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PSY 4101 Adv. Research Methods: Animal Behavior

Find articles

  1. Start your search for articles in a database below.
  2. If you like, try searching some of the sample terms listed in the boxes below for your Ethics Paper or Research Project.
  3. Limit your search results by methodology or other ways.
  4. See what results you have and use any helpful subject or keyword terms you've found to try a new search.

Ethics Paper articles - sample search terms

APA PsycINFO - possible subject (Thesaurus) or keyword terms:
            DE: animal research, animal rights, animal welfare, animals, ethics, experimental ethics, bioethics, morality, animal captivity

MEDLINE - possible MeSH terms:
            MM: animal experimentation, animal rights, animal welfare, bioethics, morals
            Publication Type (on Advanced Search screen): Review (Literature Review), Meta-Analysis, Randomized Controlled Trial, Controlled Clinical Trial

screenshot of Publication Type limiter in Medline with the term Review circled

Google Scholar - possible keyword terms:
            e.g. animal experimentation, animal rights, bioethics

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Research Project articles - sample search terms

            DE: animal research, animal captivity
            KW: (zoo* NOT zoom) or captiv*, webcam [use drop-down option for All Text if necessary]

           Animals: limit to Rats or other animals from the Advanced Search page (below)

Google Scholar -
            e.g. animal zoo webcam

Biological Abstracts -
            SU: animal care, veterinary medicine
            OG [organism]: flamingo, cheetah, etc.
            Select a Field (Optional): zoo*, webcam

Article Searching by Keyword or Subject

A keyword generally refers to a term that occurs anywhere in an article, including the title, author, subjects, or abstract.  To search this way in APA PsycINFO, use the Select a Field (Optional) designation rather than Keyword, since using Keyword from the search drop-down menu will only search specific keyword tags.

  • Search by keyword if you're searching for a new concept, if you want to broaden your search, or if you don't know or can't find a subject term to use.

PsycINFO search box with "risk sensitiv*" highlighted in search bar

            *By using an asterisk to truncate the end of the word sensitive, searching will yield both sensitive and sensitivity.

A subject is a term assigned to a book or article to describe its content.  Using a database's Thesaurus or Subject Terms can help you find the specific term(s) that the database uses to describe your topic.  It can help you differentiate between similar terms, such as Conservation (Concept) vs. Conservation (Ecological Behavior).

  • Search by subject and combine subject terms to immediately narrow your search to relevant articles. 

Step 1: Click on Thesaurus at the top of the search page.

PsycINFO search box with "Thesaurus" highlighted at the top

Step 2: Search for keywords related to your topic, such as animal foraging behavior.  Then choose Browse.

Browsing: PsycINFO- Thesaurus search

Step 3: Check the box for the subject term for which you'd like to search.  You can also click on the term for more information, such as a description of the term or broader, narrower, or related terms

PsycINFO search box with subject term "animal foraging behavior" selected

Step 4: Then Add the subject term to your search.  If you are searching for multiple keywords, repeat steps 1 and 2 and add multiple subject terms to a single search using AND (to narrow search) or OR (to broaden search).

PsycINFO search box with "Add" highlighted

Step 5: Then click Search.

PsycINFO search box with "search" highlighted


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Searching MeSH 2022 in MEDLINE

MEDLINE is a research database that covers all areas of healthcare, including psychological healthcare.  Use this database to locate psychology articles from a medical perspective.

MeSH 2022 is similar to PsycINFO's Thesaurus.  Search for subject terms here to find articles all about that topic.  For example, to search on the subject of human experimentation

  • Click on MeSH 2022 at the top of the screen.

MEDLINE search page with MESH 2018 circled at top of page

  • Type your search term into the box (e.g. human experimentation) and click Browse.

MEDLINE's MESH search box, with example of human experimentation entered and Browse button circled

  • Select a relevant term(s) if you see one (if not, go back to the main screen and search by keyword), and then select any relevant subheadings (e.g. Ethics).  Scope notes can provide more information about a term you're considering.

Example of search results in MESH, with topic of Human Experimentation circled

  • Then search the database.

MESH search results of Human Experimentation topic and Ethics sub-topic checked and Search Database button circled

  • In MEDLINE, you can limit by methodology by selecting Show More under the Limit To area: 

MEDLINE search results page, with "Show More" circled under Limit To options

  • Consider limiting to Review (literature reviews), Meta-Analysis, Controlled Clinical Trial, or Randomized Controlled Trial for your assignments for this course.

MEDLINE Publication Type in Advanced Search, with Review highlighted