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Finding Research Articles in PsycINFO: Overview

Introduction

This guide will help you find and identify research articles. 

By the end of this guide you will be able to:

  • search for research articles in a Library database
  • identify the different components of a research article

More Information

Finding research articles

Using the PsycINFO database, you can search by keywords to find research articles.  See more information on picking keywords for further assistance on picking the keywords out of your research question.

Enter the keywords for you topic in either the first, or the first and second search boxes, then enter research study.

Be sure to check Full Text  and Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals.

 

Identifying research articles

As you are looking for research articles to evaluate, be sure you do not select a literature review.

Research articles will typically be broken into the following sections:

  • Purpose
  • Method
  • Results
  • Conclusion

Using the phrase research study will help weed out literature reviews but you may find that some still sneak their way into your results list. 

One way to remove more literature reviews from your results is to use the Boolean operator NOT.  Change the drop down to the left of the third search box to NOT and enter the words literature review in the third search box. This tells the database to find results that contain the words in the first two search boxes but remove any that contain the words in the third search box.

Click on the title of the article to get more information.

Sometimes you will see the methodology listed as in the example below. This can make it very easy to determine if you are viewing a literature review.

Screenshot

Since the methodology is not always listed you may need to read the abstract. The following images show examples of language you may see used to describe literature reviews or research studies.

Literature review abstracts will often state that the article is a literature review, as in the two examples below.

Research articles will not always explicitly state, "This is a research paper" so you may need to look to other language in the abstract to help you determine if it's an article you can use.

The example below does mention literature review its abstract but it is telling the reader that the literature review was used to develop the assessment used in the research.

In the example below, some of the terms that let us know that this is a research article are: ObjectiveData was analysedResult, and This study showed. If this were a literature review we would likely not see an objective listed.

Be Aware: By telling the database NOT literature review this article would not appear in your results since the phrase "literature review" appears in the abstract.

In the sample below the abstract mentions sample and results.  While it may not be as clear as the above example, this abstract also represents a research article.