Psychology: Home

Psychology [Adapted from Roel Wijnants, 'Light of the moon by Igor Mitoraj', Image source: flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/roel1943/7086631475/, CC BY-NC 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/]

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Essentials

The Library Catalogue can be a good place to start. Use the Catalogue to search across much of the material in the Library's collection.

Depending on what you need to find, and how comprehensive you need to be in your search, you may also need to use specialised databases.

Top tips for the supersearcher


Reflect and planMap [tzunghaor, 'treasure map', CC License: CC0 1.0 http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/, Image Source: Open Clip Art Library http://www.openclipart.org/detail/120607/treasure-map-by-tzunghao]"

Planning your search can save time by helping you to find appropriate, relevant material more quickly.

  • What do you already know about your topic? What do you need to explore further
  • Do you need a particular type of information? For example: first-person account or historical overview, policy documents or peer-reviewed articles on the most current research, an early theorist's originThe Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychologyal writings...? 
  • Define key terms using a subject-specific reference such as a dictionary or encylopedia
  • What relevant theories apply to your topic?
  • A general overview of the topic or an aspect of the topic can be a good starting point - use your readings and reference/introductory books
  • Have tutors, lecturers or other students recommended author names/publication titles?
  • If you need up-to-date facts and figures, try a reliable website
  • Which parts of your argument need references as supporting evidence?

The search terms you use can make a big difference to what you find

  • What are the key concepts/ideas in your topic? The key concepts will help you to decide which 'keywords' to use when searching
  • What alternative terms and synonyms might help to find relevant material? Consider:
    • alternative spellings (e.g. counseling OR counselling)
    • professional and discipline-specific vocabulary
    • how different people might refer to the same idea (e.g. representation OR portrayal OR depiction)
    • changes in language over time (e.g. "bipolar disorder" OR "manic depression")

Defining key terms and reading brief overviews of key aspects (e.g. theories) with which you are unfamiliar will help you to locate appropriate resources and put together your response to an assessment.

The Library has many reference and introductory works. The following are examples.

Be cautious with

  • works published overseas (e.g. UK or US)
  • older works

These may contain policy or legislative references not applicable to the Australian environment, or now out-of-date.

Find the 'right' information


Do you need scholarly information? Is what you have located relevant and reliable? Are you uncertain whether to use the information you have found?

These guides will help in locating scholarly information and evaluating what you find.

Save and organise your references


Save time by capturing the details of your references.

This will help you to:

  • find resources again
  • put together your bibliographies with the required details
  • create a personal 'library' of references to use throughout your studies and professional practice

Most search tools - including the Library Catalogue, Google Scholar, and databases such as Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts allow you to easily save the details of references of interest. No need to write these down or copy and paste - create your own 'library' of references with a few clicks!Watch the Library video 'Manage your references: tools to help you' [Image source: UniSA Library]

There are tools that will help you do this. Use EndNote or RefWorks to organise your references and create bibliographies.

Before using these tools, you will need to learn the basics of the referencing style (e.g. Harvard UniSA, APA) that you have been asked to use.

Need advice on writing or presenting? Not sure how to organise your ideas

Study Help [Image source: UniSA]

  • Assignments - how to approach different types of assignments e.g. essays, reports, case studies, literature reviews
  • Discipline-specific resources for the Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences
  • Referencing forum - a place for all UniSA students to discuss referencing, share questions and answers, and ask for advice from Learning Advisers

The Library collection also includes many resources on academic writing and study skills - example search

Unsure when it's appropriate to cite, how to paraphrase, or determine what is 'common knowledge'?

Take a look at this interactive tutorial from Eastern Michigan University Library:

'Understanding Plagiarism' [Eastern Michigan University Library interactive tutorial, CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/deed.en_US]

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Related guides

You may find these other UniSA Subject Guides of interest:

Social Work and Human Services | Sociology | Human Resource Management | Indigenous Cultures and Australian Society |

Ask the Library

Information research skills video series

Video cover imageFundamentals:The search process | Choosing where to search | Using the Library Catalogue | 'Scholarly' and 'peer reviewed'
Intermediate: Quick tips for the supersearcher | Databases: introduction | Getting started with PsycINFO
Advanced: Searching for your literature review

Ask the Team

Academic Library Services team - Division of EASS