Getting started with a reference source – use the Psychology books on our shelves at 150’s. We have some very helpful encyclopedias of Psychology there. Substance abuse is located in the 362’s.  In the 616’s, a very important reference book (and essential primary source) is the DSM-V. It is used by doctors and clinicians to understand the definitions and symptoms considered for diagnosing mental disorders. (Ask the librarian for help to move efficiently through this essential primary source.)  Additional books on the brain, neuro-diversity, mental and behavior disorders are in the 616’s. For example, find books on autism and ADHD there.

Databases to consult:

  • Science in Context – is strong for reference articles
  • Teen Health and Wellness is a small database with educational materials for adolescents
  • JSTOR archives journal articles that are at least 6 months old. It warehouses historically important journal articles.  (Develop skills for this database with lesson here.)
  • Ebsco Host – click “research databases” when it opens but de-select K-8 resources before you enter your search terms. Note! “ERIC” and “Professional Resources” are both useful for topics related to psychology and education.  Use Boolean Operators and the database’s filters to narrow your sources if your results overwhelm you.
  • Proquest E-book Central has a lot of books on psychology.  Be sure to use “advanced search” and tick off the “subject: Psychology” filter. Finding a chapter within a detailed book on your topic might be just what you need.
  • Lives of Psychology innovators:  Biography in Context from Gale
  • Researching Educational topics or Teaching? Inside the EbscoHost database, find a database called “Professional Development” for topics related to understanding how people learn and develop. You can secondarily search inside ERIC in EbscoHost which is a database of dissertations that have been written by students as they achieve their PhD’s in education. Dissertations may be book-length.

Lesson Offered: if you are new to using academic journal articles, it is worth arranging a meeting with your librarian to understand how those articles are organized. She’ll help you master journal analysis skills for much faster searching and very productive research.

Ask your librarian for help if you are new to any of the databases above.  She has tips for faster searching when you are getting too many resources (or not enough.)