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Beginning Research in Psychology - Titusville Campus: Home

Research help for Dr. Terwilliger's upper level psychology courses.

How to Use this Guide

This guide can be used by those students in Dr. Terwilliger's Abnormal Psychology or Child Psychopathology courses, or any other psychology course where a research paper is required. This guide provides information about PsycINFO, one of the most used psychology databases, as well as PittCat+ and Google Scholar search strategies.

Information about APA style is also provided.

Why Use a Database?

Instructors often ask students to find “scholarly”, “academic”, or “peer reviewed” sources of information for their research.  These terms all refer to the same type of information – sources based on in-depth research, and are considered higher in quality and more reliable for your research. 

These sources can range from chapters within books or entire books, or journal articles, but all have common characteristics that can help you recognize that type of information.

What is Scholarly Information?

Cover of Journal of Applied Psychology

  • Written for professors, students or researchers.
  • Have a plain appearance and titles may include words like "Journal," "Transactions," or "Quarterly"
  • Reviewed by a board of experts or "peer reviewed."
  • Follow a standard format: abstract, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, possibly footnotes, endnotes and/or bibliography.
  • May include tables, graphs or illustrations to support research.
  • Contain very little advertising.

Cover of Psychology Today

  • May have a bright cover with many glossy pictures.
  • Designed to attract a broad segment of the population.
  • Has no specific format.
  • Contain unsigned articles at times (no listed author).
  • Reviewed by general editors of the magazine.
  • May include tables, graphs or illustrations.
  • Contain lots of advertising.

Cover of New Scientist

  • May have a bright cover.
  • Provide information of use to a particular industry.
  • No specific format.
  • Articles sometimes unsigned.
  • General editors of the magazine review articles.
  • Advertising is used to appeal to those in the field.
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Did You Know?

Did you know that we have access to the electronic version of the DSM-5?  We have access to the newest edition as well as historical editions.  For older editions find the "Legacy" link from the manual's homepage.

Subject Guide

Marc Ross
Contact:
marcross@pitt.edu

814-827-4452