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Early Connection Opportunity (ECO) Program, 2023: Psychology

Learning outcome

Agenda: Discuss our experience with research, practice coming up with search terms, practice the advanced search to find relevant research, have fun and learn something new!

Objective: You will be utilizing these research skills in your classes to write papers, complete projects, and to begin your career after college! These foundational research skills are the beginning of the type of research and knowledge that you will be using throughout your college and professional careers. 

You will be able to: 

  • create a research question
  • identify key words within that question
  • generate synonyms for those key words
  • utilize these key words in the advanced search 
  • locate an article that's relevant to your research question


Library Session Activity


1. After watching this video about gender stereotypes and STEM skills, take a minute to think about an aspect of this topic that you might research using the library's DiscoverUR. Jot a few notes for yourself about potential search terms. You can use this worksheet to organize your thoughts:

2. Next, turn to the person next to you or find a partner in the class and spend 3 minutes discussing both of your potential topics and search terms. Add notes from this conversation to your worksheet.

3. Experiment with DiscoverUR to see what you can find on your topic. On your worksheet, note one relevant resource you found and one question you have. Be ready to share these out with the class.

Advanced Searching

Advanced Searching

Let's say you want to do a research project on girls perceptions of STEM. 

Research Question: How do gender stereotypes affect girls' career goals? 

Keywords: girls, STEM

! TIP: Using synonyms is great to find relevant articles! 

Using AND, OR, NOT

AND is used when you want to include two things together. In this case, we are looking for girls AND STEM

OR is used for any synonyms you come up with. For example, girls AND (STEM OR science). 

NOT is used to exclude any terms that are clogging up your research. In this case, we want to look at girls and STEM. If many of the results we're getting talk about nursing, we can exclude any result about nursing by writing girls AND (STEM OR science) NOT nursing. 

Quotes and Asterisks

The quotes ("") will keep a phrase together. This is useful in the case here of "gender roles" where we want to ensure that those two words appear next to each other. 

The asterisk (*) will search variations of a keyword. For example, stereotyp* would include stereotype, stereotypes, stereotypical, stereotypically... 

Next Steps After the Library Session

I encourage you to watch the following three short videos after the library session. They will help you prepare to utilize library resources to find more information related to the articles you will be discussing in your Psychology class.

Once you've had a chance to watch the videos, visit the Psychology Research Guide to use the database APA PsycINFO or discover other useful resources to help you complete your research. 

If you need research help, feel free to email or schedule an appointment to meet with me.

Brainstorming Search Terms

Finding a Library Database

Searching APA PsycINFO

Your Psychology Librarian

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Andrea Kingston
Learning Initiatives
Rush Rhees Library, Rm. 106
755 Library Rd, Rochester, NY 14627

Learning Initiatives Librarian

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Claire Pitcairn