Main Lab

   Describing aspects of  
    a good theory.

Phases of research
  Steps for conducting a
    research study.

Research methods
  Different types of 
   research methods.

Sources for Info
  Primary & Secondary
    sources of research.

Journal Articles
  Understanding a
    typical journal article.

On-line Searches
  How to use PsycInfo 
    and other search
    engines.  Includes info
    on full text articles.

APA Format
   Learn to write in APA 

Activities & Quizzes
   A variety of activities
    related to research. 
   To be used in classes.


Activity:  MS Graduate Library Project 

   The following activity was designed for new graduate students in the MS in Counseling Psychology program at FSU.  However, anyone can adapt this lesson for their own.

   The following tutorials may be reviewed before starting this assignment:
        Sources for Information
        Journal Articles
        On-line Searches

Your name:________________________________________Date:________________ 

The purpose of this library project is to acquaint you with Psychology-related library materials available at Frostburg State University (FSU) and to improve your information acquisition skills. 

Part A 

1.  Pick a psychological topic that is of interest to you.  Write the topic that you are using for this project below: 


You may broaden or narrow this topic as you complete this project.  If you do so, note any topic change in the margin. 

BOOKS:  Books are useful for obtaining a more in-depth understanding of a topic.  It is important to keep in mind that, especially in fast-moving areas of research, books will be at least a couple of years out-of-date, even when they are first published. 

2. Using Catalog USMAI to locate books, note that you can restrict your search to books at FSU and books not at FSU but at other libraries of the University System of Maryland (which can be ordered through inter-library loans using the computer).  Indicate the number of books available on your topic at each of these locations for two subjects related to your main topic. 

Subject Heading #1 (specify)__________________________________________ 
Number of books at: 

FSU______________  UMS______________________________ 

Subject Heading #2 (specify)__________________________________________ 
Number of books at: 

FSU______________ UMS_______________________________ 

3. From the books that you have located in the previous question, identify those books more recently published that are the most relevant to your topic (up to a maximum of ten books).  Attach a printout of the references for no more than ten books. 

Part B 

JOURNALS:  Journal articles are often the primary sources of information on research and theory in psychology.  More up-to-date than books, articles may still be one or more years behind the most recent findings because of publication lags. 

4.  The focus of this project will be on locating reports of empirical research or literature reviews of empirical research.  An emphasis in the project will be on discovering and using the appropriate, controlled vocabulary to locate relevant references. 

Begin by noting below all of the terms which you can think of that may be useful to find information on your topic.  If you can think of more than six terms, limit the number to six by choosing what you think would be the six most appropriate terms.  Using the Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms located near the Reference Desk may be of help for this exercise.  Also, Research Port has a term finder link in its system.

1.                                                                      4. 

2.                                                                      5. 

3.                                                                      6. 

Now that you have chosen terms that are related to your area of interest, these terms can be used to locate articles using PsycInfo and other databases.  Once a search has been performed,  either the ‘Current Periodicals Subscription List’ or MdUSA can be utilized to determine to which journals the FSU library subscribes to. 

5.  PsychInfo is a database which contains numerous journal abstracts and citations.  PsychInfo can be accessed through the Research Port search engine.  Log onto Research Port and choose PsychInfo from the list of databases available to you.  Once at the search screen, perform a keyword search on your topic.  Print out 2 separate references related to your topic of interest and attach to this assignment. 

6. Also useful and found under Research Port are the WilsonSelect Fulltext and the MasterFILE and Academic Search databases.  Change databases and select one of the two mentioned above.  Instead of doing a keyword search, this time use an advanced search.  Print out the results page (Full text articles can be retrieved). 

Part 3 

INTERNET:  The Internet is another useful research tool that is becoming more popular everyday.  An abundance of psychology-related research and theory can be found by using various search engines on the Internet.  The focus  of this part of the assignment is on several different search engines that may be helpful when conducting a search. 

7. Using any of the other search engines that the Internet uses (Google, Excite, Yahoo, Goto etc.), search your topic and print out the first page of your results.  From the library, you can reach other search engines by typing http://www.(name of engine).com.