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Research Methods in Psychology Library Workshop . January 2013. Overview. Website overview Background Research Finding articles with PsycINFO Managing Citations. Click here to order books/articles the library does not own.

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Research methods in psychology library workshop

Research Methods in PsychologyLibrary Workshop

January 2013


  • Website overview

  • Background Research

  • Finding articles with PsycINFO

  • Managing Citations

Http library villanova edu

Click here to order books/articles the library does not own

Http library villanova edu research ereference psych

E-reference is a great place for background info.

Preparing to search
Preparing to Search

  • Investigate your topic

    • What do you?

    • What don’t you know?

  • Think about your topic in terms of key concepts

  • Jot down a list of key words (2-3 similar words for each key concept) to develop into search terms

  • Think about it differently/ synonyms

  • Develop a search strategy for finding scholarly articles related to your topic

  • Choose a database to search

Group exercise
Group Exercise

Develop a search strategy for this topic AGGRESSION

  • Diagnoses

  • Gender

  • Methodologies

  • Symptoms

  • Treatments

  • Ethnic group

  • Population

  • Age group

  • Geography

  • Region of the country

  • Time period

What is a scholarly article
What is a scholarly article?

  • Scholarly articles have undergone a peer review process prior to being published in a reputable journal.

  • According to the Encyclopedia of Evaluation, peer review is:

    • Peer review refers generally to the evaluation of professional performance or products by other professionals and, more specifically, to a set of procedures for evaluating grant proposals and manuscripts submitted for publication. For peer-reviewed journals, content-matter specialists are asked to judge a manuscript, often using specified criteria and blinded to the author's identity. The journal editor considers reviewers' comments and decides whether the paper should be published, rejected, or revised and resubmitted. Similar procedures are used to review grant applications. Critiques of the peer review process focus on the low reliability of reviewers' recommendations, but the goal of peer review is to make good and defensible judgments rather than to have high reliability. Peer review is an example of an expertise-oriented approach to evaluation.

Parts of a scholarly article
Parts of a Scholarly Article

  • Author name and affiliation

  • Abstract

  • Introduction & literature review

  • Method

  • Procedure

  • Results

  • Discussion

    • Limitations

    • Future Considerations

  • References

  • Example Citation:

    Author, A.B., & Writer, C.D. (YEAR). Title of the article. Title of the Journal, Volume#, begin page – end page. doi: 1053/45614-5643

What is a database
What is a database?

  • From the Encyclopedia of Health Care Management

    • A database is an organized collection of data that can be manipulated to produce information specific to a user's needs. Conceptually, a database is an electronic filing system with an indexing structure linking to specific data elements. …The basic element of a database is a field, or variable. Each field in a database is specified as a fixed (maximum) number of characters, each equivalent to a byte of data. The data elements may be text, such as a patient name, or numeric, such as a birth date…A group of related fields is called a record.

Or start at the advanced search screen
Or, start at the Advanced Search screen.

Truncation: an * placed at the end of a root tells the computer to search for all words containing that stem.

Example: disab*=disability, disabled, disable, disabilities

Scroll all the way down to edit your search. Narrow by language, subject population, subject age, etc.

Results language, subject population, subject age, etc.

Narrow your search
Narrow your search language, subject population, subject age, etc.

Article language, subject population, subject age, etc.Record.

Mining resources
Mining resources language, subject population, subject age, etc.

  • Once you have found a relevant article, review the bibliography carefully. The resources used to write that paper will also be relevant to your research.

    • This is looking into the past research.

  • We can look forward and see what subsequent studies have used your articles (i.e. – Your article A was written in 2005. In 2007, article B was written and used article A as a reference.).

Group exercise1
Group Exercise language, subject population, subject age, etc.

  • Use your search terms to find 3 relevant articles to your topic

    • Review the full article or abstract to determine the relevance

    • Not finding what you want?

      • Narrow/Broaden your topic

      • Add limits

      • Use synonyms

      • Ask the librarian for assistance

Article Citation language, subject population, subject age, etc.


Managing useful articles
Managing Useful Articles language, subject population, subject age, etc.

  • Obtaining the PDF

    • Copy & Paste, Save to PC or USB, Email articles

  • No PDF? Interlibrary Loan request

  • Jot down citation information

  • Add to your refworks accounts

Cite your article why
Cite Your Article. . Why?

  • In scholarly research, readers must be able to go to the original source to verify the ideas and facts that you rely upon to make your argument.

Academic integrity plagiarism

Scholarly Research


Academic Integrity & Plagiarism

  • Your ideas supported by the research of others

    • Paraphrase or direct quote

    • Always cite ideas of others

    • Readers can easily find ideas or facts referenced in your paper

  • Copy & paste writing of others

    • Weak paraphrasing does not alter the original author’s writing sufficiently

    • Too many direct quotations

  • No citations to ideas of others

  • Improper citations

  • Readers are unable to verify facts or ideas presented in your paper

Reference list formatting
Reference List: Formatting

  • List references in alphabetical order.

  • Include only works that have been cited in the text of your paper.

  • Space evenly throughout.

  • The first line of a citation should be flush left

    • Indent all subsequent lines (5 spaces).


Berelson, B. (1966). Content analysis in communication research. In B.Berelson, and M. Janowitz (Eds.), Reader in Public Opinion and Communication (2nd ed.), pp.260-266. New York, NY: Free Press.

Severin, W. J., and Tankard, J. W. (2001). Communication Theories: Origins, Methods, and Uses in the Mass Media. New York, NY: Addison Wesley Longman.

Shyles, L. (2002). Deciphering Cyberspace. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Individual exercise
Individual Exercise

  • Write out 2 of your 3 citations in APA style.

    • Instead of italics underline

  • Ask the person sitting next to you if it follows the format.

  • Create a refworks account

  • Export your citations to Refworks

  • Email the librarian one article at

Two authors wrote out in citation style
Two authors wrote out in citation style

Brenson N. & Thomas O. (2011). International classification of function, disabilities, and health implications for school psychologist. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 26, 3-17. doi: 10.111/j.1467- 721.2011.01605.x

Http ezproxy villanova edu login url http www refworks com refworks

Contact kimberley
Contact Kimberley


  • 610-519-3073

  • Chat: If you see my chat box on a communication guide, then I’m online.

  • Stop by: Falvey Learning Commons, 2nd floor, immediately to the right of front stairs

  • Make an appointment.

  • Questions are welcome at any stag of the research process.