Know the difference between empirical and review articles.
An empirical (research) article reports methods and findings of an original research study conducted by the authors of the article.
A review article or "literature review" discusses past research studies on a given topic.
Know the difference between scholarly and non-scholarly articles.
Good guides provided by:
University of Arizona
To determine if your article is from a scholarly journal:
Databases for Psychology Research
Journal articles can be found by searching databases.
The following list of databases index articles from scholarly psychology journals.
Try these databases first:
PsycINFO covers the professional and academic literature in psychology and related disciplines. PsycINFO's coverage is worldwide.
PsycARTICLES offers over 120,000 full-text articles from 57 journals published by the American Psychological Association, the APA Educational Publishing Foundation, the Canadian Psychological Association, and Hogrefe Publishing Group. It is a subset of its parent database, PsycINFO. Updated daily.
PsycCRITIQUES is a database of full-text reviews of current books, some popular films, and comparative reviews of books.
A collection of multidisciplinary citation databases, including Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, and the Arts & Humanities Citation Index.
Offered in two different interfaces. EBSCOhost is recommended. Indexes journals in the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and preclinical sciences. Contains strong representation of articles related to psychology and medicine.
More than 470 full-text journals. This database covers topics in emotional and behavioral characteristics, psychiatry & psychology, mental processes, anthropology, and observational and experimental methods.
More good databases for Psychology research:
Animal Behavior Abstracts (1982 - present, online)
Woodruff Reference QL 750 .B54 (1974 - 1981, print)
Indispensable resource for scientists in behavioral and related studies. Significant papers relevant to animal behavior, with subjects ranging from neurophysiology to behavioral ecology and from genetics to applied ethology. Surveys all of the important journals dealing with the biology of particular taxonomic groups.
Each year, Annual Reviews critically reviews the most significant primary research literature to guide you to the principal contributions of the field and help you keep up to date in your area of research. Offers authoritative analytic reviews in 32 focused disciplines within the Biomedical, Physical, and Social Sciences. Annual Reviews publications are among the most highly cited in scientific literature.
Covers health, social services, psychology, sociology, economics, politics, race relations and education. Currently indexes over 500 journals from 16 countries. Assigns descriptors covering a broad range of areas in psychology.
Child Development Abstracts and Bibliography
Woodruff Reference (1928 to 2001, print). This bibliography ceased publication in 2001.
Includes abstracts from professional periodicals and book reviews related to the growth and development of children. Divided into 7 sections: 1.) biology, health, and medicine; 2.) cognition, learning, and perception; 3.) education; 4.) psychiatry and clinical psychology; 5.) social psychology and personality; 6.) theory, methodology and reviews; and 7.) book notices.
ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center)
The premier index for education literature consisting of documents, research reports, curriculum and teaching guides, conference papers, books, and articles indexed from hundreds of journals. Includes over 40 descriptors (subject headings) for Psychology, such as Child Psychology, School Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Learning Psychology, et al.
A database of indexed journal articles that discuss measurement instruments such as questionnaires, checklists, index measures, rating scales, project techniques, tests, interview schedules, and a variety of other means of evaluation. The database DOES NOT INCLUDE THE TESTS THEMSELVES.
JRNL Storage (1894 - 1973, print)
The leading French review of scientific psychology. The 73 volumes from 1894-1973 include signed abstracts of periodical articles and critical book reviews.
Covers all aspects of the study of language. Complete coverage is also given to various fields of linguistics. Includes articles with indexed terms in psychology such as Psychology of Language, Psycholinguistics, et al.
Full-text, indexed and hyper-linked collection of many premier journals on psychoanalysis since 1920, including the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. In addition to regular updates of the journals already included in the Archive, new psychoanalytic books and journals are periodically added to the collection.
Note: PEP Archive contains the full-text of:
Strachey, J. (1953-1974). The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volumes 1-24.
An electronic index to millions of articles published in thousands of periodicals in the humanities and social sciences. Contains over 500,000 articles with the subject term "Psychology."
Indexes social science periodicals. Covers the latest concepts, trends, opinions, theories, and methods from both applied and theoretical aspects of the social sciences, including Psychology.
The Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) is a multidisciplinary database. Includes each article's cited reference list, so you can also search the databases for articles that cite a known author or work. SSCI is included as a part of Web of Science.
Covers major international literature from journals, books, dissertations and conference papers in sociology and related disciplines (including social psychology).