Basic & advanced literature search using PsychInfo



okay so we're now logged into the psycinfo database and you can see here you've got a box that asks you to enter search terms and that's part of the basic search alternatively you can click on the advanced search button which allows you to make your search more specific and so I'll just briefly illustrate the difference here so at the moment the project that I'm starting work on involves looking at personality traits that predict smartphone use so I'm going to type in some keywords and these are words that broadly describe the project or the area that you're looking at so I've typed in personality and smartphone and if I click search something might happen yeah okay great so what we see here is that we've got 173 results for most things that you search you're going to get more results than that the reason for this is that the area that I'm researching in is quite new because we haven't had smartphones for very long so there isn't as much literature in contrast if I type in something like a Gigi or ESS IO n aggression and personality and research you'll see we got a huge volume of results so we've got over 16,000 results there there's loads of different filters here for how you can narrow that search down and I'll talk about some of those in a moment for now we're going to have a look at the advanced search so in the advanced search I'm going to type in smartphone this here is a way of adding different key search words so here we're going to click and and we're gonna type in personality and these boxes here tell you where the word has to appear so I want the word smartphone to appear in the abstract of any Journal of any articles that are found and they want the person word personality to also appear in the abstract down here I'm going to limit this to peer-reviewed articles so peer review papers go through an official process where another expert in the area reviews the work and make sure it makes sure it's of sufficient standards to be published and that's what we really want we want to look at peer-reviewed articles so we know that we're looking at the best science out there here we can specify a date range and so we can say that we want papers that have been published between four this will say 2008 because smartphones didn't exist prior to that up to the current date which is the I don't know 26 June 2019 okay so this narrows our prospective search so that it only gives us work that's been published in the last 11 years then we click search and so last time we have 150 papers this time you'll see that we only have 45 papers that meet these search criteria so it's a really effective way of narrowing down your search and making sure that you only get the most relevant research so here we've got some further options this sorts your papers by relevance you can also sort by date I don't know why you would want to do that but it's an option that's available to you here we've got the various publication dates and you can see actually that it's only giving us papers from 2011 onwards the reason for that is smartphones didn't become available until late 2009 early 2010 so there wasn't any research on them previously if we knew that we wanted a paper from a specific journal we could click on one of these but we're interested in all of the papers in this area so we're not going to do that this gives us the option of the type of publication that we look in so often here you'll see things like PhD theses but because we've already clicked the peer review papers button on the previous page it's only actually showing us peer-reviewed journal articles this is a list of keywords so it refers to mobile phones smartphones personality traits and so on so if you wanted to narrow it down based on those things maybe we only wanted an adult sample we can click the adult button this is broad classification of the area the research was carried out in so you'll see that most of it here is in personality traits and processes here we can look at the age group then this is potentially interesting to you if you for example are only interested in adolescents or if you're only interested in young adulthood and again you can narrow it down based on the sample characteristics you can also narrow down based on the population so for example if you are interested in something like depression you might want to click on inpatient or outpatient groups similarly the methodology whether you're interested in empirical study or a longitudinal study and so on and finally the language so you can see all of these publications are in English but often you'll get ones in Spanish German etc and so you might want to narrow your search down so that you only look at the english-language publications and so there you have it a quite rough and ready guide to how to do a literature search I hope it's useful

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