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PSY 4100 Adv. Research Methods: Social Psychology

Core Article Databases

Searching MeSH 2024 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 2024 is similar to APA 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 2024 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

Article Searching by Keyword or Subject in APA PsycInfo

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 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 human experimentation entered and Select-a-field drop-down option circled

*Tip: Using an asterisk to truncate the end of a word will yield both all variations of that word (e.g. experiment* will locate experiment, experimental, and experimentation)

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 page, showing Thesaurus circled at top of page

Step 2: In the lower box, search for keywords related to your topic, such as experimental subjects.  Then choose Browse.

PsycINFO Thesaurus search, with example of experimental subjects entered

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 Thesaurus results, showing term of Experimental Subjects checked

Step 4: Then Add the subject term to your search.  If you are searching for multiple terms (such as experimental ethics), repeat steps 1 and 2 and add multiple subject terms to a single search using AND (to narrow search by finding articles with all terms) or OR (to broaden search by finding any of the terms).

PsycINFO Thesaurus, showing Add button circled and term of Experimental Subjects added to top search box

Step 5: Then click Search.

PsycINFO Thesaurus top search box with term of Experimental Subjects and Search button circled


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