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Reminder: Online Access

  • Library resources require going through CWRU Single Sign-On.
  • The best method is to follow links from the library website.
  • When logged in and a browser window is not closed, access should continue from resource to resource.
  • Remember to close your browser when done.

Comprehensive Online Resources

Searching for Reference Collections

University-level libraries offer a wide variety of topical and subject specific reference collections.  Many of the entries for terminology, key concepts and topics, people, ...etc. in these works include multi-page essays and bibliographies.  Make sure to take full advantage of these collections, both in print and online.

Types of reference works include:

  • topical encyclopedias
  • biographical dictionaries
  • directories (for people and associations)
  • historical atlases and almanacs
  • subject handbooks
  • subject guides
  • statistical compendium
  • subject bibliographies

Use the names of reference types in keyword searches to find the sections of Case Libraries reference collection that address your topic.

  • Online catalog keyword search example = (“encyclopedia/dictionary/handbook”) + (research topic keywords)

If the reference source is not available electronically, make sure to note the call number and location of the print reference source in the catalog entry.  It will be one of these three designations:

  • "Reference" (KSL 1st floor)
  • "Check Shelves" (KSL 3rd floor)

Conducting A Literature Review

Evidence Based Research

Research Tips and Strategies

Strategy 1 - Consult reference materials

Strategy 2 - Gather keywords, terminology and concepts
 from citations and abstracts

Strategy 3 - Focus your research

  • Look in specialized indexes
  • Apply search limits
  • Search within key journals

Strategy 4 - Look for key authors/researchers in the field

Strategy 5 - Consult recent literature reviews in the field

Psychology Reference Examples

Specialized & Interdisciplinary Databases

Additional databases to Consider

Truncation and Phrase Searching in Catalogs and Databases


Truncation is represented by an asterisk (*). To use truncation, enter the root of a search term and replace the ending with an asterisk, and EBSCOhost will search for all variations of that word.

For example, type comput* to find the words computer or computing.


Phrase Searching can be a useful way of narrowing searches to more relevant results by having the database search for an exact phrase, instead of a set of terms that appear in the same record but may not be situated together. 

For example, searching the phrase "social psychology", using quotation marks, will return only those database records which contain this exact phrase.

CWRU Libraries Discovery