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Psychology Literature Searching

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

Research Methods

Assignments are often a sketch of a research project that includes the rudiments of a literature review and better support for introduction, thesis, methodology, and discussion sections.


● Understand how sources are valued via citation patterns ("invisible colleges") and journal impact factors within a field

● Use filters, such as how to limit searches to empirical research and particular methodologies

● Start to read a research article backwards, from references to context within the article and be able to categorize use of sources with context into Introduction/Background/LiteratureReview, Methodology, Discussion, Support/Differ

● Understand and apply statistical methods


  • PSY 3096 Conducting Psychological Research - Library Resources Exercise

    The goal of this exercise is to help you find ways to identify scholars and researchers who are working in an area

  • PSY 3620 Finding an empirical study and journal impact factor - Tutorial The goal of this exercise is to introduce you to a way of finding empirical studies in journals that have an impact factor using the database Web of Science.
  • Research Guide Locate GSS Topics &Variables Uses the General Social Survey to explain a way to search for dependent and independent variables in the dataset

Citation categories in Web of Science

This is a screenshot of how Web of Science assigned how references were used in the article Andrade, J., IJdema, T., Vadasz, N., & May, J. (2022). Tell me all about it: Narrated memories are less emotional than imagined memoriesQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 174702182211267.


Image of a screenshot from the database Web of Scienceof the citations used in an article orgainized as to their use.