Research Guide for

PSYC 1100 Psychology in Modern Life (Cikanek)


Find Articles

In these databasesyou will find the scholarly articles you need for research.

Articles on psychology topics from journals published by the APA (American Psychological Association).

Google Scholar

Search for academic articles on publisher and other websites. When you use this link to connect to Google Scholar through the Library, your search results will include links to articles available in Normandale Library databases whenever possible. Look for the "Article @ Normandale Lib." links to access the full article through the Library.

Note: Not all articles in your search results will be available through the Library. Need an article we don’t have? Submit an interlibrary loan request.

Find an Article from a Major News Org

ProQuest News & Newspapers

News articles from U.S. newspapers. Includes the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Star Tribune, and many local newspapers.

Types of Sources

Within the broad discourse of a field, there are many different kinds of sources. In academic writing, we usually divide sources into academic or scholarly sources, and popular sources. One central difference is that academic and scholarly sources go through a process called peer review, while popular sources do not.

What is the difference between scholarly sources and popular sources? The Georgetown University Library has a good comparison between the two here.

Popular Sources
  • Written by non-experts for a general audience, oftentimes journalists or popular writers
  • If an article, published in popular magazines or newspapers (Time, Popular Mechanics, The New York Times) or, if a book, by popular publishing houses (Penguin, Random House)
  • Not edited or reviewed by experts before publication
  • Often contain no references
  • Often have advertising or look flashy and eye-catching
Scholarly Sources
  • Written by experts (usually professors) for an academic audience
  • If an article, published in an academic journal (The Journal of Academic Emergency Medicine, PMLA, The New England Journal of Medicine) or, if a book, by an academic or university press (Routledge, Oxford University Press)
  • If an article, will undergo peer review (see below)
  • Edited and reviewed by other experts before publication
  • Contain references
  • Have minimal or no advertising; look very plain.

What is peer review? The publisher Elsevier has a good overview here. Peer review a process where an academic article is reviewed and edited before it is published in an academic journal. This is a unique process that isn't done by any other type of publication. The article is reviewed by other experts in the field, usually other professors or working professionals. If it doesn't meet high academic standards or contains bad information, it is sent back to the author for revision, or outright rejected. This process ensures that only the best articles are published by academic journals.

Within scholarly sources, there is also the distinction between primary sources and secondary sources. Within the sciences, this is offen the difference between original research and reviews. The BMCC library has a good overview of the difference between primary and secondary sources here

Primary Research/Original Research
  • Experiments, clinical trials, original research conducted by the authors.
  • Contains sections about methodology, materials, results, and discussion.

Secondary Sources/Reviews
  • Reviews and interprets someone else's original research.
  • Summarizes multiple different studies.
  • Does not contain methodology, results, or discussion sections.

Evaluate Source Credibility

Evaluate each source you use with CAPPS!
Consider the source's –
C = Currency
A = Author
P = Publication
P = Point of View
S = Sources

More info about CAPPS pdf

Understand & Evaluate Your Sources

How to search APA PsycNet Database: 

How to identify a scholarly article:


How to read a scholarly article:



Ask a Librarian

Call, e-mail, or chat with a librarian for more research assistance. We're happy to help!

  (952) 358-8290


Luke MosherReference and Instruction

Note: Your chat question may be directed to a librarian from another college when Normandale librarians are unavailable.


As you write your paper, you'll need to cite passages and ideas from the sources you've found. Check with your professor which style is preferred for your class or subject matter.

Access Our Databases from Anywhere

Online Library Access Info
To access databases and other Library resources, login with your StarID and password when prompted.  Access is only available to current Normandale students and employees.


Get More Articles and Books

Interlibrary Loan
If there are books and/or articles that you need for your research that Normandale Library does not own, you can request them through Interlibrary Loan. It usually takes from 3 to 5 days for the requested material to arrive at Normandale Library. This service is free to faculty, staff, and students.

Blank Request Form (StarID login)