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Illinois Tech Library Guides

Psychology

Use this guide to find resources in industrial/organizational psychology, rehabilitation psychology, and clinical psychology, plus course-specific information.

Source examples

Tertiary sources (generally okay to use, but may not have much information for these topics)

Secondary sources (DO use sources like these!)

How recent? The more recent, the better, but all sources can take time to published. Sources older than 5 years should not generally be used unless you are discussing a historical section.

Primary sources (don't use sources like these!)

Searching for appropriate sources

This assignment presents a unique challenge because you should NOT cite to or use empirical articles (primary sources). nstead, secondary sources that have come to a general consensus on a topic should be used.The best way to tell if an article is a primary source is to check the Methodology section; a primary source will describe a very specific and narrow population while a secondary source that summarizes several sources will explain the process for locating articles. Statistics from a reliable source may be used, although statistics are generally considered primary sources.

 

Remember that Open Access articles are preferred. You can filter for Open Access in the left "Limit To" box on the left, but doing so might limit your results too much.

Search for your term, then use the Review and Systematic Reviews filter on the left. Note that just adding the types to the article types to the menu is not sufficient, there must be a blue check next to the name:

Other guidelines

From the Wikipedia Identifying reliable sources page, here are some other guidelines to consider:

  • best sources are typically no more than 5 years old, except for medical textbooks which may be a bit older
  • the source should provide an overview of the current understanding of the topic and combine the results of several studies
  • the source should have been published independently of the research

Avoiding plagiarism and copyright issues

In addition to not plagiarizing material, there are also copyright concerns with Wikipedia. Remember to follow these basic guidelines:

  • Every claim should have a citation.
  • Even with citations, don't use close paraphrasing - that can be a copyright issue. Put things in your own words that are sufficiently different than the original text, and still cite to the source!
  • Use quotes if needed. If there isn't a good way to paraphrase in a sufficiently original manner, use short quotes and include citations.