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Psychology

Browse library resources for the study of Psychology (go/psycguide/)

What are library workshops for?

Library research workshops help students learn how to find and use sources effectively and efficiently. This page describes the goals of library workshops for Psychology. The sample worksheets here introduce essential skills, and they can be useful to you before, during and after a session.

Introduction to Psychology

When students begin doing scholarly research, many have trouble finding relevant sources simply because they haven't adapted their search techniques to an academic environment. Searching for scholarly literature is different from searching for quick facts. When students learn the basics of how to use library databases, it becomes much easier for them to find scholarly literature.

When you attend a library workshop for PSYC 105 Introduction to Psychology, you'll learn:

  • Why you'd want to use a library database (usually PsycINFO)
  • How to select and refine a research topic
  • What’s a “peer-reviewed article” and how to find one
  • When is a “literature review” useful, and how to find one
  • How to improve the relevance of results by using database filters
  • How to find the full-text of an article, online or in print
  • How to request articles via Interlibrary Loan
  • How to create APA-formatted citations
  • How to get help

Research Methods

Students who are approaching a semester-long research project need to think of research as a process that begins with open-ended questions. Students will be on stronger footing if they’re exposed to models that incorporate steps such as developing a research question, searching, revising searches, pausing for reflection, and managing results.

When you attend a library workshop for PSYC 202 Research Methods, you'll learn:

  • How to develop and revise a research question
  • How to select search terms by breaking down a research question into concepts
  • When is a “cited reference” search useful, and how to do one
  • How to improve the relevance of search results by identifying and adding search terms, synonyms and alternate spellings; how to find more articles; how to find fewer articles
  • That patience is a virtue! Look at what you’ve found, and be prepared to revisit your question and search again as needed
  • To be strategic: Keep track of what you’ve done and what you’ll do next
  • How to get help

Core Courses

Students in core courses can benefit from introduction, reinforcement, and refinement of search techniques and critical thinking skills.

When you attend a library workshop for a core course (for example, PSYC 201 Statistics, PSYC 203 Social Psychology, or PSYC 225 Child Psychology), you may learn:

  • How to broadly assess the validity of scientific research based on “cited by” references, journal impact factors and related metrics, why this is helpful, and how it can be misleading.
  • How to use published research articles when designing lab research projects at Middlebury
  • How to improve the relevance of search results by identifying and adding search terms, synonyms and alternate spellings; how to find more articles, how to find fewer articles
  • How to find the full-text of an article, online or in print; how to request articles via interlibrary loan; how to create APA-formatted citations
  • How to get help

Advanced Electives and Seminars

Scholars can create new knowledge by building on the work of previous scholars. Students working on a senior thesis can practice the skill of learning from one another by collectively problem-solving research challenges in a group discussion. A librarian can then provide targeted guidance based on the needs that are identified during the discussion.

When you attend a library workshop for an advanced elective or a seminar, you may learn:

  • How to improve the relevance of search results
  • How to search beyond PsycINFO
  • How to manage large collections of references
  • How to evaluate authority
  • How your work will fit into existing scholarly conversations
  • How to get help