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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

PSYC 201: Research Methods and Data Analysis FALL 2020

Fall 2020

Introduction

Use the background information resources below to help you hunt around for a pyschological topic. Or,  after you search for articles, you may find it helpful for developing an understanding of concepts that appear in articles you read.

Resources below are:

  • Review Articles. These are journal articles that provide a high level view of your topic. Use the review articles to learn more about current work on a field or to identify good bibliography related to your topic.
  • Electronic Reference Resources help you search for meaning of terms or background information.
  • ASA. Search ASA for books, including print books owned by Lehigh or ebooks, which you can search for specific concepts.
  • WorldCat.. WorldCat is a resource that enables you to search for books that Lehigh may not own.
  • Using Google See this if you want to discover websites using more focused searching 
  • Evaluating Web Resources  See this for criteria that will help you evaluate the reliability of websites.

Electronic Reference Resources

Medline Plus. Source of popular or relatively popular information about medical topics, but check for psychological concepts as well. 

Merck Manuals   Includes information about diseases as well as a drug look up feature. Check them for psychological topics as well that might have a medical basis.

Review Articles

Review articles are a good source of background information about a field. They give a bird's eye view of a field or niche within a field. They can contain valuable bibliography. The titles of these articles often have a slightly higher level or "generic" quality than the titles of  articles reporting very specific research findings. 

See the boxes below for some journals that provide review articles.


Current Directions in Psychological Science

From journal website: "Current Directions in Psychological Science (CDPS) is a peer-reviewed bi-monthly journal featuring reviews by leading experts covering all of scientific psychology and its applications. Current Directions features topics such as language, memory and cognition, development, the neural basis of behavior and emotions, various aspects of psychopathology, and theory of mind. ". Scroll to it in the link provided above.

Using Google

Try using the advanced Google search interface.

Regarding Wikipedia, see the Wikipedia article about the Reliability of Wikipedia.

Evaluate what you find, using the "Evaluating .Web Resources" box on this page.

Evaluating Web Resources

Web resources can be rich sources of information on a topic, but when conducting research, it's important to consider the quality and accuracy of sites you visit on the open web. Use the CRAP test to determine whether a web resource is trustworthy: 

 

Magazine & Newspaper Articles

Magazine and  Newspaper articles

Popular articles from magazines and newspapers can:

  • provide general background information before you turn to academic journal literature;
  • identify late breaking news about important scientific discoveries or developments;
  • point to academic studies that are getting lots of attention; a newspaper or magazine or other popular publication may give a journalistic account of a scientific research project, mention its principal researchers, and mention the academic journal in which the research was published.

NOTE: some of the resources below cover scholarly articles as well as popular sources. See the page of this library guide devoted to scholarly articles. Below is a partial listing--see A to Z Database list and library catalog

EBooks

To discover books and ebooks, go to ASA, the search engine near the top of the library homepage at http://library.lehigh.edu.  To limit to ebooks, see the filter on the right of the search results.

Example of an ebook:

The brain : a very short introduction