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.


Topic: Using the Research Port to conduct online searches.  This tutorial includes complete information.  Look for the # symbol & this color font to highlight what steps to take.

Step 1:  Log in
Step 2:  Access the system
Step 3:  Select database(s)
Step 4:  Conduct your search
Step 5:  Working with your search results
Step 6:  More storage tips

Step 1:  Log in.
    # Head to the Research Port web site:  and then enter your 14 digit barcode from your ID and your last name.  (If you are accessing the site from on-campus or through a campus port, then you can just hit the START button but you will be missing out on some storage features that will be mentioned below.)

Step 2:  Access the system.
     You will now see a screen asking you to select databases.  You can
(a) select a category of databases, which in this context would be Psychology/Sociology
(b) type in the database. 
           Access this way by clicking on the "by Database Name" near the top.
           Here you just need to type in the first letter or first few letters. 
           For most Psychology searches, you will use PsycINFO.  You can just type Psy.
(c) conduct your search via the QUICK SEARCH tab [upper left] with pre-selected sites. 
           These sites will work for many topics but will not suffice for most psychology papers
              or research.
(d) access e-journals, which are online journals, via the E-JOURNAL tab [upper center]
             This option is good if you are looking for a particular article from a known
             e-journal.  Otherwise, you can get to these topics by searching via databases, as
             explained below. 
(e) conduct a Cross Search or sign in to My Research Port using that tab [upper center].
              Use these options after you have gone through this tutorial.

     # I recommend doing option (a) because it will give you access to the most databases.  Scroll down and select Psychology/Sociology Subject Category.  A list pops up in the "subcategory" box.  Click on "All Sources" subcategory so that it is highlighted and then hit the GO button.*

*Note:  If you do not highlight the "All Sources" subcategory and just hit GO, you won't see PsycINFO listed. 

Step 3:  Select database(s).
     You are now at a page where psychology-related databases are listed (although not all of them are for psychology).  The databases you will use the most are:

Academic Search Premier
Wilson Select Plus
PsycARTICLES (no access for Frostburg students)

Next to each database are 1 - 3 symbols.  Information Add to My Databases Search in database
a) Click on the "i" symbol Information  in order to get more information about the database.    
b) Click on the "plus" symbol Add to My Databases to add the database for your search.  Once you do,
     a small arrow Added to My Databases will show up under the symbol.  You may select more than one
     database - this is how you can conduct a "cross search" (see below).
c) Click on Search in databaseto conduct a search in Research Port using that database only.

At this point, you can do a couple of things:
(a) You can click on the name of the database PsycINFO (or any other database) and be sent to to EBSCO Host to conduct your search.  EBSCO Host has a lot of interesting features, as does Research Port.  If you decide to use EBSCO, then head over to this tutorial for the remainder of your search.  

(b) You can click on the Search in databasenext to PsycINFO (or any other database) and conduct your search using Research Port.  Ask your professor but I'm guessing that most psychology majors will be doing this step.  Once you click on that symbol, go to Step 4.

(c) You can click on the Add to My Databases symbol to add several databases (such as the ones listed above) for a broader search.  If you need to get many articles, if your topic is obscure, and/or if you want to access more full-text articles then use this step. 

However, if you decide to include Academic Search Premiere and other databases, know that some of the sources might not be good enough for your classes.  Therefore, do this step if it is for an independent study and/or you know what is and what isn't a good journal source (when in doubt, conduct a search in PsychINFO first, and then see if you can find the article as full-text using other databases). 

# I recommend doing step (c).  Click on the Add to My Databases symbol for the PsycINFO, Academic Search Premier, & Wilson Select Plus databases.  Next, click on Cross Search either in the tab in the center of the screen at the top or at the top of the main table where it reads: Search many databases at once with Cross Search .  A new screen will pop up where your databases will be listed in a box.  Make sure each database is checked.  (If you want to only use 1 or 2 databases, then just have them checked.)  Head to step 4.


Step 4:  Conduct your search
     Now you are ready to conduct your search.  For general information on how to conduct successful searches, click on this Cyberlab tutorial.  Minimally, you want to enter key words into the part of the screen that reads: Search for  and then hit the GO button. 
     The default setting searches your key words in all fields of the reference (title, author, abstract, journal title, etc.).  This option gives you the broadest possible search. 

     # To narrow down your search, I recommend clicking on the ADVANCED tab and doing TITLE searches (again, see this Cyberlab tutorial for specific information on doing quality searches). 


Step 5:  Working with your search results.
     Depending on your internet connection, your results will pop up immediately or after a few seconds.  A list of references will be placed in tabular form that includes author, title, and database.  Click* on the title of the article to read the abstract and other pertinent information.  If the article is available as FULL TEXT, then you will see Full text available.  Rejoice and click on that button to launch SFX.  You may be prompted to enter the publication information or it will be entered for you.  Once entered, click on the link (that will list where the article is coming from, and there may be more than one location) and the full-text article will be displayed.

*Tip:  Right-click and open up the information in a new window. This step makes it easier for you to go back to your full list of references without having to wait for your browser to reload.  (If you have an old, slow computer, opening up several browsers may cause it to freeze.)  

     If you don't see the "full text" button, click on SFX  and then you can find out if any library within the University System of Maryland has this holding.  If it is available, you will see a link indicating the item is available via a hard-copy journal in your school's library [Item available via Catalog].  Click on the link to get more information as to the journal's exact location in the library.  Also, check to make sure your school has the particular volume and issue you are seeking. 
     If you do not see a link, you will get the message that there is no holding available.  You can then order the article/book by clicking on the link that reads Request document via Interlibrary Loan (ILL)Luckily, the journal reference information carries over when you click on this button.  All you need to do is fill in your information. 

Note:  The form will also prompt you to double check that the journal is not in your school's library prior to doing the ILL request.  Most of the time, SFX has reported accurately that the journal is not available; however, it is possible that it might miss an available journal.  Although it takes a little time to double check, here is what you can do to avoid overburdening the ILL office of your school's library:
 Click on Holdings in catalogUSMAI  and see if and where it is available.   Unfortunately, this launches you to the general catalogUSMAI site and does not appear to transfer any of your journal information.  So, you will need to do the following to see if your school has this journal:
     a) once on catalogUSMAI, click on JOURNALS in the top left part of the screen.  Then type in the first few words (or all words) of your journal title and click on SEARCH.  If it is there, it will be listed along with other journals that are similar in title.  If it is not listed, see below for making a request for an ILL to have the article sent to you.
      b) click on the title of your journal and you will see a screen that verifies it is a journal and not a book:  record format   Journals/Newspapers/Magazines  You will also see where the journal is located in the full USM system.  Visit your local library to retrieve the article. 


Step 6:  More storage tips.
     When you are on the screen that lists all of your search results, you can place check marks next to relevant items.  You can then email E-mail these searches or save Save them to your computer.  You can also Add item to My Research Port which will allow you to create folders of certain research topics and save searches in them.  To access these folders, click on the MY RESEARCH PORT tab in the upper center.