Course Research Pages

HUM 401: Senior Thesis: Psychology Capstone (Dr. Hager)

Savvy Search Tips for Your Thesis Project

Searching Tips

  • Collect search terms
  • Use subject headings, suggested topics, descriptors, depending on which database you are using
  • Use the thesaurus in PsycArticles and PsycInfo
  • Add to your vocabulary as you read more deeply on your topic
  • Note common topics and themes as you read
  • As you gather articles, group them by theme
  • Read widely and be curious

Ways to Extend the Reach of Your Search

  • References
  • "Cited by"

Finding Journal Articles When You Have a Citation

Bowman Library Journal Finder - use to determine if the Library has the journal in which the article appeared; you must search by journal title.

Google Scholar - use to determine if the article is freely available through the scholarly section of Google; easiest search is by article title in the "exact phrase" line.

Requesting Articles and Books not Available in the Library's Resources

Interlibrary Loan

Some Places You May Have Forgotten to Look

EBSCOhost - Contains several different databases of use in psychology. Searching through the EBSCOhost link above searches all of them at once. You may also search its subsections separately: PsycARTICLES and PsycINFO for psychology articles; Academic Search Premier for journal articles; Business Source Complete for psychology topics that cross over into business; Health Source and Alt Healthwatch for health topics; Wilson OmniFile Full Text Select for journal articles.

JSTOR - some psychology, plus education, philosophy, and sociology. Note that only 10% of articles have abstracts and the most recent three to five years are not included.

First Search - Dr. Hager's favorite. While most of your topics fit into the psycho-social sciences, other fields may be of interest, such as economics.

ERIC - use for education topics. Also freely available online.

MEDLINE - use for medical and psychology topics.

British Medical Journal (BMJ) - use for medical topics; contains some free full text.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) - free scholarly and scientific journals.



Citing Your Research

Basics of APA Style - Shows how to craft correct citations for your bibliography and how to cite in-text. Watch and listen or just jump to the section you need.

Page Last Updated: January 14 2014

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Research Tips

These Research Guides have been prepared by librarians to assist with your research. Read more:

Evaluating Web Resources

Critically Analyzing Information Sources

Searching Electronic Resources Effectively

For more information on citation style, see:

Citing Your Research

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association - BF76.7 .P83 2010 (Located in Library Permanent Reserves)