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PSYC 4030: Multicultural Psychology

A guide to library resources for students in Psychology 4030, Multicultural Psychology

Psychology Databases

The following databases are reliable sources of information specific to psychology.

Best Practices for Searching

Most databases get good results from a natural language search. Try searching words that make sense to describe the topic. Then consider the following suggestions as ways to refine the search.

Find Subject Terms. Once you have the results of a search, note how the database assigns subjects to the entries. For example, after searching multicultural competence the subject headings that fit the topic best appear to be CULTURAL COMPETENCE and MULTICULTURALISM. Search the database again using the subject terms to get results that are exactly on target.

Filter Results. Databases frequently provide an easy way to filter results on characteristics like type of publication, date range, full text availability, peer review status, and others. Apply filters to reduce the number of search results.

Use Boolean Operators. Boolean operators determine how the search engine gathers results. AND is usually the default operator between words in a database search; this command requires that all the terms be in the record and reduces the number of results. OR is an operator that allows any of the search terms to be in the record and expands the number of results. NOT is an operator that excludes records containing the following word. Examples:

  • Gone AND Wind finds the book Gone with the Wind, the book The Wind Done Gone, and any other resources that have both terms in the record.
  • Gone OR Wind finds the book Gone with the Wind, the movie Gone Girl, the score Symphony no. 4, for wind orchestra, op.165, and many more titles that have either gone or wind in the record. 
  • Gone NOT Wind finds any resources that have the word gone but not the word wind in the record.

Other Options. Some databases provide additional options like an advanced search screen with a variety of settings, or proximity operators that require words in the results to be within a specified number of words of each other in the record. These strategies are best to use when the search results are either too large or too small to be useful.

Search Multiple Databases at Once

Some of the databases provided by UNT Libraries are from the same publisher, and there is a way to search all the relevant databases from the same platform.

Go to EBSCOhost to select PsycARTICLES, PsycINFO, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, and Family & Society Studies Worldwide.

For ProQuest products, start by entering one database, such as Social Science Premium Collection, then click Change databases to see the list of available resources. For psychology the best options are the Psychology Database and Social Science Premium Collection. 

Search Tips

Using Logic, Symbols, and Wildcards

  • AND – usually the default operator. AND requires every term to appear in the record for an article. Example: multicultural AND competence.
  • OR – a term to make a search broader. OR means that any of the search terms can appear in the record for the article. Example: meteor OR meteorite.
  • NOT – a term to exclude certain words. NOT removes records that include the word that isn't desired. Example: tennis NOT table.
  • Quotation marks – require the exact phrase. Example: "cultural competence".
  • Parentheses – group terms together. Example: (Black or African-American) AND psychology.
  • Wildcard symbol, usually an asterisk – allows results that have the character string up to the symbol and anything afterwards. Example: meteor* finds results with meteor, meteoric, meteorite, meteoroid, meteorology, meteorological, etc.

Getting Only Peer-reviewed or Empirical Results

  • Empirical = based on observation and experience rather than theory or pure logic; often indicated by experiments that gather evidence to support a hypothesis.
    • Review the abstract and methodology sections of an article for hypotheses, variables, and data collection.
  • Peer-reviewed = other researchers have read it and found the method and conclusions to be valid, within the context of the discipline.
    • Most databases have a filter that allow you to require the results to be peer-reviewed.
    • Publications that are not peer-reviewed are usually popular press, news journalism, and trade magazines.
    • If unsure, check the publishing guidelines for the journal; journals who provide peer-review will be very transparent about it.

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