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Abnormal Psychology 230: Database Searching

Searching in Psychinfo

Searching in any database involves the same concepts.  The most important aspects of searching are selecting the appropriate databases for your search and constructing a good search statement.  The Databases tab highlights some the best databases for your research.  If you follow a couple of easy rules when doing a search you can assure that you get the best results.

  • Keep your search simple.  What are the two or three best terms that describe what you want?
  • Avoid little words and don't use sentences in a search.
  • Always be thinking of synonyms.  Didn't get lots of hits using teenagers, try adolescents or teens.

Below you will find some basic instructions for searching in PsycInfo (the premier psychology database) most databases you search will have a similar look and feel but even if they don't the idea of combining search terms to retrieve the best results is common to all searching

To begin your search go to the Harper Library website and click on the Articles and More link

From there locate and click on the PsycInfo link.  You will have to click the link on the left and then the link in the box to your right.  If you are off campus you will need to login with your portal login and password.

Searching in PsychInfo is actually easier in the advance search mode.  Enter each separate search term on its own line.  you will also be able to limit your search in many ways, including age group, journal type, type of article etc.  By using these limits you can reduce the number of hits you get without changing your search terms.

After completing your search you will be at the search results page.  Notice the number of results you get on the left.  the results page will show you a brief record of each matching item.  Briefly review the list and see if the results look promising, if they don't try revising your search.  When you see an article that looks interesting click the title for the full record display.

Each record will include all the information you need to cite the resource, Title, author, journal information, and DOI if available.  On the left you will see information about retrieving the article or ordering through interlibrary loan.  On the right are options for printing, emailing, bookmarking, etc.

Subject Guide