Psychology and Education @St. Thomas

September 24, 2013

Criminal Justice Abstract Tutorial with transcript

Filed under: Databases,Research Techniques — merriealynn @ 9:05 pm

How do you search databases? This is a basic tutorial, using Criminal Justice Abstracts as an example.

And I’m also including the original Powerpoint presentation with a transcript of the tutorial.

As always, let me know if you have a question!


August 21, 2013

Citation Searching: Finding Articles into the Future

Filed under: Citations,Databases,Research Techniques — merriealynn @ 5:59 pm

Citation Searching: Finding Articles into the Future

You’re probably used to looking at the references in a paper and finding the articles that the author read to help them analyze their data and interpret their results. This is great for finding seminal articles, but they just get older and older. You want to know what’s happening now!

How about finding out who read the article you have in your hand to understand their own data? That would mean you’d be moving into the future!

Most databases now let you click on a link and see who cited it. Here’s what that looks like in Ebsco databases, like Criminal Justice Full Text, Academic Source Premier, ERIC, or SocINDEX. The link to these articles will be in a slightly different place in other databases, like PsycINFO.

Finding Older and Newer Articles based on the article you found

Good luck. Have fun. And contact me if you’d like some help or more information!

April 10, 2013

Why can Librarians Find Stuff that Other People Don’t?

Filed under: Libraries and Librarians,Research Techniques — merriealynn @ 7:48 pm

Yesterday, I gave a talk to several librarians. I’ve often wondered why I can often find articles, books, information, videos when my students don’t. What’s so special about librarians?

I came up with 7 different advantages we have over regular folks. I forgot the last one, that happens because of our personalities and/or because of the 7 advantages we have: we’re obsessive; we never give up.

who needs a doctor when you have webmd obsessvie_librarian

But here are the 7:

  1. Students are panicked! We’re not. We can still think, while their minds are buzzing with so many thoughts, many of which are about the dire consequences of not finishing their paper in time.
    What have I done!?
  2. We know how information is organized in a library. All the terminology on our websites makes sense to us. We know what a library does, so we know what to look for.
    For instance, we know that libraries generally have guides that point out the most important resources for each field of study. There are several names for these (subject guides, research guides, lib guides and an older term pathfinders), but we know what lies behind those names. Students don’t even know to look for such guides.
  3. Databases are fun! (for us). Not necessarily for other people. We just love to play with websites and databases, just to see what they might do differently than all the other databases (100’s) that we’ve played with.
    Other folks just want to use the databases to find the information they need. And they’ve only used 2 or 3 databases in their lives. So, not so intuitive to them.
  4. We know how research is done (at least in our specialty fields). In the Social Sciences, you can’t answer huge questions with a single experiment or study. Research studies don’t answer the question “How do children learn?” They answer the question, “How do 2 year olds learn to use paintbrushes through imitation?”toddlertoolsBroader questions are usually answered by faculty who have already been tenured and are synthesizing their lifetime of research in a book, not an article.
  5. An answer to us is not necessarily an answer for students.
    Often students want a definite answer, with a number attached. Science doesn’t give definite answers. All science is specific to the context of the research and subject to change when deeper information is found.
  6. We understand the levels of analysis of the different research tools we use. You don’t look for article titles in catalogs. You don’t look for topic sentences in subject guides.
    Databases differ from each other. You don’t look for industrial psychology in MergentOnline (a business database).
    Summon is helping us with this.
  7. Finally, librarians love to share what they’ve found with other librarians! Our colleagues in our libraries, universities, on the Internet, our associations spend lots of energy helping each other. We are the coolest OpenAccess/OpenData people alive.

And we took this position because we love research, learning, and guiding other people to the enormous amount of information we can find. And helping them analyze and evaluate, plan their future research, and find fun reading to do during their breaks!librarianheart

January 11, 2011

UCLA’s Academic Technology Services (Statistics) Page

Filed under: Research Techniques,Statistics — merriealynn @ 10:38 pm

Academic Technology Services, UCLAUCLA’s Academic Technology Services (Statistics) aids students and faculty at UCLA using statistics for research and presentation of research. Lucky for us, their websiteprovides a lot of assistance in determining which statistics to use, how to use statistics and annotated code for SAS and SPSS. They have a large amount of annotated code and output for various programs. Results seem well-indexed by Google, so searching “technique software ATS UCLA” usually gets a solution, e.g. regression SPSS ATS UCLA. Hope this helps when you’re stuck with SPSS!

September 1, 2010

Finding methodologies in PsycINFO

Filed under: APA,Databases,Research Techniques — merriealynn @ 10:06 pm

PsycINFO has an awesome feature that allows you to find articles using a particular methodology. They’ve even increased its usefullness by including a few additional methods in the past month.

So if you’re interested in qualitative studies, first change the dropdown menu under “Only show content where” to “Methodology”:

Methodologies in PsycINFO

Change the dropdown menu to “Methodology”

The second box will list various methodologies. Hold down the ctrl key while clicking on the various types of methodologies — Clinical Case Study, Interview, Focus Group, and Non-Clinical Case Study, and Qualitative Study:

Qualitative methodologies in PsycINFO

Use ctrl-Click to select one or several methodologies in the scroll box

Here’s the list:

brain imaging mathematical model
clinical case study meta analysis
empirical study nonclinical case study
experimental replication prospective study
field study qualitative study
focus group quantitative study
followup study retrospective study
interview systematic review
literature review treatment outcome/clinical trial
longitudinal study  twin study

PubMed also allows you to limit by methodology, but there aren’t as many choices as in PsycINFO. Other databases require you to use the research methodology as a keyword in your search. Doesn’t work quite as well.If you have any questions, I’m here!

