How To Choose

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A Database

There are various ways to choose a database(s) to search for articles in journals, magazines and newspapers on a particular topic. We have listed one possible method below.

Search specialized resources first
  • You may need to search specialized resources first for best results. See How Do I Find page for more information. For example ...
To find test-related materials, visit our Test Resources page
To find case law, visit our Law/Legal Resources page
  • Otherwise, proceed to the next step.
Identify the various subject disciplines associated with your topic.
  • The most common subject disciplines will be psychology and health sciences/medicine. Search these discipline-specific databases first. To view databases by subject, use the pulldown menu on the Articles page.
  • Other special or niche subject areas of psychology may apply. Let's use the topic of post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans as an example. The PILOTS Database is a specialized psychology database. It indexes the literature associated with traumatic stress disorders.
Search library databases in priority order: EBSCO, ProQuest, Sage, Gale and NewsBank. All databases can be accessed from the Articles page.

  • Browse all database descriptions.
  • Be picky. Checkmark databases in related disciplines as well as any general databases.
  • Search all combined databases ...
  • OPTIMAL. Search major databases like PsycINFO and MEDLINE with Full Text separately. Then return to the Choose Databases screen. Checkmark any remaining databases related to your topic. Search the combined databases using subject or keyword terms.
Identify other subject web resources (including publicly available databases).
  • Examples include: Medline Plus, NCJRS Abstracts Database, PEP Psychoanalytic Literature Search, and PubMed.

A Journal

How do I know if a journal is scholarly?
  • In EBSCO, ProQuest or Gale databases, limit your database search results to Scholarly or Peer-Reviewed Journals.
  • In ProQuest databases, you can also click on Top Journals tab
  • Search your journal title in our E-Journal Portal; clickthrough to read publication description
  • All journals in Sage Psychology collection are peer-reviewed.
  • Review journal's entry in Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory
  • Review description on journal’s website
How can I identify high-impact or influential journals?

A Search Engine

A Website