Search Terms and Examples

For primary research, include relevant terms in your search, such as report, research, "purpose of the study", experiment, survey, etc.

Browse the broader, narrower and related terms in the thesaurus or subject terms for more targeted results and to see relationship between various topics.

Search Examples:


Combine keywords and subjects when searching. Search multiple subjects.combine previous searches or add new terms to a previous search.

Use Database Limiters:
In psychology databases, use the limiters listed on the advanced search page to refine your search and eliminate the need for including variant spellings or related terms in your search.

For example, your search may include multiple terms, such as < adolescent OR teen OR young adult or youth >, but do the terms represent different age? If so, which is needed for your research? Using the limiter in opens new windowAPA PsycARTICLES can target articles for a specific Age Group, as shown below.
PsycArticles Limiter

Date, Scholarly Peer-Reviewed, Full Text and other limiters can be used to further refine your search.

Evaluate Sources

Evaluate your resources for authority, timeliness, and relevance.

What are the assignment requirements? While searching, limit your resources to peer-reviewed, scholarly articles. Set date restrictions for current articles and research.

Is the article a primary or secondary source? What type of research or methodology is demonstrated, if any? (theoretical study, case study, cause and effect experiment, survey, etc.)