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PSYCH 255 - Prof. Phillips  

Last Updated: Sep 11, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Recommended Databases for Background Information

  • Credo Reference
    An online reference library that provides access to hundreds of full text titles covering everything from accounting to zoology.
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library
    Includes a collection of specialized electronic reference books for multidisciplinary research.

Recommended Databases for Peer Reviewed (Scholarly) Articles

  • Psychology and Behavioral Sciences
    Provides nearly 550 full text journals and covers topics such as emotional and behavioral characteristics, psychiatry & psychology, mental processes, anthropology, and observational methods.
  • Academic Search Premier
    A multidiscipline full text database designed specifically for academic institutions. Includes full text articles from over 4,600 scholarly publications, along with 3,900 peer-reviewed journals
    Archive of scholarly journal articles. Content spans many disciplines, primarily in the humanities, social sciences and life sciences.
  • BioMed Central
    BioMed Central publishes over 290 quality peer-reviewed journals in Biology, Clinical Medicine and Health.
    Created by the National Library of Medicine, provides authoritative medical information on medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, pre-clinical sciences, and much more. Can't log in? Try using PubMed.

Helpful Search Tips

Advanced Search! When possible, use advanced search. These types of searches will generally help you craft a better, more specific search strategy.

Subject Searching: Find an article that you like? Look for "Subject Terms." Most databases will let you click on subjects, and will return all articles that have been labeled as that subject. You can also use subject terms when crafting your search strategy.

Remember! You don't always get the best results when you do your first search. Look for other possible keywords when browsing through articles, or look up similar words in a dictionary or thesaurus. Research is a process where you keep building on what you have learned before.


Zotero is a bibliographic management software-- you can organize your research articles using this software.


Need Help?

Visit us at the Reference Desk! Librarians are availabe all hours that the library is open.


Phone: (619) 421-6700 x5381

Chat 24/7! Get online help from a librarian 24 hours a day.


Search Strategies

A search strategy is what keywords and Boolean Operators you use when searching in a database. For example when searching for articles to answer the question, "What impact has climate change had on birds in California?", a possible search is: 

"climate change" AND birds AND California

Boolean Operators are connector words that can help you narrow or broaden a search.

AND: Narrows a search by requiring all words to be included in a search. Generally you use this with two different concepts, e.g. texting AND driving.

OR: Broadens a search by returning results for one keyword or the other. Generally you use this with two alike concepts e.g. car OR automobile OR vehicle.

NOT: Narrows a search by removing results with the keyword used after "not." An example would be a search for windows NOT Microsoft.

Other search punctuation:

" " (Quotation Marks): Use quotation marks around a phrase that you want to search for, e.g. "animal behavior"

* (Astrisk): Use an astrisk (*) when you want to search for different tenses / forms of a concept, e.g. evol* to search for evolve, evolution, evolutionary. This concept is called "truncation." 


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