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SHB PSY202 Research and Resources: Article Search Tips for Psychology

Tips for better searching in EBSCOhost


An asterisk ( * ) at the stem of a word will find all forms of the word: 
      Example:   educat*= education, educable, educate.
 
Quotes around phrases (“xx yy”) will insure that your keywords are searched as a phrase; rather than individual words. 
      Example:  "social work," not  social AND work
 

Question marks (?) can be used as wild cards to replace an unknown letter or letters in a keyword. This is helpful with spelling issues. 
      Example:  Einst??n = Einstien or Einstein

Tutorial: PsychINFO on EBSCOhost

Search Tips

Searching a database in 3 easy steps: 

Step 1:  Brainstorm keywords (words you use to describe your topic). 

Step 2:  Constructing your search: 

  • Choose database(s).  Start most psychology research with PsychInfo.
  • On the search page, type your keywords in the boxes provided.  Remember, you are typing words or word phrases, not questions.
  • You will get more results if you do not select a search field.
  • Select the peer-reviewed limiter to limit your results to peer-reviewed or scholarly articles.
  • Hit search.

Step 3:  Examine results:

  • Too many results?  Try applying a date limiter or using more narrow keywords to describe your topic.  For example, if you searched "anxiety," try narrower terms like "panic" or "fear."  There may be search terms suggested on the left side of your results page or you can search terms using the THESAURUS or SUBJECT TERM index that is often provided with the database.
  • Not enough results?  Use the same strategy as for too many results.  Try new keywords from your brainstorm list or those suggested by the database.
  • Found the perfect article?  First, see if it is offered in full text.  If not, click the "Find it" button to find the article in print or another database or order it through Inter-Library Loan.   Next, don't stop searching!  Look at the "subject terms" or "author supplied" terms to see if those terms match your keywords.  If not, try some searches using those terms. 

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