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University of Portland Clark Library

PSY / SOC / SW 214: Research Methods: Finding Journal Articles

Psychology Starting Points

Biology & Medicine Databases

Sociology & Social Work Starting Points

Multidisciplinary - Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search

Using a Thesaurus and Preferred Subject Terms in Your Database Search

Ebsco Database Searching Tips

screenshot of sample search in PsycInfo database


  • Use truncation symbols to find variations in spelling and word form.

personalit*  will find personality, personalities

  • Expand your search by using “or” between words that are similar or synonymous. Results will have either keyword or both keywords.

memor* or retention

  • Multiple words will be found within five words of each other. To search multiple words as a phrase, put the phrase in quotes. 

bad memory     Retrieves results with words within five words of each other.
                          One of the results is titled: Can bad weather improve your memory?

“bad memory”    Retrieves results with that exact phrase. | 503.943.7111 or 800.841.8261 | 5000 N. Willamette Blvd., Portland, OR 97203-5798
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