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Psychology Research Guide: Psychology Library Orientation

Research tools for finding information about psychology topics.
Screenshot of Library Home Page

Learning Objectives:

  • Locate encyclopedias and databases from the library home page.
  • Find an encyclopedia article from Gale EBooks.
  • Find a journal or magazine article from the Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection.
  • Contact a librarian for assistance.
Question: I have to use outside resources for a research paper. Where do I start?
Answer: The library homepage!
From this page, you can use the left menu column to access library content including books and eBooks, databases with articles from journals and newspapers, and Library Guides. All you need is your student email address and password.
The links in the Research Help box can direct you to tutorials, citation assistance, login help, and more.
Check out the Library Services box for information on Interlibrary Loans, Textbook Reserves, and more.

Library Databases

Screenshot of Database pageThe library’s collection of encyclopedias and databases are listed on the library database page. Different databases feature different collections of articles from specific journals, magazines, and other resources, so if at first you don’t succeed, try another database.

Encyclopedias and dictionaries are listed at the top of the page in a separate section called the Online Reference Shelf.

Some databases cover many general subjects and are listed as "multi-subject," while others focus on one or two subjects. To find out more about a database, hover over the link. Click to open it in a new tab.

You can also view the A-Z Database List in the LibGuide platform. Here, you can also search for databases by subject, material type, and vendor.

Gale EBooks

Gale eBook Freud SearchGale eBooks contains a wide range of subject encyclopedia articles and biographies of important scientists, psychologists, and more. It is especially useful if you are looking for an overview of your topic.

To start with, either type your topic in the Search Box or browse the list of subjects in the main collections column. Entering a keyword in the search window may provide a drop-down list of subjects for you to choose from. Avoid "phrase searching," or entering more than 2-3 keywords.


Gale EBook Freud Search ResultsFrom the results page, click a title to read the article. For academic research, you will almost always want to check the publication year and select more recent resources.

Also look at the page length of the article. Some links only go to very brief summaries that may not be helpful to you. 

If there are too many results, you can refine your search by type, encyclopedia source, subject, and more using the Search within Results column boxes.


Gale EBook Freud RecordOnce you are have clicked on the article, you can use the table of contents links to jump to a specific page. 

You can also click one of the Related Subjects to find more articles on similar subjects. 

Page numbers are useful to keep track of if you are using the source in your paper and need to quote something.

You can also use the top toolbar to email, download, or print the article. The "Cite" tool will provide a citation in MLA or APA, but please note that this is automatically generated, and you may need to correct capitalization or other errors.

Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection

Psychology Database Search ResultsMany of the databases we subscribe to are products of Ebscohost. This benefits you because they have the same format and you can search many of them at once using the Choose Databases option just above the search bar. The Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection is one of the best databases to use to find psychology articles.

For a basic search, type a few keywords and hit the "Search" button.

On the results screen, you will see a column of limiter options. For best results when writing a scholarly paper, make sure the Full Text and Peer Reviewed boxes are checked. You may also want to pull the slider on the Publication Date range to find more recent articles as needed.

You can also limit your search by Source Type. Academic journals are recommended for scholars and experts, but magazines and newspapers may also be useful. Selecting a Subject from the limiter column can also help narrow down a topic even further.

Psychology Database Item ScreenshotClicking on the title will take you to the detailed item record. The Tools column is useful if you need to print, email, save, or cite the article. Note that citations are automatically generated and may need to be corrected to comply with proper APA formatting.

Read the Abstract to determine whether the article is relevant to your needs, then click on the PDF Full Text or the HTML Full Text links to view the article. Some articles with HTML full text will display the article at the bottom of the page. The library does not have full-text access to every article, so if no article links appear, you have likely stumbled on a citation and will have to find the full text of the article outside of the library database. 

To find articles on similar subjects, click a link in the Subjects area. Since many Ebsco databases use specific terminology, this area can give you keyword suggestions when you are stuck.

Additional Help

If the library doesn't have the resource you want, you can request it through our Interlibrary Loan system. 

If you have any questions or need any assistance, don't hesitate to ask a librarian! You can contact the library using the Contact Us link at the top and bottom of this guide, or on the main library page's menu column. Our library staff will respond within 1-2 business days. 

You can also use the blue instant message box on the first page of this guide and the main library page to chat with a librarian - it's staffed 24/7 with librarians from around the world.