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Psychology: Databases

Guide to information resources for psychology at the University of Warwick Library, including books, journals, databases, referencing and.sources of help.

What is a Database?

Databases are the best way of finding peer-reviewed articles, scholarly books, conferences, theses and other information on your topic. Some databases enable you to search across disciplines while others are tailored to help researchers in your specific subject. 


Key Databases for Psychology

Have a look at the databases for psychology. Here are some key databases:

  • PsycInfo is the major database for psychology related research.
  • Web of Science: a multidisciplinary database. Good for research questions that cut across different disciplines.
  • Medline (OVID): this is the major clinical database for medicine. It is a good resource for clinical psychology.
  • PubMed is an alternative version of Medline that is freely available
  • CINAHL is the main nursing and allied health database

Alternatively, use our full database list to explore databases by subject or material type.


Clinical databases

You may be looking for more clinically based research. Clinical and medical databases tend to be a little bit more complicated to search as they usually use an indexing system. The indexing system is there to help you find the most relevant search terms. For example, you may want to search for research on german measles but you would also need to search for rubella. The indexing helps you to find the most relevant keywords. The main indexing system is called MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) and is used by Medline and PubMed.

Online tutorials to support literature searches

Medline and PsycInfo.

Medline is a specialist database that indexes most of the world's research articles in the area of medicine. PsycInfo is key database for psychology.

At Warwick, we get a number of databases from a company called OVID, including PsycInfo and Medline, that use the same search interface. Although the tutorial is covering Medline, the same processes and techniques will apply to PsycInfo.

This tutorial takes you through the process of creating an effective search strategy for the Medline database and gives you an opportunity to have a go at completing a search. It also covers some of the more general search principles and techniques that you can use with any database. The quiz at the end allows you to assess what you have learnt.

Conducting a systematic literature search.

For anyone undertaking a systematic review, a scoping review or any review that requires evidence of how you have searched the research literature, this tutorial will help you to think about the practical steps of completing the searching stage of your systematic review. This includes advanced search techniques, the use of search filters, supplementary search techniques, including citation searching. There is also advice on recording your search strategies and managing your references.

Evidence Based Medicine.

You may already be familiar with searching the literature using databases such as Medline, but there are a range of other information resources that can help you to evaluate and critically appraise the quality of the research that you are finding.

This tutorial will introduce you to the process of conducting an evidence based literature search and give you an overview of the range of specialist evidence based information resources available. You will have the opportunity to investigate the different resources.

Advanced search techniques.

There are a range of search techniques that you can use to help to refine your search strategies, such as truncation, wildcards, phrase searching and proximity searching. Some of these techniques apply across all databases, for example, truncation searching and others will vary between the different databases, for example, proximity searching. The following guide will show you how to apply these techniques in the following databases – Medline, Embase, PsycInfo, CINAHL, Web of Science, ASSIA, Scopus and the Cochrane Library.

Get Help From Your Librarian

Academic Support Librarian for Medicine, Life Sciences and Psychology

Sam Johnson

Email Me

If you have any questions or need any help and advice, please contact me. I am happy to meet in person or via Teams or have a chat via email.

DClinPsyc students

You have access to all of Warwick’s library resources during the three years of your course but it is likely that during the first two years you will use the resources at Coventry.

When you move to Year 3, you will lose access to these resources and will have to use the resources provided by Warwick. These are very similar to those you will be familiar with from Coventry but there are some important changes that you need to be aware of.

Critically, if you are starting to research your final year dissertation and empirical study over the summer, it is recommended that you use Warwick’s resources.

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