Information Literacy Revised Instructions
The search options at the UTPB library have changed. This tutorial is based on that change. I’ll include
screen shots as needed throughout. This assignment requires that you find a literature review and at least 6
other sources related to your topic.
First, go to the library home page (https://www.utpb.edu/library/index) and click on the databases option.
Then click on “view databases”
There are two databases that are useful for us. My favorite is called web of science (WoS). Access it by going to databases that start with ”W.”
As you can see Web of Science (WoS) allows you to do a number of different kinds of searches. Here we
can stick to using a “topic” search.
The next thing we need to do is to limit our search. Because WoS pulls from several disciplines, scroll down to “Web of Science Categories” ensure you find articles in psychology journals. Then click on more
Now, choose the disciplines you’d like use, then click “refine.”
At this point, you can limit your search further, by year, and document type.
The particular search I used here (“social influence” and illness) does not appear to have a literature
review associated with it. However, if I were looking for a literature review I would enter new search
terms (flu, social contagion, social norms, or heuristics perhaps). For most class assignments articles and literature reviews are safe bets whereas “meeting abstracts” and “proceeding papers” are less useful.
For this search I found an article that looks like it will work.
You’ll notice at the right of the page, this paper has been cited 16 times. If this paper were closely related
to my topic, I would likely find additional related papers by looking at who cited it. In fact, since this paper is over 10 years old I might be better off looking at the papers that cited this one.
Remember, you don’t want to cite papers older than 10 or 15 years unless the paper represents a seminal
work (an influential paper that everyone cites or the first work of its kind).
Another nice feature of WoS is its sort function. You may actually want to find the most influential
articles on a specific topic. If so, you can sort by “times cited.” This will rank articles in that order.
Once you click on an article, you can also search the references cited in that paper. This page also
provides the digital object identifier or doi for the article. This may be important if the UTPB library doesn’t have a full text copy.
Next, imagine that the library didn’t have this article in full text online. You have two options. First you
can try searching in google scholar (https://scholar.google.com/). Below I’ve used the title to search.
Luckily it is available online in a pdf.
But imagine that it wasn’t. If you still can’t find it, turn to https://sci-hub.se/ You will need the doi to use this.
Sometimes the cite will require you solve a captcha. This site holds a large number of articles. FYI, there
have been lawsuits filed against this site (short soap box speech here, continuing scrolling to skip). The creator of this site believes in science and transparency. That is, in academic researchers create scientific
products and are not paid directly for creating these products (i.e., they are “paid” with their salaries but
don’t get extra for conducting cool research). These products are copyrighted by publishing companies
who insert paywalls so that they can get paid for the free labor of academics. Science, as a discipline relies on transparency. Scientists want their work to be public. The public want access to scientific
reports. Hence, sci-hub. It is the “napster” of academic articles.
Let’s turn briefly to PSYCINFO which is similar to WoS but with fewer features. It holds a large number
of articles however, and you may find some that WoS misses. If you go back to the “find databases” page
in the library and click on “P” in the alphabet you should land on this page.
Here you can search as before. I like to search the abstract for search terms.
To ensure you retrieve the right articles, go to “limit to” and click on show more.
First, find publication type, and click on peer reviewed journal. You can limit the years (e.g., 2005-
2020), and if you’re looking for a literature review you can limit that too.
Please keep in mind as you search that you want the majority of your articles to come from psychology
journals. If you have trouble finding relevant journal articles reach out for assistance. You may need new
search terms or your topic may not be sufficiently psychological in nature.
Lastly, please be patient. Finding good articles for your paper is time consuming. However, your time and
effort now will pay off in the future by allowing you to write with some authority, and allowing you provide ample evidence and support for your ideas.
To complete this assignment, create a reference page. Place your literature review citation at the top of the
page. Then, use APA style to list the six or more other sources you found.
I understand that upon a closer read, you may need to change this reference list to fit your needs. That is
okay. For now, this assignment shows me that 1) you can locate articles from psychology journals that are relevant to your topic and published within the last 10 or 15 years, 2) that you can use APA style