Q&A Psyc130 Su2013
Questions & Answers
Psychology 130 (Summer 2013) - Library Resources
The following questions were submitted by Psychology 130 students.
How can you narrow your search to only specific journals?
1. If you already have a specific citation to an article, and want to go directly to a specific journal, use one of these strategies:
- Citation Linker. Type In at least the name of the journal and the year of publication. Enter any additional citation information you have, such as author, words in the title. Click on CONTINUE and you will be linked through to our holdings of the journal, both online and print.
- PsycInfo. Type in the name of the journal in the first search box. Select PUB (publication title) using the drop-down arrow. Click SEARCH.
2. If you are searching a topic or concept, it is best NOT to search or limit a search by journal title. PsycInfo searches and links to the content of over 1,800 journals, chapters, reports, dissertations published internationally. Search PsycInfo by topic or concept to target citations from the widest possible base of content.
Which database is best to search from? Are there different ones for different disciplines?
Yes, there are hundreds of different databases, some of which are single discipline-specific and some of which are multi-disciplinary. For a list of the databases to which the UCB Library subscribes, click on the SUBJECT LIST of E-Resources or the A-Z LIST.
For the best databases to use for Psychology topics, see the EDP Library’s webpage listing many excellent psychology-related sources. See Key Psychology Resources. The Psychology 130 Course Guide also provides information on top resources for psychology.
PsycInfo and PubMed are considered to be the top two psychology-related databases. PubMed is oriented more toward the sciences and medical aspects of psychiatry and psychology. PsycInfo is the top psychology database worldwide and covers the broadest range of topics and titles.
What are good keywords to use relating to a topic?
Finding the best keywords is at the core of the art and science of searching. It is an acquired skill gained with much critical thought and practice. Think of it as a dialog between you and the database search engine. Here are some tips:
Try Natural Language:
State your question in natural language. For example,
What are current treatment methods for autism?
From your question, pick out the “key” words, i.e.,
“treatment” , “autism.”
Create a simple ‘search string” using operators, such as “and”, “or”, or “not.” Many databases, such as PsycInfo, provide operators in a drop-down menu near the search box. Be sure to select the best one.
Here’s the new search string: Treatment and autism
Use a Thesaurus:
Another very helpful way to find good keywords, especially when you do not know a lot about a topic, is to search for keywords in a topical Thesaurus. A Thesaurus is a vocabulary list for a discipline. PsycInfo has a psychology thesaurus built within the database. Open PsycInfo and click on “Advanced”. Then click on “Thesaurus”. Try entering words such as “autism”. You’ll find two other terms: “autism spectrum disorder” and “early infantile autism”.
Order: Note that the order in which you place the keywords does sometimes matter. In other words, you are likely to get a different number of results, perhaps with a little different focus, depending on the order of your keywords. This is especially true if you combine 3 or more keywords
Broaden or Narrow: The more keyword search terms you add, the narrower your search results will be. So if you’re retrieving very little, broaden your search instead of adding more keywords. In other words, use a more general term. Think of the overall category for your topic. You might also want to re-think the words you’ve selected and try something related.
Connectors: the connector “and” will generally retrieve fewer results than the connector “or”.