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Why you need to use good quality literature

Good research skills are essential for studying Psychology.  It's really important to be able to find good quality, up-to-date literature and information, because you need to base your work on reliable evidence that it is suitable for your needs. The resources in this section will help you to develop these skills.

Introductory resources on basic literature searching skills

Library: How to Search

How to Search is a resource produced by the library which aims to give students a general introduction to the process of searching for information. It covers the different stages of the process of literature searching, including:

  • identifying the information you need
  • deciding where to search
  • using search techniques to construct an effective search
  • evaluating the sources you find
  • understanding the basics of referencing

The resource includes videos, interactive activities, and downloadable documents to support your independent learning.

How to Search is not subject-specific, but it is particularly useful if you are new to literature searching or would like a refresher of the basics.

Subject Librarian support

Literature searching is a key skill at university. We know it can be quite daunting to remember all of the information you are told in the literature searching sessions and that you may need a little extra help. Don't panic, we can support you!

What is a database?

The Library uses the term 'database' to describe a searchable online resource.  Academic databases allow you to search for articles on a particular topic in a comprehensive and structured way.

You can find the most relevant databases for Psychology on the Journals and Databases section of this guide:

Keeping a record

Being organised and manging the information you find is really important.

  • You are less likely to loose information.
  • You have one place to go to find the information you are planning to read or use.
  • You can easily find the sources you need to cite and reference.

The most important thing is to find a system which works for you.  Your tutors may have some suggestions about approaches they use.  

We recommend using RefWorks!

RefWorks is recommended by the Library to help you:

  • Manage the resources you find
  • Format citations and references in your work in APA style.

Visit the RefWorks section of the Referencing guide to learn more or book onto a workshop: