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SHB PSY250, PSY307, PSY309, PSY311: Finding Articles

Articles databases

Databases to start with (to search multiple ProQuest or Ebsco databases simultaneously, click one of them below then Choose Databases at the top of the screen):


Databases by Subject - A list of all our databases (150+) arranged by subject area

Is it a database or a website?

Libraries purchase databases which index journal articles and often provide full-text copies of those articles.  Although purchased databases are accessed through the internet, they are not "internet sources" or "websites."  Instead, think of these sources as products designed to facilitate academic research.   Because they are purchased, they are not freely available to the public.

Sources other than licensed databases are freely available via Google or other search engines.  These may, or may not, be the kind of information that can be used for a research paper.

Ordering articles through Interlibrary Loan

You can order articles and books from other libraries with Interlibrary Loan.  It may take up to a week for articles to arrive, so request items well ahead of your assignment's due date.

  • If you are searching in a database, click the Find It! button. If "No full text available" then click "Non-UW Library Request (ILLiad)."  Then Sign in, follow the remaining prompts and click Submit Request at the bottom of the page.
  • If you need articles immediately, use the FULL TEXT limit box available in most databases. It will limit the articles found to only those that you can view and print immediately.

Search Tips

Database searching in 3 steps: 

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

Step 2:  Construct your search: 

  • Choose database(s).  Start most psychology research with PsycINFO.
  • 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.

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?  Try searching a broader topic; use fewer keywords.  Try new keywords from your brainstorm list or use search terms 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.