MACP, Finding General Information in Journal Databases

The search for general information for a presentation or project can be challenging in Journal databases. Journal databases are not like books, encyclopedias, or general glossaries. They tend to address specific interventions, developments, treatments, etc.  However, you do have strategies for finding an array of information within such resources. The example below addresses the question of finding general information on Attention OR ADHD  as part of the Individual Presentation Assignment in ​PSYC​Psychology 6104, but the strategy can be used on any topic.

  1. Examining the Article:  One way to find general information is to review some of the introductory components of an article. Even an article that specifically addresses a technical or clinical topic will have general information located in the introduction, literature review or methods section, and then again they may generalize ideas in the conclusions.  A reference list/bibliography may also have some relevant information. Here is a screen shot of a paragraph providing some descriptive, historical information on the origins and development of attention/hyperactivity disorders.
  1. Types of Reviews: One way to attempt to find more generalized information is by searching for types of reviews: systematic, narrative, literature, meta-analysis, etc. This means you will be narrowing results by methods intended to make sense of large numbers of research articles.
  1. Searching for “definition” words:  This type of search simply allows you to consider words that may focus on defining ADHD, that may give you some commonality of resources and perspectives to consider.  A search could include definition OR define OR etiology OR diagnosis, etc. You could think of additional terminology.
  1. Open Access Books:  You can also consider searching open access Psychology texts.  You would not want to spend too much time on this simply because there are now too many open access resources to review, but you can check some quick options such as the following:
    1. The Directory of Open Access ebooks https://www.doabooks.org/
    2. Psychology Section on Open Access Resources: https://library.yorkvilleu.ca/psychology/#1513627530891-2345e252-11f6
« Back to Library EncyclopediaLast updated November 5, 2020
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