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Research Methods in Psychology

This guide is suggested for students of PSY 4050 or those interested in psychology research.

Psychology Subject Guide

E-Reference Resources

Selecting a Topic

Choosing a topic for your research can feel like an overwhelming task.  Find background information on potential topics with the library's E-Reference Resources.  The Psychology E-Reference materials should be especially helpful.  Examples:

Defining Terms

As you read through your research articles, you may come across concepts or terms that you are not familiar with.  Do not hesitate to look them in the Psychology E-Reference collection.  The E-Reference Resources in Research Methodology may be particularly helpful.

Scholarly Articles

The most efficient approach to locating scholarly journal articles on any topic is to start out with one of the library’s databases such as PsycINFO. These databases index hundreds of scholarly journals and will link you to articles on your topic of choice.

The library has subscriptions to numerous scholarly sociology journals. The links on the library’s web site are your access point to the full text online. You may be prompted to authenticate as a Villanova student. Use your Villanova user id and email password. You can find some of the same content through Google, but you may not be able to link to the full text.

  PsycINFO (ProQuest)

To find scholary, peer-reviewed articles in psychology, search the PsycINFO database.  Indexes journals, dissertations and some books in the fields of personality psychology, social psychology, educational psychology and more.

For tips on searching within this database, see the Searching PsycINFO library guide, or ask a librarian.

  Web of Science (Thomson Reuters)
Web of Science provides seamless access to the Science Citation Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index, and Arts & Humanities Citation Index.

Once you have found useful scholarly articles, it is important to review the sources used to complete that study.  Similarly, you can look forward and find which subsequent studies have cited that source through a Cited Reference Search.

Web of Science provides access to current bibliographic information and cited references from the journal literature in the physical and social sciences. Search by article title word, journal title, author, cited author or reference, or address word (e.g. author's institution).

Find Full Text with an Article Citation


APA Style

Publication manual for the American Psychological Association

OWL (Purdue University Online Writing Lab) - APA

  • OWL is a freely available online resource provided by Purdue University.  The OWL gives clear instructions for formatting your paper and bibliography in APA style.

Research and Documentation Online

  • Includes a page specific to doing research in Psychology.


RefWorks is a Web-based software package designed to help you easily gather, manage, store and share all types of information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies.

See the Library Guide to Refworks for more information.

Make an appointment to meet with Kimberley

Have a question?  Please don't hesitate to contact me!  You can use the form below to request an appointment in person, over the phone, or virtually through our chat services.  Or, you can always email me directly with any questions or concerns.  I look forward to hearing from you!

 In person, at Falvey
 Virtually, via chat

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kbugg Kimberley Bugg
Team Leader, Information and Research Assistance and Service Development
Falvey Library, Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova , PA , 19085
Room 227

Helfpul Tips

DOI: Digital Object Identifier

Cited Reference Search

Finding Full Text

Citing and Evaluating Resources

Library Workshop Handouts


Last Modified: Thursday, January 17th, 2013