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PSY 235 — Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology


Contact Information

Caroline Bordinaro


Concepts and Questions for Beginning Research

Magazine, Journal and Newspaper Articles Online

Finding Books in the library

Finding quality websites

For more detailed help, download our LIBRARY GUIDES (.doc format)

Concepts and Questions for Beginning Research
  • Where to Start?
      • What's your research question?
      • What information do you need to find?
  • Who cares about the same information? (e.g.: researchers, historians, government, etc.)
      • What kind of information do they need?
      • Where would they get it?
  • What resource are you currently using? Why is it important to know?
      • Is there a better tool for the job?
      • Are you using it in the most efficient/effective way?
  • Types of information available
      • Books
      • Articles from journals, magazines and newspapers
      • Websites
      • Newsletters
      • Reports
  • Terms you need to know before searching for articles
    • DATABASE: An organized collection of information, especially electronic information.
    • ONLINE JOURNAL INDEX: A database that contains magazine, newspaper and journal articles e.g: Academic Search Premier
    • JOURNAL (also SCHOLARLY JOURNAL): Scholarly publication, articles usually reviewed by experts in the field before publication; published for an academic audience; narrow focus; deeply researched e.g.; American Journal of Psychology
    • MAGAZINE: Publication of general interest: popular interest and broad subjects (e.g: Psychology Today)
    • ABSTRACT: a brief summary of the main content of an article
    • FULL TEXT: the complete article. Click on the FindItCSUDH button to see if the Full Text is available.
    • CITATION: the basic information you need to find the full text of an article. Includes author, article title, date, title of publication, and volume/issue.
  • Search Concepts - creating an effective search
    • Take your research question and circle the "important words" (keywords).
    • Think of at least three synonyms for each keyword.
    • Use these words in various combinations to get a good result (between 10-45 results is optimal).
    • Click here for more search tips.

Magazine, Journal and Newspaper Articles Online

Online indexes must be accessed through the CSUDH library homepage (library.csudh.edu). Select Journal Articles & Electronic Resources; You may either browse by subject area or go to your favorite resource using the Alphabetical List.

NOTE: These are subscription online journal indexes, selected and provided specifically for CSUDH students. To access from home, please see our How to Log in to the Databases from Off-Campus guide for instructions.

Recommended PSYCHOLOGY indexes:

  • PsycINFO: The most thorough and comprehensive index to the psychology literature available.  Indexes psychology journal articles, book chapters, conference proceedings, professional literature and dissertations. Thousands of peer-reviewed publications indexed and available in full text.
  • ScienceDirect: Designed to serve needs of the researcher, ScienceDirect offers comprehensive coverage of literature across all fields of science. Includes over 500 psychology journals.
  • JSTOR: Comprehensive index of refereed and scholarly journals, including 279 psychology titles.
  • SOCIndex: Sociology and social sciences focused collection with 190 publications in psychology
  • Wiley Interscience: Search full-text journal articles in many areas of science. Over 150 psychology publications.

These are general databases, not specifically psychology-related, but very good for information on health and current news:

  • Proquest Medical Library: Collection of health and medical journals, magazines and newspapers, including 88 publications in psychology.
  • Social Sciences Full Text: Social sciences focused collection including 88 psychology publications.
  • CINAHL: Primary resource for nursing and allied health journals.
  • Academic Search Premier*: Our most popular general index. Many full-text articles. Easy search and retrieval. Many older articles.
  • ProQuest Databases*: Excellent multi-subject index, with many full-text articles. Very easy to search.
  • WilsonWeb OmniFile Full-Text Mega*: Another multi-subject index. Lots of full-text.

*To limit search to peer-reviewed journals only, look for check box next to Peer-Reviewed, Scholarly Journals, or Academic Journals on database search screen (may be in Advanced Search)

APA Citation Style

This comprehensive guide from the librarians at CSULA will help you use the APA citation style.

Not sure how to search? Use our How To Find Articles help page for assistance.

Search Tips:

  • Combining keywords
    • 1. AND: acrophobia AND flying AND medication
      2. OR: bulimia OR anorexia
      3. NOT: paranoia NOT schizophrenia
  • Phrase searching: "Burrhus Frederic Skinner", "Stanford Binet Intelligence Scale"
  • Advanced Search: Use this frequently to determine your search options. This will save you TIME and FRUSTRATION!
  • Remember, the more words you use to search or the more limits you place on a search, the fewer results you will get. (How can you get more results?)
  • Always use the Print and Save functions embedded within the screen. It is usually not a good idea to use the File-Print or File-Save As functions in the upper left hand corner of the browser.
  • Use the online HELP screens - they really are helpful!

Finding Books in the library

Go to TOROFIND: the CSUDH Library Catalog and search on the title, author, subject or keyword. Look not only for that specific call number, but also check out the books in that section. This is the best way to find older government documents and technical reports.

  • If you don't see the right item listed, or want more titles, try an on a few keywords (in separate boxes).
  • The item you want may not be a book. It may be some other kind of document, or it may be on microfilm.
  • If you don't find what you need, ask a reference librarian.

Finding quality websites

These are indexes to quality web sites that have been reviewed by librarians. The sites have been checked for accuracy, timeliness, stability, and will generally conform to the standards of academic research. However, please be judicious in the use of websites in general, because anybody can put anything on the web.

  • Infomine (infomine.ucr.edu): A project from the Univeristy of California and other universities, it is a searchable index of websites specifically appropriate for university research. Click on SocSci & Humanities to search their specialized index.
  • Internet Public Library (www.ipl.org): Index of websites reviewed by librarians, geared toward the general public. Choose a topic from the index or use Advanced Search to search for keywords.
  • Evaluating Information on the Web: This is a very good checklist from the Pasadena City College Library for judging the quality of not only information on the Internet, but any information you may want to use for an assignment.

For more detailed help, download our LIBRARY GUIDES (.doc format)