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PSY 203/204 Research Methods & Statistics: Searching for peer-reviewed articles

Finding Scholarly Psychology Articles

Search for research related to your topic.  Here are some of the leading PSYCHOLOGY DATABASES offered through the Salem State University Library...


Why scholarly journals?

With most assignments you will find that you are expected to research and cite scholarly journal articles.   Have you ever wondered why?

  • Scholarly journals contain articles written by experts/scholars doing research in the field.  The author's affiliations are listed verifying his/her background. 
  • Scholarly journal articles always contain citations of their sources.  These bibliographies are often lengthy and cite other scholarly writings. 
  • Most articles start with an abstract of the article and are primarily made up of text.  You may see graphs or charts, but typically you will not see glossy pages or many pictures (if any). 
  • Scholarly journal articles are written in the language of the field covered, therefore it is targeted towards readers with background in that field.  
  • The main purpose of a scholarly journal is to report on original research.  Before an article is published in a scholarly it is often vetted by fellow experts in the field. 


  • Citing scholarly journal articles in your research shows you took the effort to find them and that you have a grasp on the language/theory/methods of your field. 
  • Scholarly journal articles make your arguments stronger.

Find a scholarly journal by title

Have the citation to an article and want to know if we have full text available at the library? 

Search our publications directory - if we do it will link you to it!  Or browse for journals in your field.

Searching Google for Scholarly Materials

Google Scholar is a search engine that focuses on searching scholarly literature and academic materials.  It tries to link you to open access resources, and if you follow the settings directions below it can link you with some SSU Library Databases.

Google Scholar can be a convenient starting place, but it is not a comprehensive one-stop.  Visit the Library's databases for a more comprehensive collection of scholarly materials NOT freely available on the web.  See also A Scholar's Guide to Google | Harvard Library Research Guides

For a video tutorial CLICK HERE

For step-by-step directions in print see DOC below

Google Scholar Search

Searching for Meta-analysis, Literature Reviews and Systematic Reviews


Search PsycArticles and PsycINFO together using a special search limiter. 

Choose Advanced Search.

Under “Search Options” check off “Peer Reviewed” and find the choices for “Methodology.”

From the Methodology list high-light and limit your search to “Meta Analysis”

Articles will be automatically limited to meta-analysis, use search terms related to your topic


Search Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection using a suggested subject term specific to this database.

Click on “Subjects” along the top blue bar of the database

Look up “meta analysis”

It tells you to use META-analysis

This term would be searched as a “SU Subject Terms” in an Advanced Search and could be combined with keywords (or other subject terms) related to your topic.


Search Proquest Psychology Journals using a suggested subject term specific to this database.

Click on “Advanced Search”

Then click on “Thesaurus”

Look up “meta analysis”

It tells you to use Meta-analysis

Add it to your search, this term would be searched as a SU.EXACT(“Meta-analysis”) in an Advanced Search and could be combined with keywords related to your topic.


Additional tips

Use the same techniques listed above for finding systematic reviews & literature reviews

Use the type of methodology as a keyword (along with keywords related to your topic) in an Advanced Search of databases lacking limiters or assigned subject terms

Search Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews & Database of Abx of Reviews of Effects within EBSCO’s Cochrane Library

Use the methodology limiter (when available) to find empirical, quantitative or qualitative studies, when no limiter exists these can be used as keywords or possibly subject terms