The guide provides an overview of the specific features of information retrieval in the field of psychology. The information is particularly suitable for students working on their thesis or dissertation, but also for more advanced information seekers who need a revision. General guidance on scientific information seeking can be found in the Library tutorial.

Main type of publications in psychology

  • Most of the psychological research is published in scholarly articles. 

Searching articles

  • Articles on psychology can be found in 1) the discipline's own databases and 2) multidisciplinary databases.
    Also available are 3) article search in JYKDOK and 4) Google Scholar.

For more information on which is suitable for which situation, see below.

1) Psychological databases

PsycINFO (Ebsco)

PsycArticles (Ebsco)

  • More limited full text database than PsycINFO. Includes the key journals in psychology.

Medline (Ovid)

  • contains citations and abstracts to worldwide biomedical literature since the 1950's.

PubMed (Medline)

  • comprises more than 22 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE.

Eric (ProQuest)

  • Database for educational science, with search limitation by e.g. educational level.

Good to know:  Finnish scientific journal 'Psykologia'

2) Multidisciplinary databases

  • Scopus (Elsevier) (subject coverage: life sciences, health sciences, physical sciences, social sciences)
  • JSTOR (subject areas: humanities, social sciences, economics, biology and ecology)
  • Web of Science (Thomson Scientific) (provides 1) Science Citation Index Expanded, 2) Social Sciences Citation Index and 3) Arts & Humanities Citation Index)

In multidisciplinary databases, it is profitable to limit your search on sources in your field.

Multidisciplinary databases give an overview of how much research has been done on a subject. The search results are usually high, because these databases are not, as their name suggests, exclusively focused on psychology.

3) International articles search in JYKDOK

  • Either 1) do a search and select the tab International articles search or 2) before searching, select the International articles search from the JYKDOK home page.
  • You can limit the search results to peer-reviewed articles.

NOTE! Use the JYKDOK article tab for quick searches and when you already know the title of an article and want to find it. More specific searches are done in databases in your field.

4) Google Scholar

  • Despite its name, Google Scholar also contains other than scientific information, so the scientific nature of the search results must always be assessed separately! Results cannot be limited to peer-reviewed publications / articles.
  • NOTE! The number of citations an article has received ('cited by') does not directly indicate its scientific merit and reliability, as the service does not estimate who have done the citing.
  • One way to assess this is to look at where the article was published and check the journal's ranking on the Publication Forum. A scientific journal has a level 1, 2 or 3.

TIP: For remote access, login to JYKDOK with your JYU ID to get more articles to read in Google Scholar instead of colliding the paywall.

Google Scholar can be used as a search gateway alongside the databases.

Finding books

  1. JYKDOK : to find books, go to our collection database (includes e.g. basic works and the text books)
    • Handbook and method guides can be found for example by the search [the name of the discipline] AND "research methodology"
  2. Finna: books not in JYKDOK collection may be found in Finna, which is the union catalogue of Finnish libraries, museums and archives.


Remember that thesis are not used as scientific sources, as they rarely correspond to the level of scientific research.

Information about research methods

Good to know: open access databases or journals

Other tips

Instructions for most common problematic situations (e-books, payment walls etc.)

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