome to your psychology guide.

Psychology Students:

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Science Librarian

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Primary Sources in Psychology

Primary sources in psychology are empirical (report research through observable testing), often published in journals, and usually include standardized sections (Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, References).

Finding Journal Articles

Databases contain an index to journals and articles that you can search to identify articles on your topic. Some databases link to the full text of journal articles. If the full text is not available from the database, check the  library Citation Linker  to see if Reed has access to the article. If the article you are looking for is not available at Reed, you can request it through interlibrary loan .

Psychology Database Best Bets

Subscription Resource - Access provided by Reed College

Additional Databases

Preprints and grey literature.

Pre-prints and grey literature have not been formally published through a peer-review process, but may still report on an empirical study. New research may appear in these spaces before formal publication.

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  1. 🎉 Where can i find research papers. 6 Tips to Finding Research Paper Sources that Set You Apart

    How to find sources for psychology research papers?

  2. Research psychology paper examples in 2021

    How to find sources for psychology research papers?

  3. 😍 Find research papers. Your Essay Site. 2019-02-06

    How to find sources for psychology research papers?

  4. 👍 Good sources for research papers. 4 ways to differentiate a good source from a bad source

    How to find sources for psychology research papers?

  5. M.A. Psychology Research Methodology Previous Question Papers Download

    How to find sources for psychology research papers?

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    How to find sources for psychology research papers?


  1. Ch 2 Scientific Research in Psychology

  2. Research Methods Part 1

  3. Psychological research 2

  4. How to Easily Find Scholarly Articles for Your Research Paper (Step by Step Guide)

  5. How to find Scholarly sources in

  6. Evaluating Your Research Report or Thesis in Psychology


  1. Library Research in Psychology: Finding it Easily

    Your topic can be easily located using the online catalog and Web-based indexes or subject guides and databases. The databases are generally listed by subject

  2. Psychology: Research & Articles

    Find articles using Library databases - Quick Guide · APA PsycARTICLES (via Ebsco) · APA PsycINFO (via Ebsco) · APA PsycTESTS (via Ebsco) · Mental

  3. How to Find Sources for Psychology Research Papers

    How to Find Sources for Psychology Research Papers · 1. Start by Choosing a Strong Topic · 2. Find Basic Background Information · 3. Use Library

  4. Find Journal Articles

    Online Journals · USC Libraries Journals. Search by subject and/or title to locate key journals. · Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).

  5. Databases, Journals, & Articles

    Psychology Databases · EBSCO Academic Search Ultimate This link opens in a new window · Medline (PubMed) This link opens in a new window.

  6. Online Research Guide

    Students conducting psychological research online can also benefit from using Google Scholar. This tool allows you to limit your search results to scholarly

  7. Scholarly Sources

    Types of Scholarly Sources ; Academic Journal Articles, Books and Book Chapters, Other ; Empirical Study. Literature Review. Theory Article. etc.

  8. Evaluating sources and data

    In web articles, look for signal phrases like "According to ...." and "as reported by...." to see who reported the claim first. If the article

  9. Primary Sources

    Databases contain an index to journals and articles that you can search to identify articles on your topic. Some databases link to the full

  10. Where can I find research papers on psychology?

    Go to Google Scholar. Search for keywords related to your topic. Look for newer papers. If you cannot download the papers you want, try to get a membership at a