Research articles that are peer reviewed and empirical, original research.
1. Identify the important concepts and keywords of your topic.
For example: The effectiveness* of cognitive behavioral therapy to treat chronic pain.
Consider synonyms and related terms for your keywords and concepts.
*Also consider how research methodology informs your topic—effectiveness, for example, will ideally be measured by a randomized controlled trial.
2. Who cares about this topic?
Identify and search the databases of disciplines interested in your topic (Psychology, Medicine, Sociology, etc.). For this course you’ll likely use PsycINFO, MEDLINE (PubMed), and a multidisciplinary database like Web of Science.
3. Search for articles using subject headings and keywords.
4. Look at article references and “cited by”.
Review the references cited in articles you select. These citations will lead you to other relevant articles. Also look for who has cited an article after it was published (cited by or times cited links)
5. Export selected citations
You can keep track of articles of interest by selecting and exporting them to your email or a file. The “Find it @ PSU” link will also be exported, giving you easy access to the full text later on.
6. Read through abstracts, narrowing down to a set of full text articles for your bibliography.
7. Properly cite your research articles using APA style
For your coursework you will be asked to find and cite scholarly and peer reveiwed articles. Peer review is a process by which research articles are evaluated for their quality and contribution to a scholarly field. It is important to remember that not every item published in a peer reviewed journal undergoes the peer review process. For instance, book reviews, editorials, and corrections are not peer reviewed.
Some ways to identify if a journal is peer reviewed:
To quickly get to the official webpage of a particular journal, and to check if the journal is peer-reviewed, search by journal title in Ulrich's: