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PSYC 53: Statistics & Methods Practicum (Read/Whitfield)): FAQ

Quick Links

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I use the three search boxes?

  • Put one idea per line. For example
    • line 1: sibling
    • line 2: rivalry

What is the difference between using 'or' vs. 'and'" in my search?

  • "or" is a method for expanding your search. If you search for sister or brother or sibling, the article only needs to find one of those terms to retrieve the article. (APA PsycInfo: 30,989 citations)
  • "and" is a method for narrowing your search. If you search for sister and brother and sibling, the article must include all three terms. (APA PsycInfo: 1,307 citations)

How can I use the asterisk?

  • The asterisk (*) is a great tool for picking up variations of a word. Some articles may use one term, other articles may use a different form of the word.
    • mood* - searches for mood, moods, moodiness
    • adolescen* - searches for adolescent, adolescence

How do I narrow my search to only peer-reviewed articles?

  • On the search page, scroll down and click the "Peer Reviewed" box.

What are good keywords?

  • Only use phrases if:
    • They have a specific meaning - e.g., global warming
    • They are used in the database as a subject term - e.g., human sex differences
  • Use nouns, not verbs or adjectives - this is a general rule, there might be some exceptions
  • Do a trial search. When you find a good article, check the subject terms to see if any of them could be used for another search
  • If you find too many articles, try another search using a narrower term. The Thesaurus is helpful for this.
  • If you find too few articles, try to think of a broader term - e.g, instead of nostalgia, use memory
  • If you are having difficulty figuring out good search terms, check the Thesaurus

How do I get the fulltext of an article?

  • Many articles in APA PsycInfo are available in fulltext. Check the left side of the page for a pdf or html version of the article
  • If the fulltext is not available, click the "FindIt@SCU link on the left. This will tell you if the article is available in another database. If so, you will probably need the citation information (publication date, volume number, issue number) to retrieve the article
  • If the library does not have the article in any database, you can request the article via interlibrary loan (ILL). Normally this takes 1-2 business days. NOTE: For the remainder of the fiscal year we are only filling requests for articles and book chapters that we are able to get for free, in a digital format, from other libraries. 

How do I save the results of my searches?

  • You can create an account in Ebsco that allows you to place articles in a folder and to save your searches. The details are laid out in the "Managing Your Research" tab. This is a tool that I highly recommend.

Can I export my citations to a bibliographic management tool?

  • On the right side of the page, click on Export. The Library subscribes to the RefWorks product. Once you have an account in RefWorks, you can export your citations to it. RefWorks is listed on the Library's databases page. There is also a research guide to help you through the process.

If I am having difficulty finding resources, how can I get help?

  • You can contact me directly ( We can either work together using email or we can set-up a Zoom appointment. Other options are discussed in the video located on the Videos / Tutorials tab.

Is there a tutorial or video that will help me get started searching APA PsycInfo?

  • Yes, librarian Gail Gradowski created a tutorial for this purpose. You can find it on the Videos / Tutorials tab.