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Psychology Graduate Student Library Research Guide

Information to support students as they become proficient users of library resources and services.

Database suggestions

PsycINFO  Provides citations and abstract for the scholarly literature in psychology from 1872 to the present.  Includes indexing from more than 2,000 journals in multiple languages.  Updated weekly.

Sociological Abstracts  – Indexes the international literature in social and behavioral science from 1952 to the present.  Updated monthly.

MedlineFrom the National Library of Medicine, indexes the content of 4,600 biomedical journals.  Includes coverage from 1950 to the present.  Useful for iarticles about physiology of behavior and the psychiatric literature.

BIOSIS Previews –Offers comprehensive indexing to life science and biomedical research literature from 1990 to the present.  Useful for physiological and behavioral studies involving animals.

Health and Psychosocial InstrumentsIncludes citations to material on unpublished measurement tools discussed in the journal literature. This material includes questionnaires, interview schedules, tests, checklists, rating and other scales, coding schemes, and projective techniques.  Good possibility for reliability and validity studies of the measurement tools.  Began in 1985 and updated quarterly.

Dissertations and Theses  - Includes records for U.S. dissertations from 1861 and foreign dissertations beginning in the year 1637.  Titles available as native or image PDF formats include free twenty-four page previews. For titles that are available full text from ProQuest, an "Order a Copy" link provides information about ordering options.  Rutgers users have free access to the full text (PDF format) of Doctoral dissertations completed at Rutgers University since 1997. A small number of Rutgers dissertations from previous years are also available full text.

Updating an older article with citation searching

          Citation searching offers you the opportunity to update the content of an article by discovering articles by authors who have cited the article in the bibliographies of their own publications.  The assumption is that the later articles discuss the same or closely related ideas to those in the article you have.  While you update the content of the article, you are also finding out how much influence your original article has had on research in the field.

          Web of Science, including Science Citation Index and Social Science Citation Index, is a comprehensive resource for citation searching.  It has traditionally been considered the most authoritative database for citation searching and currently provides access to citations from 10,000 scholarly journals.  The database offered by the University Libraries dates from 1984 to the present.  (The date refers to the publication date for the citing articles rather than the cited works.)

          Many databases supplied by the University Libraries such as PsycINFO and Medline offer casual citation searching.  When you identify an appropriate article during a search, the citation display will include a link on the right to “Find citing articles.”  Other databases may use “cited by,” “citing articles,” “citing documents,” “X articles cite this document,” or a similar variation somewhere in the citation display.

Advanced search techniques

     Database search interfaces are designed to give researchers different options in their search techniques.  Using more advanced search techniques will increase your efficiency since they require more typing and less clicking.

Using truncation

     Truncation symbols accommodate alternate spellings of words (pediatric vs. paediatric) and multiple endings (adolescen: = adolescent or adolescents or adolescence).  Instruction sheets for Ebsco and Ovid databases follow.

Truncation in Ovid databases  (PsycINFO and Medline)             

Truncation in Ebsco databases

Entering more information into the search box

     When you enter your search, it is possible to use nesting to get more information into the box.  Nesting uses parentheses to direct the search interface where to begin the search.  For example:

                   (adolescence or teenagers) and loneliness

The search interface goes to the statement within the parentheses first, creating a big group of items to then combine with loneliness.  You will receive those items that include loneliness and teenagers as well as those items that include loneliness and adolescence.  There is one caution to this technique however.  If you plan to return to any of these terms, you will have to re-enter them separately.

       As you conduct your searches, take a look at the search history.  You can enter the same information in the search interface supplied statements.  For example, in an Ovid database, if you plan to limit your search results, you can enter "limit (search statement number) to English language" rather than clicking and scrolling on the Limits page.  You can also enter terms as subject headings in an Ovid database by placing a forward slash after the term: dyslexia/.  

Life Sciences Librarian

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Naomi Gold
Liaison to the following: Honors Living Learning Community (HLLC), RU-N Writing Program, Office of Transfer Students, Anthropology, Life Sciences (with Bonnie Fong), Nursing, Philosophy, Psychology (with Bonnie Fong), Religious Studies, and Sociology.
The John Cotton Dana Library
Subjects: Writing & Citation

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