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PSY3520 Experimental Psychology - Spring 2017 - Spinos

Assignment Requirements

This guide helps to use library resources to meet the literature search requirements for the research project in PSY3520. Specifically, this guide will help with steps below. 

  • Search EBSCO databases* and ProQuest databases to identify scholarly journal articles published after 1996
  • Find the full text of articles 
    • download and save/print a copies of the full text of articles
    • print all or selected pages of the full text of the articles
  • Print/save the APA citation for articles

Use this guide in addition to the instructions from Dr. Spinos. 

*All EBSCO databases or PsycINFO exclusively

Practice before the Librarian Visit on Jan. 19

Before the librarian visit on January 19, 2017,  complete practice and see answers in these online guides:

Find Scholarly Journal Articles


  • Keep it simple -  2  to 3 words or concepts to describe the topic; for example, mental health children; socio-economic identification, voting attitudes college students
  • Limiting to "full-text"
    • type of research - for literature reviews, capstone projects and other more in-depth research, use the limit sparingly in the begining
    • timing - if articles are needed immediately (no time to order copies), use full text
    • article content/type -  see if the article/study has wanted contents; for example,  if original/primary research is needed then contents can be checked for a clear assumption/hypothesis, data, methods and conclusion
  • Consider synonyms and closely related terms / concepts - law and legal, or medicine and health, urban or metropolitan
  • Truncation - a way to search word forms simultaneously  - for example, immigra* will find immigrate, immigrant, immigrants, immigration, etc.
  • Phrase Searching - When a topic is accurately represented only or alternately by a well-known, commonly used phrase, put the keyword phrase in quotations, for example "great toe", as an alternate to hallux.
  • Get search term ideas from the "subjects" / "descriptors" in the records for articles that are close or good matches
  • Search the "Title" field only if too many irrelevant articles are in search results lists
  • Acronyms - Use the acronym and the spelled out form; for example, search for  TBI or traumatic brain injury, NASA or  " national aeronautics and space administration"
  • Check for spelling errors if there are zero results
  • On the Phillips Library home page, go to "Search"
  • In the box titled, "Articles: Quick Topic Search", choose "EBSCO" and enter search terms, OR in the alphabetical list of databases, click on PsycINFO and enter search termsEnter search terms
  • On the results page, click on "Advanced Search"
  • Under "Refine Results", consider options for narrowing
    • Limit to:  "Full Text"
    • Under "Source Types", select "Academic Journals"
    • Enter a publication date range
  • Click on "Search"


  • Click on document title
  • Under "Tools", click on "Cite"
  • Copy / paste the APA citation

Download and Save / Print

  • In the brief or detailed record, click on the "PDF Full text"  or "HTML Full Text" if offered alone or preferred
  • Next steps may vary, depending on the computer/device
    • Open the downloaded article, then save / print
    • Or, click on download, then open the file from the browser download, and save / print


  • On the Phillips Library home page, go to "Search"
  • In the box "Articles: Quick Topic Search",  click on "ProQuest"
  • Enter keyword(s), and click on the search icon
  • On the search results page, click on "Advanced Search"
  • Re-enter the keyword(s) for the search
  • Consider options for narrowing
    • Limit to:  Full text
    • Limit to: Source Type - Scholarly Journals
    • Publication date
  • Click on "Search"


  • Click on the title of an article
  • Click on "Cite" on the right hand side of the page
  • Copy / paste the APA style citation


Start a search to match a citation to an article in the Phillips Library ejournal collection.

A complete citation for a journal article, as found in reference lists of articles or bibliographies in books, is needed.

  • On Phillips Library home page, click on "Search"
  • Go to the box titled, "Articles: Use the Citation Matcher and Find an Ejournal"

To find articles that are not matched in the ejournal collection, ask a librarian for help.

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APA Citation Style

Follow the link in the left hand column to the AU Academic Support Center (ASC) Student Toolkit for:

  • "Writing Tools", including a "Citation and Style Guide"
  • scheduling appointments with writing specialists