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Behavioral Science: Find Scholarly Articles

Keywords Are Key!

moon with misty clouds in front

Image by RSvB is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

When you search in academic databases including MCC Library OneSearch, keywords give you the best search results. Next time you search, instead of typing in a long phrase such as "all the research that shows evidence to prove there's no life on the moon,"  try keywords.

A better search about lunar life would use keywords and look like this:

"life on the moon" and research

How to find peer-reviewed journal articles

In the peer-review process, in addition to a journal's editorial staff reading a submitted article, a panel of the author's peers who work or do research in the same field also read the article to verify that the work meets the standards of that field. 

To limit your search results to peer reviewed articles, look for a box to check on the results page. It might be in different locations for different databases:

An example in the search results page:           An example on the search box page:       

Search results example                    Search box example                     

Sometimes when you look at an article there is an indication of whether the journal is peer reviewed, but sometimes you might have to Google the journal -- you can look for "About" or "Submission Guidelines" on an journal's website to see if they use peer review when accepting articles. If you're still not sure, ask a librarian or your professor. We are glad to help!

How to Read a Scholarly Article

You do not have to read every word of a scholarly article--especially at first. Start with the abstract, then scan the introduction. This 5 minute video outlines a strategy for reading scholarly articles.

Kinds of Information in Behavioral Science

For your Behavioral Science courses, you will usually be asked to find sources for your papers that report on research in the field. These kinds of sources might be called primary, empirical, or original research in your assignments. They are usually also peer-reviewed (see information on this page).  In some assignments faculty ask for academic, evidence-based, or scientific sources. 

No matter what your assignment says, you can tell if the articles you find include the information you need by looking for a methodology or methods section that explains how the study was designed and carried out, and a section that presents the results or findings. In some assignments faculty ask for academic or scientific sources. 

You can add keywords to your search to find this kind of information, such as:

method* -- this will find method, methods, methodology

(result* or find*) -- this will find either result, results, find, or findings

If you need help finding the right kind of information, ask a librarian!

Selected Databases

The following MCC Library databases contain many behavioral science publications:

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