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Top Psychology Databases

Top Psychology Journals

What are Scholoary or Peer Reviewed Articles?

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Sometimes called scholarly, peer-reviewed, academic, or even "refereed', these terms all refer to journals that require review by a group of experts in the field before an article can be published. These experts are looking for things like appropriate methodology, proper research and citations, advancements to the field, etc. These articles are typically for other scholars with a high level of knowledge in the area of publication. The purpose is typically to advance the field of study and share developments made by scholars.

Look for the option in databases to narrow your search by peer-reviewed, scholarly, or ‘refereed’

Learn more about the process video from the University of Kansas: Peer Review In Three Minutes

Other kinds of articles

Popular articles are written for a general audience. These articles can inform, entertain, give the opinions of individuals, talk about current events, sell products, or generate money. News, magazines, blogs, social media, TV shows, opinion articles, and many kinds of websites fit into this category.

Trade or professional journals are intended to share practice information with professionals and practitioners in a profession. These articles are usually chosen for publication by an editor and not a group of experts. They may also include advertisements and flashy images that you don't usually see in peer-reviewed journals.

Searching with Keywords

Library databases don't search using full sentences. Instead, use keywords to search to get the best result. Keywords are the essential words in your research question that focus on the main concepts you are interested in. Other words are non-essential to searching. The keywords are highlighted in the research question below:

Research question: What is the connection between race and police brutality?

Connecting words and other search tricks

Using connecting words like AND, OR, & NOT can help you find what you are looking for. 

  • use AND to connect terms that you that are all needed
    • race AND police brutality
  • use OR to search for synonyms and related terms
    • race OR ethnicity OR racism OR minorities
    • police brutality OR excessive force OR police shootings
  • use NOT to exclude terms that are unwanted
    • police brutality NOT riots
  • use quotation marks "" around phrases to get exact results
    • "use of force"

Learn more about using and generating keywords with this tutorial from Cal State University Dominguez Hills: Developing Keywords

Google Scholar

Multicolor Google Scholar logo

With Google Scholar you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites.

Be sure to link Google Scholar to the Cal State LA Library to get free access to many library resources. To do this from the Google Scholar homepage, click on Settings in the upper-right corner, or from the menu. Click on "Library Links" on the left. Type in "CSULA" or  "Cal State Los Angeles" and then check the box that says "Cal State LA - Find it @ Cal State LA". Now your results will link to the library's resources. 

Google scholar settings with Cal State LA options checked

Arrow pointing to link on right-side of article info for "find it @ Cal State LA"

Get Articles Cal State LA Doesn't Have


If you find a journal article that is relevant to you, but the library doesn't have access to, we can get it for you from another library!

Steps to Request:

  1. Search your favorite Library Database for articles
  2. If you find an article with no full-text, click the "find it" button to check for access across all of the Library's holdings
  3. If we do not have access, you will see the message No Access Found
  4. Log into your library account using your MyCalStateLA info
  5. The request link will appear
  6. Log into your ILL account
  7. Review the form and submit
  8. The typical processing time is 1 business day, but may take up to 10 business days for hard to find items

Article record in a database

OneSearch view with link to article






Open Access Journals

Open-Access journals are journals that do not require a paid subscription to access, and are open to anyone to read.

John F. Kennedy Memorial Library
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8300