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PSY 221 Childhood and Adolescence

Database Tips and Tricks

Get to the articles you need faster - and get more out of them - using these tips:

  1. Sort results
  2. Use subject or index terms
  3. Get to the full article
  4. Utilize article bibliographies
  5. Save citation information

  1. Sorting Results

Screenshot: Relevance is selected in the Sort by menu

Particularly when you begin searching for articles, you will want to make sure to sort your results by "Relevance" so that articles that best match your search terms or keywords come up first.

  1. Subject/Index Terms

Screenshot of subject terms

When you find an article relevant to your research topic, look at the subject or index terms it has.  You can add one or more of these terms to your search to find other articles that are "tagged" with these terms - a more accurate way to search than just using regular keywords.  Or, click on the database thesaurus or index to start your search with one or more of these terms.

  1. Check for Full Text

PsycINFO Check for Full-Text button (blue oval)Education Source Check for Full-Text link (no button, just a link)Scopus Full Text button (gray rectangle)

Sometimes you will find a record for an article that is relevant to your topic, but the article is not available to read in that database.  In these cases, you can click on the "Check for Full Text" link on the record to see if the full article is available in any other library database.  You will find links to full text, or be able to request the article on interlibrary loan.

  1. Works Cited/Bibliography

List of citationsList of References

To help find more articles, use the ones you've already got!  PsycINFO and Scopus allow you to quickly view an article's list of references and go directly to records for those sources.  You can also see newer articles, which have cited the article you already found.

  1. Export Citation

Export Manager

Finally, when you find an article that you want to use, be sure to save the citation information!  Each library database has tools to help you track these citations.  Please contact me if you have any questions about using one of these export tools with your preferred citation manager - EndNote or Mendeley.