How do you choose among
all these references? There are several ways, but when you're
new to a topic, it is useful to search only for reviews of
studies rather than studies themselves. A review will do much of
your work for you by pointing you in the direction of the important
studies and the general findings in a particular area.
Options for limiting your search are displayed on the side of the
screen. Three are available immediately:
Linked Full Text: check this to only
return sources that are immediately available on-line. Usually
cuts out too much, so I don't recommend it.
References Available: For some articles,
you can get direct access to their Reference List, which is handy
to find related articles. Checking this box will only return
articles with this feature. Again, usually this cuts out too much.
Publication Date: If you've found more
articles than you can use, you could begin by checking out the
more recent ones, which will often cite the older studies that
are considered classics in that area.
You want to limit your
search only to Reviews. What you don't want to do
is click the box labeled "Reviews" under "Source
Types" because it will return only reviews of books.
You don't want a book review; you want a review of the articles.
Click on the "Show More" link under the Publication Date
slider. You should get a screen with a number of fields that allow
you to restrict your search.
[This will return only sources that have been
"peer reviewed" - critically evaluated by a panel of experts
in the field. This is done with all good journals and so can be
a good idea if you don't know whether to trust a particular journal.
However, checking this box will remove book chapters, which
can be an excellent resource when you're just learning about a new
[Usually handy only if you already know a lot
about the article you're looking for. Major publishers in psych include
the American Psychological Association and Sage.]
[Handy if you're looking specifically for peer-reviewed
journals, book chapters, etc.]
[Very handy unless you can read another language]
[Useful for developmental research when you
want to just get data on particular age groups]
[Probably won't use this too much - I imagine
this would be useful if you wanted to make sure the participants
included males or females, or if you were just looking for human
or non-human participants]
[I'd leave this alone. If you select "Review"
you get book reviews, not review articles that summarize many studies.]
[Here's where you would select literature reviews
and meta-analyses - see below]
Under Methodology, select both
the Literature Review and Meta Analysis by holding down
the control key...
I would also recommend clicking the box for Exclude Dissertations
because those are usually expensive to obtain, hundreds of pages long,
and are not subjected to the same level of rigorous review as peer-reviewed
(make sure you've still got fluoxetine and suicide as your