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PSY 2320 Research Methods: Tips & Tricks for Using Databases

Using the Power of Databases

Locating Peer Reviewed Content in EBSCO

What is peer-review?

The peer-review process subjects an author's scholarly work, research, or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field (peers) and is considered necessary to ensure academic scientific quality. Articles, journals, reports, books, and other content can be considered peer review. Prior to publication, a material is submitted and must be reviewed by at least one expert in the field. The reviewer evaluates the research presented in the material. The scholarly work that passes the peer-review process is then published; the scholarly work that does not pass the peer review process will not be published as peer-reviewed.

How do you I know if a journal is peer-reviewed ?

1. If you have a paper version of the journal you can look on the inside front cover to see if there is information regarding peer-review.

2. Many times an editorial board will be listed on the inside front cover

3. If you are using a database and only have an electronic version of an article-you can still verify if the journal is peer-reviewed. 

  • Do a search for the journal and go to the homepage. Go to the about us section (or something similar) and you should find information about whether or not the journal is peer-reviewed.
  • You can also view this tutorial where a Concordia librarian shows you how to narrow down your database search for only peer-reviewed content.

4. Many of the CUC resources held in EBSCO are peer-reviewed and accessible to all CUC members.

Databases are not Google!

Keywords only!

Boolean searching is built on a method of symbolic logic developed by George Boole, a 19th century English mathematician. Boolean searches allow you to combine words and phrases using the words AND, OR, NOT (known as Boolean operators) to limit, broaden, or define your search.

For example, if you type in “Hampton Road Peace Conference”, you receive few results. But if you type in "Hampton Roads" AND "conference" This allows your search results to only those documents containing the two keywords, instead of a whole phrase.

Look at the video below:

In EBSCO, a word in a search bar can be truncated (shortened) by using the asterisk (shift + 8 = *)

giving you far more search results!

For example:

If you open EBSCO and look only for articles using the word "Mexican", you will receive 151,859 results.


If you open EBSCO and look for only articles using the word "Mexic*", you will receive 504,353 results.


Look at the video below:

EBSCO & ProQuest provide citations too!

Did you know that you can locate the citation needed for the reference page in EBSCO and ProQuest?

Click here for more APA assistance.

View the videos below to find where:

Citation Location in EBSCO
Citation Location in ProQuest (Find Dissertations button)