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Psychology: Bibliographic databases

Library support for the School of Psychology

Introduction - what are bibliographic databases?

Bibliographic databases (often just referred to as 'databases')  allow you to search across a wide range of journals and this is the best way to find relevant academic information on your topic. The bibliographic databases relevant to Psychology are listed below.

These databases contain references and abstracts and will link you to the full text of the article where QUB has a subscription to the e-journal. 

Constructing a search strategy

Before you start searching the databases, you will need to construct a search strategy: 

  • Break your search topic into key concepts
  • For each concept, think of keywords and synonyms
  • Connect similar keywords using the OR command
  • Combine different concepts using the AND command 
  • Use brackets to group OR terms together
  • Use database search features such as phrase searching and truncation, where appropriate (See Database keyword search operators quick guide for further details) 

eg (teen* OR adolescen*) AND (autis* OR asperger* OR "pervasive developmental disorder")

For a more detailed description of how to construct a comprehensive search strategy, see Planning your search strategy.

Key bibliographic database relevant to Psychology - PsycInfo

The key bibliographic database relevant to Psychology is PsycInfoThis is the best database to start with when you are doing your literature search in Psychology. 

Tip: Before you search PsycInfo, have a look at the Searching PsycInfo page. To search PsycInfo effectively, you should include relevant Subject Headings in addition to keywords. Although it may look a little confusing at first, it is worth learning how to use it properly because it will improve the accuracy of your search results. 

Access here: PsycInfo 1806 to present

Other bibliographic databases relevant to Psychology

Although PsycInfo is the main bibliographic database for Psychology, there are other databases that may be relevant for your research. 

Education Source provides indexing and abstracts for more than 2,850 academic periodicals and includes full text for more than 1,800 journals, 550 books and monographs, education-related conference papers. Coverage spans all levels of education from early childhood to higher education and also includes educational specialties such as multilingual education, health education and testing.

Keeping up to date

You can set up email alerts within bibliographic databases to find out what new articles are being published in your area of interest; check out the Help screens in each database for instructions of how to do this. 

Top Tip - Reference lists and Citation searching

If you find a relevant article, an easy way to find other articles on the same topic is to look at the Reference list/Bibliography. Most databases also have a Citation search feature which means you can link to other articles that have referred to your original paper.