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Psychology Courses & Research

What is a Reference Source?

Reference Sources are an excellent place to start seeking information!

  1. They serve as a credible introduction to your topic, issue, or concern.
  2. They help you to identify critical issues connected with a topic.
  3. They clarify unfamiliar dates or terms, pinpoint key themes, and assist in constructing a searchable vocabulary for your topic.
  4. Most reference sources (at least those in academic reference collections) are written by experts in the field selected for their topical knowledge. You can often search for additional research by the scholars who author or edit the materials.
  5. Most list recommended sources or further readings on the topics discussed.  

Academic libraries buy or subscribe to a LOT of reference resources. They are a reputable starting point to launch questions that narrow your focus.

Online Reference Sources

Annual Reviews

Annual Reviews has provided researchers with a definitive academic resource in 44 scientific disciplines, including psychology, clinical psychology, public health, sociology, etc. since 1932.

They synthesize the vast amount of primary research literature and identify the principal contributions in included fields. Editorial committees comprised of the most distinguished scholars in the discipline select all topics for review, and the articles are written by authors who are recognized experts in the field.

The summaries include keywords, an abstract, an introduction to the topic addressed, and include extensive lists of cited literature.

Here is a tutorial that covers website features, and how to navigate, access, and search effectively across Annual Reviews content.

Print Reference Sources

These are examples of the type of reference materials available in print--they are located in either the reference collection (on 1st floor) or in the stacks (1st floor).

Find them by limiting the online catalog to the location "Reference Collection" and typing in appropriate keywords.

Vogel Library, Wartburg College   |   100 Wartburg Blvd, Waverly, IA, 50677 |   Phone: 319-352-8500   | Email: asklibrarian@wartburg.edu