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Martha S. Grafton Library

Psychology: Choosing a Database

Guide to resources in psychology, including reference works, databases, and websites.

Steps

Go to the All Databases page.

All of the library's databases for article searching are grouped under subject catalogires. Not all research topics fit neatly into one subject catagory, therefore look for databases in related subjects. For example, research on self disclosure in online dating is an appropriate topic for communication, psychology, and sociology databases.

To become aquainted with a database read its description:

  • Title of the Database: Click on the title to open the database. If you are off-campus, you may have to sign in through the campus proxy.
  • Type (or format) of results: Database results vary widely. A citation index will only provide the citation to an article, generally title, author, and publication information. A citation index with abstracts with provide the citation and a brief summary of an article. A database with full text will cite, summarize, and provide the actual text of articles. A caveat, not all the results in a full text database will have the full text! Database creators lose and gain permission to carry the full text from journal publishers every year. If you find a citation and want to find the entire article read "Find full-text article from citation."
  • Description: a brief description of the nature of the database coverage.
  • Holdings: Provides the span of years covered by articles in the index. Make sure the database covers the appropriate years for your topic.
  • Access: identifies how the database is available to MBC-- e.g. subscription (only available to MBC faculty, students, staff); or free internet access. Some index databases may need a password available from the library staff.


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