Literature Searching for Psychology

We’re going to look at a few different ways of searching for literature within the discipline of psychology I will focus on accessing journal articles as these will be very useful for your studies and you may discover that some assignments will specify that you need to use journal articles or empirical papers that have been published in the last few years When searching for literature it is important to remember that Goldsmiths Library provides access to thousands of resources both physically in the Library
building, such as the print books, and online through access to ebooks and
subscriptions to journals That’s why it is best to start your literature
search using the library website to provide you with the quickest access we’re going to use Library Search, our
catalogue, to start our literature search you can start searching using the large
search box or click on the catalogue link Library Search will search across nearly
all of our resources including books and articles to search for a book remember
to include the author or editors as lots of psychology books have very similar
titles we’re going to search for Branscombe Baron Social Psychology Here we can see that we have multiple versions of this book and if I click on the title I can see that we have the 2014 edition as both online and in print when searching for journal articles we can be much more specific in the keywords we use as we will be able to find individual articles on studies or narrow topics let’s do a search for maternal deprivation and attachment we can see that we have some
older books by John Bowlby and some more recently published journal articles we can filter to just journal articles this will narrow our results you can also use the creation date to narrow down to a more recent date let’s say 2000 to 2017 to access a journal article click on the full text available link and follow the ‘available online via’ link to our supplier once you get to the article abstract page you want to look out for a link to the PDF or full text you can also collect a few results using
the pin symbol on Library Search these will be collected in the top right
and if you click on that pin symbol you’ll see a list of all of your pinned
results and you’ll be able to export them from here remember to select them all and then use the three dot symbol to either export to a reference management system or email the references to yourself Library Search is a broad search of all
of our resources but it’s not specific to psychology to find specialist databases for psychology it’s best to head to the psychology subject guide you’ll find this under subject support you’ll then see a list of all of our subject guides and you need to find the one for psychology this guide has lots of useful information about resources in the library head to the databases tab here you’ll find PsycINFO the most
important database for psychology PsycINFO is an abstract database of
publications in psychology and the behavioural and social sciences
provided by the American Psychological Association because it is specialist, you’ll find better indexing and useful information such as the research methodology this will allow you to find more meaningful results to access PsycINFO always come through the library website as otherwise you may be directed
to the wrong platform and not be able to log in easily now let’s try our search again in PsycINFO note that i’m using the AND command between my keywords this will ensure that all of my results mention both attachment and maternal deprivation to see if we have access to the journal
article use the [email protected] button this result is available online via Elsevier however you may find some results are not available immediately for example if we look at the second result here you can see that we do not
have immediate access to the full-text however we can try two more options here first you can check whether the article is available via Senate House you have access to Senate House because Goldsmiths is part of the University of London you have access to their e-resources from anywhere although you will need to register at the Library in Russell Square to activate this access if you can’t find it access through Senate house then you can request an inter-library loan through this link this will allow us to borrow the article for you and the PDF will be emailed to you within a few working days remember to plan your research in advance to allow for this let’s use the filters on the left-hand
side to narrow our results you can see that PsycINFO has more psychology-specific filters than Library Search including methodology, population, and
tests and measures let’s use the methodology filter to narrow down to only empirical studies we can also narrow our results to only articles that have been published in academic journals in the last few years this will help us see if there have been any more recent studies on this topic one of the benefits of using PsycINFO is that when we click on a search result
we see detailed information about the article here we can see an abstract that
summarises the article to help us know whether it is relevant to our research
we can quickly see that this article is an empirical study of animals using a
social preference test the article has also been given subject headings and
these terms may help us locate similar articles either by clicking on them or
by incorporating the terms into our search you can use the thesaurus at the top to find the correct subject headings for your topic let’s check whether maternal deprivation is used as a subject heading I’m going to use term contains as an option
this will ensure I get the best results from the thesaurus I can see that I have two results
animal maternal deprivation or mother absence let’s take a look at mother absence for more information here I can see that we’re advised to use animal maternal deprivation for animals so perhaps mother absence will be a good additional term to use in my search I can see that a broader term is parental absence so I’ll use all of these terms in my search
I can combine them with the command OR which will broaden my results to include
anything that mentions the term mother absence OR parental absence OR maternal deprivation I can add my attachment term again and return my academic journal filter and 2014 publication date if I want to save any of these results
to read or reference I can add them to a folder using the folder icon which acts in a similar way to the pin symbol in Library Search be aware of the way your results are
being ordered for example here it’s ordering them in relevance
but perhaps I’d like to see the most recent articles first as I collect my results into my folder
I can then click on folder view and see all of my selected results and
export them if I wish you can export these to a reference management system such as Zotero to use later for referencing if you don’t use Zotero you can still export the list to yourself through email hopefully this video has helped you get
started with your literature search If you get stuck don’t forget that you can
visit the help desk in the library for more help or use our online chat for
more assistance

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