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PSY102 Research Skills Guide: Searching databases

WHY SHOULD YOU USE JOURNAL DATABASES?

Journal databases:

  • Are the best source of academic or scholarly information for your assessments
  • help you locate peer reviewed articles
  • Are subject specific, so that you get more relevant results
  • Have many options for refining results

You can find the Library's databases on the Journal Databases page.

Databases are grouped into subject areas. The Psychology list will be particularly useful for your study.

Journal Database Search Strategies

When you go into a journal database you will notice that many of them feature multiple search boxes that are stacked one above the other in rows.

While they may look intimidating, they can make your search process easier.

Think of each row as a train of thought. For example, if you were searching for an article about the abuse of children in foster care, you could use a new row for each element of your topic. In this case you might search for:

1st search row: "foster care"
2nd search row: child* OR youth
3rd search row: abuse

Tip: If you want to learn more about how to maximise your search using search strategies, contact the Library. We can assist you in creating an effective search strategy.

TRY IT NOW

In the database Psychology and Behavioral Sciences collection, try typing in:

"subjective wellbeing" OR "subjective well-being" OR swb

AND personality

  • If you try this same search in Primo Search, do you get greater or fewer results? Being a Psychology database, they should be more relevant to your topic.
  • Look at the HTML and PDF links to access the full text of the article.
  • If you cannot find the full text click on the Find it          button to check if the article is available elsewhere.

Searching in a database

Full Text

Sometimes you will read that a database is 'full text', or that an article can be found in 'full text'. 'Full text' means that the entire document is available online. When a database carries an article in full text there will be a hyperlink to view it as either a PDF or html document. Not all journal databases contain full text.

If an article is not available in full text you may be able to locate it in another database. Clicking on the Find itbutton will allow you to check if the article is available elsewhere.