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Psychology 101: Finding Journal Articles

Using Articles

Use ARTICLES to find a shorter treatment of your topic, information on one particular aspect of psychology, one breakthrough in the treatment of a mental disorder, and news in the field of psychology

What is a Peer Reviewed Journal?

Databases are used to find PEER-REVIEWED ARTICLES, statistical information, and other information not found through Internet search engines (i.e. Google, Yahoo). 

The material found within databases is generally more acceptable to use than material found on the web because it comes from professionals working in the field that you are researching. You still need to personally review material to make sure it is appropriate for your topic.

The following links will help you understand the peer review process and the difference between peer reviewed journals and magazines.

Peer reviewed Journals and Magazines
Short Flash tutorial that illustrates the differences betwen these two types of publications. 

Peer Reviewed Journals Explained
8 page handout that explains the peer review process with a focus on scientific research.

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

Learn all of the different parts of a scholarly article via this Flash-animated Web page.

Scholarly (peer reviewed) Journal Articles in Psychology

The Library's online databases contain millions of published articles from popular magazines, scholarly journals and news sources. In these databases, you can search for your topic in thousands of magazines at the same time. The following is a list of the library databases that are good resources for scholarly journal articles.  Note: off-campus access to these databases requires that you sign on using your mymsjc user name and password.

  • Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection (Ebsco)
    Includes over 500 peer reviewed journals and general periodicals in the fields of psychiatry, psychology, anthropology, etc. Make sure you click on the "Peer reviewed" box when searching this collection for journal articles.
  • Academic Search Premier
    The world’s largest academic multi-disciplinary (not just psychology) database, Academic Search Premier provides full text for nearly 4,700 publications, including full text for more than 3,600 peer-reviewed journals. Coverage spans virtually every area of academic study and offers information dating as far back as 1975. This database is updated on a daily basis via EBSCOhost. Make sure you click on the Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals box when searching Academic Search Premier for journal articles.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a web search engine that indexes the full text of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats  disciplines.

It does not always have the full text of the article but gives you the citation which you can use to find the full article elsewhere.

**Tip: you now use Google Scholar to search the some of the library databases (Ebsco & Proquest)! Just follow these steps to get this service working on your computer:

  1. Go to Google Scholar.
  2. Click on the "Google Scholar" link in the upper right-hand corner).
  3. Scroll about 1/2 down the page and type in Mt San Jacinto in the the "Library Links" field & press the "Find Library" button.
  4. Check all of the MSJC options that appear and click on the "save preferences" button at the top or bottom of the screen.
  5. Search for articles on your topic. You should now see links to full text articles (you will see the links to the full text on the right-hand side of the page) that are available through the library databases as well as other articles that are available on the web.

Note: you will also see articles that do not have the full text, only the citation (author, title, date, etc.). If you want to use one of these articles, you can request it through our Interlibrary Loan Service. Remember, though, it can take up to two weeks for the article to get here.

You can see these steps illustrated in this video.

Google Scholar Search