Skip to Main Content

PSY Assignment : Searching


Boolean operators: A word—such as AND, OR, or NOT—that commands a computer to combine search terms. Helps to narrow (AND, NOT) or broaden (OR) searches.

Journal article: A brief work—generally between 1 and 35 pages in length—on a topic. Often published as part of a journal, magazine, or newspaper.

News article: An article containing information about varied topics that are pertinent to general information, a geographic area, or a specific subject matter (i.e. business, culture, education). Often published daily.

Filters: Options used in searching that restrict your results to only information resources meeting certain other, non-subject-related, criteria. Limiting options vary by database, but common options include limiting results to materials available full-text in the database, to scholarly publications, to materials written in a particular language, to materials available in a particular location, or to materials published at a specific time.


Library Resources



On this page, you will learn about journal and news articles and finding these articles in library databases.  

Review this page as you need to. Even if you have previous experience with library research, the resources and content listed can help you be more confident about working with library resources.

Scholarly Articles: What are these articles?

A peer-reviewed article (aka scholarly article) is written by an expert(s) and then the articles are reviewed or fact-checked by several other experts before the article is published in a scholarly journal. The peer-review process ensures the article’s overall quality.

Peer Review can also refer to articles that have undergone a rigorous review, or fact-checking, process, often including revisions to the original manuscript, by peers in their discipline, before publication in a scholarly journal. This can include empirical studies, review articles, meta-analyses among others.


Types of Scholarly articles 

There are three different types of scholarly articles. Researchers use each article for different research purposes. The most commonly used scholarly article for college assignments is the Research Article.  

Research Article - An article reporting on the results of one or more studies or experiments, written by the person(s) who conducted the research. This is considered one type of primary source. Look in the title or abstract for words like study, research, measure, subjects, data, effects, survey, or statistical which might indicate empirical research.

Example: Zehnder, C., & Hunter, M. (2008, February). Effects of nitrogen deposition on the interaction between an aphid and its host plant. Ecological Entomology, 33(1), 24-30.

Literature Review Article - An article summarizing the results of significant studies or experiments, often attempting to identify trends or draw broader conclusions. Although scholarly, it is not considered a primary source or research article, but its references to other articles will include primary sources or research articles.

Example: Parker, M., & Thorslund, M. (2007, April). Health trends in the elderly population: Getting better and getting worse. Gerontologist, 47(2), 150-158.

Theoretical Article - An article containing or referring to a set of new or established abstract principles related to a specific field of knowledge; characteristically it does not contain original empirical research or present experimental data, although it is scholarly.

Example: Gestrich, A. (2006, August). The public sphere and the Habermas debate. German History, 24(3), 413-430.


Database searching: Finding articles 


Quick Steps to Finding Scholarly Articles:

  1. Use the A-Z Database List, choose any Psychology database
  2. On the database homepage, enter your keywords in the search box
  3. Under the search box, check the Peer reviewed box, and click Enter to start your search
  4. The search results displayed will be scholarly articles

Quick Steps to Finding News articles:

  1. Use the A-Z Database List, click the By Subject tab 
  2. Select News & Current Events from the Database by Subject box 
  3. Choose US Newsstream or News (Gale OneFile) 
  4. On the database homepage, enter your keywords in the search box, and click Enter to start your search
  5. The search results displayed will be scholarly articles


How do I identify scholarly articles from a set of search results?

To see if a scholarly article is peer-reviewed, check if the article has these sections:

Abstract | Literature review | Methodology | Results | Discussion | Conclusion | References

Practice Activity

You started a database search and now you are on the Results page, Drag and drop the words to understand how different features on the Results page can help find scholarly articles. 



What is the quickest way to limit searches to scholarly articles
Check the "full-text" box under the search box: 1 votes (3.13%)
Use the Filters on the results page: 9 votes (28.13%)
Add the keyword "case study" to a search: 8 votes (25%)
Check the "Peer-reviewed" box under the search box on the database homepage: 14 votes (43.75%)
Total Votes: 32

Wrap Up

In this page, you learned about scholarly articles and finding these articles in Psychology databases. 

Important takeaways

  • Peer review is important to academic research and scholarly articles.      
  • Search filters in Databases help users limit searches to different information and sort search results by resource types. Library databases all have search filters. 
  • Scholarly articles have 6 essential sections that help authors organize information and tell readers important facts, claims, and ideas.   

Now, using the Library Scavenger Hunt handout, please answer questions 5, 6, 7, 9, 10.