If you are looking for ideas for a research topic, consider the following pages from the APA:
Consult PsycCRITIQUES, a database with reviews of books, videos and popular films. These reviews cannot be used as sources but they may help you to decide on a topic.
You can also use the Carleton University Library’s reference collection to consult specialized dictionaries and encyclopedias and find overviews, or summaries and definitions, of terms/concepts.
- APA Dictionary of Psychology
- Dictionary of cognitive science: neuroscience, psychology, artificial intelligence, linguistics, and philosophy
- Dictionary of Developmental Psychology
- The Dictionary of Personality and Social Psychology
- Encyclopedia of Psychology
- Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology
- International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences
- The Social Science Encyclopedia
See our Library Guide for Psychology. A listing of resources held by the library including bibliographies, dictionaries and encyclopedias in the field of psychology.
Depending on your topic, check the following subject guides for listings of other resources in the library's collection:
Handbooks and guides are good sources to consult at the beginning of your research--both for information on your discipline and research methods.
You can search for handbooks and guides in Omni by doing a simple keyword search such as (handbook or guide) and psychology to find publications such as:
- Becoming a Behavioral Science Researcher : A Guide to Producing Research that Matters
- Fifty Key Thinkers in Psychology
- The Cambridge handbook of forensic psychology
- The Cambridge handbook of personality psychology
- Handbook of adolescent health psychology
- Handbook of forensic sociology and psychology
- Handbook of health psychology
- Handbook of psychology
- The Handbook of Social Research Ethics
- Handbook of sports psychology
- The Oxford handbook of cognitive psychology
- The Oxford handbook of culture and psychology
- The Oxford handbook of developmental psychology
- Oxford handbook of media psychology
- The Oxford handbook of personality and social psychology
- The Oxford handbook of the psychology of working
- Psychology : The Key Concepts
Searching in Omni, you can use either a keyword or subject search to find other books, publications such as journals and other materials in the library's collection.
A keyword search uses natural language words describing your topic and is a good way to start your search. A subject search (example of a subject search) uses pre-defined "controlled vocabulary" words assigned to describe the content of each item in a database. The good news is that you can start with a key word search and then use the results to identify subjects.
You can use a number of methods for structuring your keyword search including Boolean searching, truncation and phrase searching.
Some relevant subject headings to search might include:
- Adolescent psychology
- Affect (Psychology)
- Animal psychology
- Behavior genetics
- Behaviorism (Psychology)
- Child psychology
- Choice (Psychology)
- Clinical psychology
- Criminal psychology
- Deprivation (Psychology)
- Developmental psychology
- Educational psychology
- Ego (Psychology)
- Failure (Psychology)
- Fighting (Psychology)
- Hostility (Psychology)
- Human behavior
- Loss (Psychology)
- Maturation (Psychology)
- Mental health
- Social psychology
Saving search alerts from Omni
It is possible to save search alerts from Omni and this feature is available to Carleton University faculty, staff and students. When searching Omni from your account, you can:
- save your favorite searches for easy reference so that you can run these searches on demand
- receive email search alerts when material has been added to the collection matching your preferred searches.
To save a search, edit saved searches, and run them on demand:
- Log into your library account and search Omni. Click on the Save Query option to save a search.
- Click on your profile (top right side of the screen, if on a desktop computer).
- Click on Search History
- Next, click on Saved Searches
- To remove searches from your list, use the "remove this search" button (red pin crossed out)
In Omni, you can search other libraries by selecting "Carleton + Omni Libraries" at the top of the search interface in the Omni advance search feature, this includes the University of Ottawa. You can use your Carleton student card to borrow books for UofO libraries.
WorldCat is a catalogue of books and other materials in libraries worldwide. It contains all the records catalogued by OCLC member libraries and ofers over 62,000,000 million bibliographic records.
Do similar keyword or subject searches in this catalogue. Books and materials from other libraries may be borrowed using RACER, the interlibrary loan system.
Why use journal articles?
- They are more up-to-date than most books.
- They are “peer reviewed” by other scholars in the field who check for academic integrity.
- They are concise and usually no more than 30 pages in length.
- Every article will contain cited references that appear as footnotes and/or bibliographies.
- Print journals cannot be signed out of the library. However, many are now in electronic format. Check the date for online availability via Omni.
Databases for finding journal articles
The library's databases by subject links to a list of recommended databases you will need to find journal articles. Take time to read the database descriptions and the individual "help" pages as each database has its own speciality/focus. Recommended databases for this course are:
- PsycARTICLES (see also PsycBOOKS for books/book chapters and PsycCRITIQUES for full-text reviews of books)
- Web of Science (part of this is Social Sciences Citation Index)
You will use keyword and subject searching for finding articles in the online databases as you do for searching the library's search tool Omni as well as the strategies for improving your key word searches (e.g., phrase searching and truncation).
In addition to keyword searching, you can also search by field (e.g., abstract, descriptors) which can help to either broaden or narrow your search.
You can also customize your search by a number of variables including author and methodology.
Once you have done an initial keyword search, you can look to the descriptors that are part of the initial results and click on relevant items to do more in-depth searching and find more articles.
