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University of Southern MaineLibraries

PSY 220: Psychology of the Life Span: Find Articles

Why use library databases?

We recommend that you start your research with library databases for several reasons:

1) They are consistent in describing publications; you don't have to worry about finding a citation that's missing a volume or page number.

2) They are clear about what they do - you know the time period covered, the journal titles included, etc.

3) Contrary to what a lot of people seem to think, there is a lot of information that isn't on the open web.  And some of that information IS in our subscription databases.

Finding Journal Articles

Because of the lengthy publishing cycle for a book, information in a book is not always current. Periodical articles are current sources of information. There are two main types of periodicals: scholarly and popular. Scholarly periodicals are usually referred to as journals. Articles in journals contain reports of primary research; the articles are written by experts in the field and for other researchers/scholars; use terms and language specific to that discipline; may include graphs, charts, etc. related to the topic; most often are peer reviewed via an editorial board; are published by professional organization or society, university, research centers, scholarly presses; and often include a bibliography. Popular periodical articles contain general information; are written using easily understood language that appeals to a varied audience; are usually written by journalists or others who are not experts in the field; do not include citations; has a limited or non-existent editorial review board; and may contain glossy photographs.