SOC WEL 280: Introduction to Research

UC eLinks and Citation Linker

Sometimes the database you search doesn't link to the fulltext -- it only gives the citation. Click the UC e-links button to see if Berkeley has it online, and if not, it will check for a print version.  And if we don't have it at all, it lets you request it through Interlibrary Loan.

What if there isn't a UC e-links button??? Sometimes you find an article in a bibliography, a book or a footnote -- and you want to see if we have it. The Citation Linker searches through our online databases to see if it's available fulltext. If not, it sets up a search for the paper journal in Melvyl. And if we don't have it at Berkeley, it lets you request it through Interlibrary Loan.

PsycInfo Thesaurus

Using the PsycINFO Thesaurus is a poweful way to search. It finds related terms, and can clarify how the database defines a concept.

PsycINFO screen shot, select Advanced Search

Select Thesaurus from AdvancedSearch

Search topic of interest in thesaurus

Click on note to see related terms

Select related terms of interest, add with OR

 

Search Tips

Power search features for most article databases:
  • Use synonyms -- there are many ways to express a concept (teenager or teenagers or adolescent)
  • Use truncation to get different forms of the word, for example teenage* will retrieve teenagers, teenager, teenaged, etc.
  • Use quotation marks when you want an "exact phrase"
  • Restrict by date -- most will let you find only the most current five years if you chose that limit.

PsycInfo Search Tips

  • Use "controlled vocabulary" (also called descriptors or subject headings) if the database has them. The PsycInfo Thesaurus is a very powerful tool. It helps you identify articles that are about a topic, not just that have the word in the abstract. For example, if you are looking for the cause of a certain psychological problem, the descriptor "etiology" finds material that looks at causality.
  • Use the special "limits" or "fields" that the database offers. They really do help you make a more focused and powerful search. PsycInfo lets you use many helpful limits including:
    • Methodology-- are you interested in literature reviews? Empirical studies? Clinical trials? Quantitative or qualitative studies?
    • Population -- do you want research based on humans? Males vs. females?
    • Age of subjects -- adolescents? children? old people?
    • Publication type -- do you want articles? dissertations? books?

Lexis Nexis Tips

  1. Use truncation (wildcard) to search different forms of the word (child* retrieves child, child's, children)
  2. Use 'proximity connectors' -- w/[number], for example (youth or adolescent or teen*) w/25 homeless*. (You can also use w/s for within sentence, or w/p for within paragraph but you can't also combine these with the number of words.)
  3. Change the display to Expanded List -- shows you your search terms, plus a few words on either side.
  4. Change display to Relevance if it is on Chronological (if date is really important to you, restrict to the date range you want in the search box).
Last Update: February 04, 2014 14:23