May 25, 2010

Which Tests & Measures are “Appended” in PsycINFO?

Filed under: Databases,Research Techniques,Tests and Measures — merriealynn @ 4:24 pm

Sometimes journal articles include the tests, inventories and measures that were used in the research, especially if they were developed by the authors. It’s simple to find these tests.

PsycINFO has a field (in the dropdown menu) for Tests and Measures. Choose Tests and Measures from the dropdown menu and type in the topic or a few words from the name. In a second box, also choose Tests and Measures from the dropdown menu, but type in appended in the box.

Type in "appended" in the tests and measures field

Type in appended in the tests and measures field

In the record, look in the Tests and Measures field. It lists all tests and measures used in the research. If the test is included in the article, “(Appended)” will follow the name of the test.

"Appended" will appear after full-text tests

"Appended" will appear after full-text tests

Visit me for more information!

January 25, 2010

Download Dissertations Now!

Filed under: Citations,Databases,Research Techniques,scholarly communication — merriealynn @ 10:03 pm
Is my dissertation like every other?

Is my dissertation like every other? (Ron Lubensky)

We now have full-text access to most dissertations published after 1996 in Dissertations and Theses Full-Text! Just download the PDF to your computer. Print it out if  you’d like!

Are you writing a literature review, but don’t know which articles are best? Or really what they focus on? Dissertations have extensive reference sections that draw from many areas in a topic. Reading through their lit reviews can tell you which articles you should read for your paper.

Ready to start your thesis, but don’t have an idea of what its structure should be? Check out a few in  your field before you start.

As I’ve worked with students over the years, often the one publication that studies their particular interest is a dissertation, cutting edge research on a great topic. Look up your friends’ work. Have a great time exploring!

November 30, 2009

PsycINFO’s Guides to Other Fields

Filed under: APA,Databases,Research Techniques — merriealynn @ 4:22 pm

APA Application Guide for EducationAPA develops guides to searching PsycINFO for “applications” to other fields, like consumer psychology, religion & spirituality, psychopharmacology, education and organizational behavior. These include sample articles,  ideas about topics that PsycINFO covers, lists of terms helpful for specific areas of the field,  and sample records.

Search terms for Organizational Psychology

Here are some suggested search terms in PsycINFO's Organizational Behavior application guide. It's extremely helpful in starting your search.

Check them out, especially if you haven’t thought of using PsycINFO for your research. It’s a great database.

November 16, 2009

Seminal and Core Articles

Filed under: Citations,Research Techniques,scholarly communication — merriealynn @ 8:59 pm

You’re writing a paper. Your professor has told you that your references can only include recent articles — 5, 6, or 10 years old or less. And seminal (or core) articles. What’s a seminal article?

In general, research is a conversation among scholars. Each study or analysis is a contribution to that conversation. Scholars are responding to each other. Some articles are read by very few scholars, others — seminal or core articles — are read by almost every scholar in that particular field. The resulting research is a collective response to that article.

Therefore, if you want to really understand the research, you need to read these seminal articles. A seminal article tells you WHY researchers chose the research studies they chose.

You can find these articles by

  • Looking in encyclopedias and handbooks. They are listed after each article.
  • Checking your textbooks.
  • Reading the references to articles you’ve found. Which articles and researchers are mentioned over and over again?


On learned helplessness in general:

Dweck, C. S. (1975). The role of expectations and attributions in the alleviation of learned helplessness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31(4), 674-685. doi:10.1037/h0077149

If you look this one up in PsychNET, you’ll find that 359 people have cited it. So this gives you an idea of how many people think her work is interesting, important, worth responding to.

On differences in how genders respond to teacher feedback:

Sex differences in learned helplessness: II. The contingencies of evaluative feedback in the classroom and III. An experimental analysis.

If you look this article up in Google Scholar, you’ll find that 618 people have cited it.

In language acquisition:  Brown R (1973) A First Language. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

If you look in PsycNET,  you’ll find that 956 other articles have cited it in their own work. Wow! Everyone talks about this one!

November 6, 2009

Psychology, Statistics, & Research Design Blog

Filed under: Research Techniques,Statistics — merriealynn @ 9:48 pm

Have a question about using statistics for a social sciences (psychology or education) study? Jeromy Anglim, a professor in clinical psychology at the University of Melbourne, has a brilliant blog written just for you! He teaches statistics and consults with researchers on their work.

Some of his posts are “how to” posts: How to set up scales, how to write a literature review in psychology, how to determine which variables are most important in a multiple regression equation, or how to deconstruct an article so you can write a good one too.

Others supply links to excellent articles and other resources on the topic: data mining and R or exporting R data into Excel

He also has links to teaching resources: a powerpoint on ANOVA and regression and a workshop on an introduction to SPSS. There is also a post on deciding which statistics to use for your thesis.

As you can see, many of these topics are advanced; others are useful for just about anyone doing work in psychology or education. Check it out! Just amazing. Thank you Prof. Anglim.

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