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PSY309 Experimental Design and Theory: Resources

This guide supports the Experimental Design and Theory course offered to Psychology Specialists. It covers the basics of the research process and specialized psychology research databases.

Key and Current Articles, Key Researchers

summary of key articles, researchers and current articles

resources for recognizing key papers and researchers


An important interdisciplinary database with citation searching, author metrics such as the h-index, and Journal Citation Reports (JCR). JCR allows you to find the impact metrics for journals such at the JIF (see below). Remember to use proximity search syntax NEAR/n for more precise searches.

A major interdisciplinary database with citation searching and a visual h-index app. For proximity searching in Scopus, use W/n - for "within n words" or PRE/n - "for n words preceding" - not the NEAR/n phrase we used in Web of Science.

Take a look at this great Scopus Cheat Sheet.

PsycINFO offered via the most systematic search interface.

The ProQuest interface is more intuitive and also supports Thesaurus searching.

The National Library of Medicine provides PubMed as a freely searchable interface. Some articles are open access (author pays for publication - article is free to all users), but many are still provided by the UofT Library.


For a bit more background on the h-index, take a look at this article:

Spicer, A. (21 May 2015). Explainer: What is an h-index and how is it calculated? The Conversation. Retrieved from

metrics for key articles and researchers

The Extras: Journal Impact Factor

about the journal impact factor JIF

history of the JIF

Here is some help with finding JIF in the Journal Citation Reports

Database Help Tools

Theasurus Searching vs. Keyword Searching

A quick overview of thesaurus searching.

Video on Using the OVID Thesaurus in PsycINFO

Here is a help video from the APA. It dovetails with Tutorial 1 activities.

OVID Search Video

This is a general search video on searching using the OVID interface. Methods effective in PsycINFO will, for the most part, work in other OVID databases like MEDLINE.

Methodology Search in OVID

APA Help video on methodology searching in the OVID interface.