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PSYC 01B Williamson: Journal & Magazine Articles

Guide for locating essential resources to access a variety of sources. APA citation sources are included.

Locating Peer-Reviewed Articles

Locating Peer-Reviewed Articles

  1. Select the database you want to search: follow the directions for choosing which database for your information need
    1. Reference or encyclopedias for facts and background information, definitions and keywords
    2. Scholarly books for deeper analysis
    3. Research databases for peer-reviewed articles and reports.
  2. Use Refining Tools and Limiters to select Peer-Reviewed articles 
    1. Peer-review is found mostly in scientific articles or literature reviews
    2. Most databases will allow you to search by format type: empirical study, case study and more, are methodologies vital to understanding the content of the article.
  3. Library research databases require specific language and keywords.  Use the APA Subject Index to better select the terms you need to unlock your search.

Search for Articles on Your Topic in Research Databases

Why Use Databases?

The Merced College Library subscribes to many databases filled with authoritative articles, book chapters, research reports, statistics, and more from thousands of respected publications.

  • Using the Library's article databases ensures that you're using the academically-appropriate sources your instructors expect you to use.

  • Also, databases make it easy to find peer-reviewed journal articles.

How Do I Use Databases?

To search for articles on your topic start by using one of the article databases listed below.

You can search these article databases either by topic or for a specific article.

All of these resources are free for you because you are a student at Merced College. If you're working from anywhere off campus, you'll need to sign in to the Merced College Portal.


Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search

Types of Scholarly Journal Articles

Original / Empirical Review
based on an experiment or study. This type of article will have a methodology section that tells how the experiment was set up and conducted, a results or discussion section, and usually a conclusion section. In psychology courses, you are often asked to find empirical articles. Empirical articles are original research articles. Literature Review Systematic Review Meta-Analysis

written to bring together and summarize the results/conclusions from multiple original research articles/studies. This type of article will not usually have a methodology section, and they generally have very extensive bibliographies.

a form of literature review that comprehensively identifies, appraises, and synthesizes all relevant research on a specifically formulated question.

combines carefully selected data from previous empirical studies to bring more rigor to a statistical or other analysis.

EBSCO Resources


  • Lists all 30+ ebsco databases
  • Can add as many or search single databases by selecting "Add Databases" or checking the box of database

Suggested Psychology EBSCO databases:

  • APA PsycInfo

  • Psychology and Behavioral Health 

  • Academic Search Complete


Use the Methodology limiter to narrow to empirical study (original research).

You may also want to try clinical case study, clinical trial, or treatment outcome depending on your topic.

Use the Methodology limiter to narrow to literature review.

You may also want to try systematic review or meta analysis.

Research Tips

Use the relevant articles you find to help you discover additional literature on your topic:

  • Use authors as search terms
  • Use references to other studies mentioned within your articles
  • Use references lists at the end of your articles
  • Look at book reviews to learn about  new scholarship

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