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Tricks and Tools
Following are some special tools for searching for articles related to psychology. These can greatly enhance your power as a searcher, and ultimately save you a lot of time. We won't have time to go over these in class today, but feel free to call or email me, or come by the research assistance desk, to learn how to do these.
- Special limiters - limit your search to empirical studies, human or animal populations, etc.
- Thesaurus - find out what terms PsycINFO actually uses in its subject field to make sure you're searching for the right ones.
- Author and Institutional Affiliation Searching - find out what your professors or other authors have published.
- Following citation trails - follow the research forward in time - who has continued the work of your author?
- Saving searches and records - so you don't have to redo them next time you use the database.
- Setting up alerts - have the databases automatically email you if new research has been published on your topic.
- Exporting records to RefWorks - citation software.
And while we will touch on these in class, don't forget about search techniques such as AND, OR, NOT, parentheses, quotation marks, and field searching. For a review of these, see the DATABASE SEARCH TECHNIQUES tutorial. You will need to have PowerPoint to open this tutorial.
PsycINFO, from the American Psychological Association, contains more than two million citations and summaries of journal articles, book chapters, books, and dissertations, all in psychology and related disciplines, dating as far back as 1840. It also includes information about the psychological aspects of related fields such as medicine, sociology, education, linguistics, anthropology, business and law.
MEDLINE provides medical information on medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, pre-clinical sciences, and much more. Searches citations from over 4,800 current biomedical journals. MEDLINE contains all citations published in Index Medicus, and corresponds in part to the International Nursing Index and Index to Dental Literature.