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PSY-100 (Dewees, Spring 2020)

Introduction to Psychology Research

Searching Tips

Professor Dalal's video discusses searching methods in her video about using PsycINFO, and the information below reviews these techniques.

If you are not finding enough information, your topic may be too narrow.

Consider broadening it by exploring related issues, adding another element to the topic, or expanding the area covered. Use truncation and the boolean connector, OR, to expand your topic.

If you are finding too much information, your topic may be too broad.

Consider narrowing it by time period, geographic location, or population.

The information below will help you expand or narrow your searches.

A. Truncation (shorten a word and use of a symbol such as an asterisk (*) or question mark (?)) to search for multiple endings of root words.

Example: consequen* would search for consequence, consequences, consequential

B. BOOLEAN Connectors: AND, OR, NOT are connecting operators that tells the computer to expand (OR), limit (AND), eliminate (NOT) concepts when searching.

Capitalize your connectors AND/OR

Example: stress AND health   [both terms need to be in results; narrows topic]

Example: phobias OR fear OR flag-waving  [either terms or all terms can be in results; broadens topic]

C. Phrase search involves a concept that has more than one word and quotation marks around the terms defines the term.

Example: "lucid dreaming"

Found the perfect article but there is no link to the full text? We might have access through another database. 


If you have a citation for a journal article you want to get, use the Journals link to see if the Libraries own or have access to the print or electronic versions of the journal title. Here's how to check.The example below is to find full text articles in the New York Times newspaper. From the RU Library home page, click the link to Journals.

picture of library home page with a black circle around the word, Journals

Type the name of the newspaper name in search box to see if it is available in one of our databases or in Moore Library:

Search box with word, New York Times with result of search finding the newspaper in Nexis and Proquest databases.