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Method and Theory in Psychology (50:830:255): Finding Articles

Spring 2019

This page will help you find and access articles, both peer-reviewed and popular, in library indexes and databases and Google Scholar. 

Finding Articles

To find articles, you can use the following access points:

  • QuickSearch  (QuickSearch Help): Use one search bar to find journals, articles, books, periodicals, videos, and more. 
  • Indexes and Databases: Browse all of the libraries' indexes and databases by subject or alphabetically. Once you choose an index or database, search your topic.
  • Go directly to the suggested databases given to you by your librarian

CAUTION: Both Popular and Scholarly/Peer Reviewed Articles are available in all of these resources. Your assignment may require you to only use peer-reviewed articles. What is the difference?

Suggested Databases

The following databases are particularly useful for your assignments in this class. Try searching your topic in different databases for comprehensive results. 

Google Scholar

Google Scholar can be a great resource for finding articles. There are a few things to remember, though: 
 
  • Not everything on Google Scholar is peer-reviewed. It is not possible to filter only to peer-reviewed, so pay attention to your sources! Google Scholar also does not contain ALL the scholarship, especially the most recent articles that may be available in a library database.

  • Google Scholar automatically places AND between words:  zombie library  (This will conduct a search for zombie and library).
     
  • Exact Phrase Searching: Enter the phrase in quotation marks:  "zombie apocalypse".

  • Search related words: ~library (This will conduct a search for library, libraries, librarian).

  • Search for alternative words or synonyms: use OR (must be in caps), with terms in parentheses:  (zombie OR undead).
     
  • Use Advanced Search for more precise searching.
     
  • Read through these Google Search Tips.

Searching Tips

  • Start with broad keywords which represent your topic, then narrow down your topic as you learn more.
     
  • Determine the correct SUBJECT heading for more specific searching. 
     
  • Pay attention to what is available in the database you are searching (full-text access, publication years, subjects, etc.)
     
  • If you are not finding anything, or you are finding too much, change your keywords and ask for help.
     
  • Looking for Empirical Studies? Check for these words: this study, control group, participants, sample, respondents, methodology.
     
  • More searching tips are available. 

Accessing the Article

We subscribe to thousands of journals, but not to all of the journals you may find cited in our electronic databases. If you find an article you want to read and the full text is not available via PDF or HTML links, try the following:  

1. Select the button. Select the link to full-text

2. If you do not see a link to full text, select “Search the library’s catalog by title (or ISSN) link” which will take you to the catalog record for the journal title (if available). Check if the article is available online in the Electronic Access section.The record also indicates whether the library system owns the periodical in paper or in other formats.  

3If Rutgers University Libraries has the article, but not electronically, you can request a free, electronic copy (PDF) by clicking on the Article Delivery button in the record.

4. If RUL does not have the article at all, you can request a copy through Interlibrary Loan.  Requested articles are delivered electronically as PDF files. The turnaround time is generally 1-3 days. 

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