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Writing 101 (Toconis): Key Databases

Writing in the Disciplines: Psychology

Selecting Databases

The UC Merced Library has over 700 databases. It can be overwhelming to decide, but there are two things you can do to help.

  • Use the All Subjects limiter in the database A-Z list (Databases tab on the library website) to pinpoint databases related to a certain subject area.
  • Read through the recommended database descriptions to see what kind of content the databases contain.

Comparison of PsycINFO & PsycARTICLES

  PsycInfo PsycArticles
Subject Psychology (behavioral and social sciences) Psychology
Resources Included / Indexed peer-reviewed journal articles (80%), books, (3%) book chapters (8%), and dissertations (12%) peer-reviewed journal articles
Citations Only or Full-Text or a Mix Mix (leans more towards Citations Only) Full-Text
Scope / Size ~2,500 journals; 4 million records; some historic records ~110 journals; 1/4 million records
Functionality same e.g. ability to limit to empirical articles, thesaurus available; citing capabilties including export to RefWorks same e.g. ability to limit to empirical articles, thesaurus available; citing capabilties including export to RefWorks

* both databases are produced by the American Psychological Association (APA)

Activity

Step 1. Find Your Topic

Find your topic in this Google Sheet. Note the row number you are working in.

If your topic has changed, please change it in the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet is meant to help you keep track of your work, and it's also helpful for me to see how you are doing / how I am doing. The added benefit is that you can visit this spreadsheet after class is over.

Step 2. Think About Subject Areas Relevant to Your Topic

Besides psychology, what are some other subject areas that are relevant to your topic? For example, would it also be useful to search for databases specific to education, gender studies, health sciences, etc.?

What are two other subject areas that could have potentially useful databases? Type your answer in Column D of your designated row on the Google Sheet.

You may want to use the All Subjects filter on the A-Z databases page to look at the list of other database subject areas to help with this question.

Step 3. Note Down Database Names You Might Want to Search In

Either by using the All Subjects filter on the A-Z databases page, or by taking a look at the databases listed in the box labeled 'Other Potentially Relevant Databases' on this page, what are the names of two specific databases that could be helpful to search in? Type your answer in Column E of your designated row on the Google Sheet.

Finding Databases at UC Merced

Learn how to find databases and how to narrow down by database subject area, full-text availability, etc.

UC Merced Library (1:14)

Databases for Getting Started in Psychology

Other Potentially Relevant Databases