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PSYC 141 - Research Methods

This guide contains information and materials that students use to successfully complete PSYC 141 - Research Methods as well as information on graduate school and careers with a bachelor's degree in Psychology


This libguide was created by Prof. Deborah Dolan.
Prof. Dolan will be retired as of 8/31/2022.
If you have questions about the content of this guide, please contact Annmarie Boyle at

Before we begin... the Library Homepage and other important info...

Almost all of your research will begin at the Library homepage

Soooooo, it is important that you are familiar with it. Below is a link to a document which shows the Library homepage and on which I have placed boxes outlined in red indicating what the most frequently used links are used for.

The database section of this Libguide focuses on PsycINFO, but there are a number of other Ebsco databases in medicine and education which you may also want to use, depending on your research interests.

The document below also advises on the other databases, the use of specialized psychology reference materials to provide background information on topics, and other information.

Please review the document below.

Hofstra User Accounts



You have been assigned a Hofstra Network account.
Your username is typically your ID #, which is also on your ID card, and you are assigned a password, which you can change.

This username/pw allows you to enter the portal, access your course registration information, grades, etc.
It also enables you to

  • access Hofstra subscription materials, such as databases required for use in your courses
  • use your print account, which is automatically assigned to you containing $120 for 1200 prints @10 cents per print  (note - a "print" is one sheet of paper, either single- or double-sided)
  • interlibrary loan materials

If you haven't gotten your ID card yet, it is important to get it as it is required to enter certain classrooms and to enter computer labs.

Interlibrary Loan

Why Inter-Library Loan (ILL)?

Because NO institution can carry every journal, every book.

And there may be a journal that publishes key articles on your topic and Hofstra does not subscribe to it (BTW, we do subscribe to @100,000 journals electronically and another 1500 in print). Electronic journals are typically purchased in "bundles" and the bundles that best serve a department or the university as a whole are purchased. So sometimes you need to interlibrary loan an item.

Most of the time you will not access interlibrary loan directly. Typically, you will be in a database such as PsycINFO and access it directly from the database.

Go to
for an interactive tutorial. Instructions will be on the left, and the live screen on your right.


Searching in Ebsco - focus on PsycINFO

Before demonstrating how to search in PsycINFO, save your work, and get the full-text of articles, it is important to understand WHAT is being searched.

Nobody ever thinks about that.

But it is REALLY important, especially as it allows one a lot of control over broadening and narrowing one's searches.

For each "item" in PsycINFO or any other database, there is a RECORD. The item record contains fields, such as AUTHOR(s), TITLE, SOURCE (i.e., journal title), ABSTRACT, SUBJECT, etc.

Below is a link to a sample PsycINFO record. Please click on it and review. The search terms that yielded that particular record were "language" or "language disorder*".

You will see that those terms are highlighted throughout the record - in the article title at the top, in the subject field, in the abstract etc. This is because the entire record was being searched, rather than any particular field(s). You will see this addressed again in the video demonstrating effective and efficient searching.

Saving your SEARCHES in Ebsco

You save items (articles) in which you are interested in your folder.

You can also save your SEARCHES.  Why would you want to do that?  So when you return to searching, you don't have to figure out (probably unsuccessfully!!!) what search terms and limiters you used the last time.

Let's look at the sample below - we have used "or" terms and used the truncator "*" to deal with the "word form" problem.

We have also limited results to peer-reviewed articles from 2015-2020 in English. 

In your own searches, you may also wish to narrow down your results by selecting which field the search term(s) appear.

Saving your search enables you to run the search exactly as you had done before, while also enabling you to make changes if you wish.

HOW TO SAVE YOUR SEARCH -  On the right side of the RESULTS screen, you will see the "Share" button.
Clicking on the "Share" button will release the drop-down menu shown. Click on the search link under "Add search to folder"



Creating APA-Style Reference Lists from your Folder

In class, you put items in your folder.  You can also generate an APA-style reference list of the items in your folder.

The image below is my folder from our class. Notice that it indicates there are 8 articles in the folder. Notice also that on the right sidebar there is a link to "print".

Clicking on "print" brings you to this page - follow the instructions in red

You will arrive at the page below.  You don't actually want to print the citations - you want to paste them into your paper. So X OUT OF THE PRINT BOX (highlighted in red)

Now copy and paste your citations...


into your Word document ...

Now you have some cleaning up to do. For example, the list has to be in alphabetical order, double-spaced, have "References" centered at the top, etc. You can review APA-style more with your professor. 

Also, ALL citation managers make errors.  I've highlighted some errors - can you figure out what is wrong with them?

You should check the citations against the instructions on the APA-style Citation guide located at

Career and Education Bib

Quick Guide to APA citation

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