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PSYC 220 - Child Development - Dave Smith - Spring 2020: PSYC 220

Jennifer Jeffery


phone: 315-267-3311


Getting Started

To get started, you can try the Quick Search on the library home page. You will see many results and some of them may not be directly related to the discipline of Psychology. To get more targeted results, try PsycINFO and ERIC ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center-EBSCO). The easiest way to access the databases that have Psychology resources is to click on the link "Choose Databases by Subject & Type" on the library home page under the "Database Lists" section. Click on the menu for the first drop down box labeled "All Subjects" and select "Psychology" to see a list of the Psychology databases and a short description of each resource.

Search Tools for Assignment

Article databases with peer-reviewed articles

  • The two most useful databases for this class are PsycINFO and ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center-EBSCO). See "Getting Started" box above for steps to access these databases.

Article databases at a mixed or popular level

  • For magazines try Academic Onefile and Opposing Viewpoints in Context. You can find these databases by clicking on the "Choose Databases by Subject & Type" link on the library home page, then clicking on the letter "A" for Academic Onefile and "O" for Opposing Viewpoints in Context and find the database in the alphabetical list. 
  • For newspapers, go to the library home page, click on the link "Choose Databases by Subject & Type" under the "Database Lists" section. Click on the menu for the second drop down box labeled "All Database Types" and select "Newspaper Articles" to see a list of the Newspaper databases and a short description of each resource. Newspaper Source Plus or INFOTRAC Newsstand are two commonly used newspaper databases.

Article database useful for debatable/persuasive issues

  • The database Opposing Viewpoints in Context is helpful in finding different perspectives on issues. You can find this database by clicking on the "Choose Databases by Subject & Type" link on the library home page, then clicking on the letter "O" and find the database in the alphabetical list. 

Getting you hands on an article when you only have the citation.

  • Search for journals by Title - a different access point for our Article Linker software - this enables you to check to see where we might have access to any known periodical article (such as one you may have heard about in the news).

Periodicals: A Closer Look

A Periodical is anything that is published regularly and includes newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, as well as some less well-known categories.  You will be required by faculty to use articles from peer-reviewed journals in your academic work.  What does that mean?  Take a look at this information page from San Diego State University for more information on peer-review and a comparison chart for periodicals.

How do you know that what you are finding is acceptable?

  • name of the periodical (journal, bulletin, quarterly, review...)
  • more pages in the article
  • abstract present in the article (not just the database record)
  • author affiliation given
  • presence of a bibliography or references

And how do you find them in the first place?  The best way is to use a database designed to locate scholarly articles in your field of interest.

Searching Techniques (for "bibliographic" databases)

  1. Try a title or keyword search
  2. Some databases have a list of suggested subject words on the initial results page. Look at them and copy the useful ones. If there is no list, then look at a number of potentially useful records and copy down words and phrases from the "subject" or "descriptor" area of single record. Some databases provide a thesaurus of terms which can lead to broader, related, or narrower terms you may not have thought of.
  3. Go back to the search screen and search BY SUBJECT/DESCRIPTOR using the words you learned about as a result of your first search.
  4. Be sure to connect search terms correctly using the following techniques:
  • Boolean connectors
    • AND connects different concepts and narrows a search: Fish AND chips
    • OR, with parentheses, combines synonyms/related terms and broadens a search: Fish and (chips OR fries)
  • Use quotation marks for phrases: Fish AND (chips OR "french fries")
  • Use the asterisk as a wildcard character to retrieve variations on a common stem: educat* retrieves educate, education, educating, educated, etc.  Very useful for capturing plurals.


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