Once you have identified articles that you would like to read, you can view each record for more information, click on tull-text link to save the article (if this link is available) or the "Get It!" button to see if full-text is available. If it does not seem that full-text is available online, copy and paste the journal title into the library's journal search, and confirm whether the library has a subscription or not.
Some databases, such as PsycINFO, allow you to save, print, or email.
You can also use the thesaurus to identify subjects or descriptors and search to search for literature.Click on the purple Search Tools tab. The click on the Thesaurus tab. You can then do several searches by descriptor or subject and combine these searches.
Finding journals in the library
- Search for the journal in Omni.
- Journals may be available in print or electronic form, or both.
- The print record for a journal will have the call number, location code SER (for serial) and information about which volumes we hold including the latest issue received.
- Most journals are shelved on the first floor of the library.
- The electronic journals have the URL as part of the record.
- If we do not have the journal you are looking for then check the University of Ottawa Library for the publication.
Here is a general list of journals that cover a wide range of topics within Psychology. Scan the tables of contents of a few for research topics:
- Basic and applied social psychology
- Canadian journal of school psychology
- Canadian journal of behavioural science
- Canadian psychological review
- Canadian psychology
- Cognitive psychology
- Developmental psychology
- European journal of social psychology
- European journal of cognitive psychology
- Human factors
- International Journal of Human-Computer Studies
- Journal for the theory of social behaviour
- Journal of applied psychology
- Journal of applied social psychology
- Journal of consumer psychology
- Journal of educational psychology
- Journal of humanistic psychology
- Journal of personality
- Journal of personality and social psychology
- The journal of positive psychology
- Journal of research in personality
- Personality and Individual Differences
- Personality and social psychology bulletin
- Personality and social psychology review
- Psychology and Aging
- Psychology of Sport and Exercise
Most of the government documents in the library’s collection are located in the Maps, Data, and Government Information Centre (MADGIC). In MADGIC you will find:
- Sheet maps and atlases from around the world.
- Statistics Canada and Census reports.
- Numeric and spatial data to use with statistical and GIS software.
- Government information from Canada, foreign countries, and inter-governmental international organizations like the United Nations
- CD-ROM and web-based databases.
- Thousands of internet links to online documents, maps, and data.
- Course displays of relevant maps and documents
The Data Centre is part of MADGIC and makes data accessible to faculty and students as well as facilitating research in the social sciences. The Data Centre provides access to both statistics and raw data sets, and is also a consulting facility for data analysis and selected aspects of survey research. The centre
Yes, you can use Google (try Google Scholar *) or any other Internet search engine to locate resources... but how do you know when what you have found is authoritative and trustworthy?
Consult this page:
You may want to find answers for these questions:
- Is the author affiliated with an academic institution?
- Is a biography available for the author from a trusted (reference) source?
- What is the reputation of the author?
- Is the article peer-reviewed?
- Who has cited (used) this article in other research?
- Is the web site associated with an educational institution?
- Is there a physical address associated with the web site / author?
Tip: If you find an article abstract that is interesting, but you cannot find the full text online, copy all the information from the citation as you will need this information to locate the full text through our subscriptions. Look up the name of the journal in which the article is found (not the name of the article!) in the catalogue to see if we have a subscription. If we do, select the link that will provide access to the right volume and issue (or locate it on the shelf for print subscriptions).
Tip: If there is any doubt as to whether an article is academic or peer-reviewed, you can consult:
Or, confirm it with your professor or with a librarian before using it.
- Student guide to research in the digital age : how to locate and evaluate information sources
ZA3075 .S74 2006
*when using Google Scholar make sure you go through our database page as it will sync the results with the library's collection (i.e. more seamless access to resources)
The following are a few resources that may help you with your research:
To find books on research in psychology, do a subject search in Omni using one of the following subject headings:
psychology - research
human experimentation in psychology
Here are a few examples of current books in our collection that may be relevant:
Research methods in psychology : investigating human behavior (2012)
Handbook of research methods for studying daily life (2012)
Perspectives in psychology research (2011)
The craft of research (2008)
Psychology research in context (2009)
Experimental research methods in psychology (2009)
Non-experimental research methods in psychology (2009)
Exploring qualitative methods (2006)
- Writing Services
Offers support for students’ academic writing at all levels
- Cite my Sources?
This web page provides web tools and guidance on how to properly acknowledge your sources of information when writing you term papers
- Citation Management
Use a citation management software to create a properly formatted bibliography. Or, use it to keep track of and be able to easily find all the articles you’ve read.
Writing for Psychology BF76.7 .M58 2010
How to write in psychology : a student guide BF76.8 .B425 2009
Other useful guides:
- The Brief Penguin Handbook
PE1408 .F24 2008 [Research Help Desk; also on Reserve]
- Making Sense : A Student's Guide to Research and Writing : Psychology and the Life Sciences
BF76.7 .N67 2005 [other editions on 5th floor]
- Making Sense : A Student's Guide to Research and Writing : Social Sciences
H62.N687 2007 [other editions on 4th floor]
- Writing Papers in Psychology: a student guide
BF76.7 .R67 1992