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Psychology Literature Searching

Undergraduate skills and resources organized into where they are most likely to be of use.

Introductory Level

The assignments tend to require finding one or a few research articles within a recent time span, with the emphasis on the articles being acceptably scholarly rather than the best for some purpose. Courses where this kind of assignment is found are sometimes department-specific and sometimes offered as General Education courses.


● Understand the difference between types of publications with psychology topics, primarily the differences between original research and reporting on research

● How to verify sources of information

● Overcome overconfidence with the use of search engines, both with skills and search results being the best or enough

● Differences between search tools -- structured information (APA PsycInfo) vs. the full-text potential and/or chaos of unlimited access (Google, Google Scholar)


  • SIFT tutorial This tutorial will help you to: Define types of information disorder and identify fact-checking tools used to determine the trustworthiness of recent news content. Apply the SIFT (Stop, Investigate, Find, Trace) method to help verify information online
  • Human Sexuality (Gen ed - Psychology) tutorial - using SIFT Search topics in social media such as Instagram, Youtube, Reddit, TikTok and add the word “research” and then evaluate them using SIFT criteria
  • Human Sexuality article evaluation tutorial - CRAAP Test - Tutorial/Assessment Find two articles from a database and evaluate them using the CRAAP Test worksheet. Find two articles from a database and evaluate them using the CRAAP Test worksheet.
  • PSY 1004 Critical Thinking - Library Resources Exercise The goal of this exercise is to introduce you to the different results you get from searching in different databases for a topic in psychology. This exercise is also designed to give you practice collecting citations in APA format.