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PSY 242: Forensic Psychology

January 2012
The Research Process

Research is an adventure. It's open-ended, exploratory, surprising, frustrating, and full of blind alleys and interesting side trips. It doesn't have to be lonely. Compare notes with your colleagues and take advantage of the friendly people sitting at the reference desk. We love to help you find what you're looking for.

Professor: Jeff Haun
Librarian: Michelle Twait

Table of Contents:

Choosing a Topic
This can be the most difficult and time-consuming step. Here are some suggestions:
  • Browse through your textbook, use class discussions, personal interests, conversations with friends, and discussions with your professor for ideas.
  • Look at the most recent issues of the
    • Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology - available in Academic Search Premier
    • Open Access Journal of Forensic Psychology - available online
  • Skim the topics (and sub-topics) covered by these encyclopedias:
    • Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology (Ref. BF31 .E52 2010)
    • Gale Encyclopedia of American Law (Ref. F154 .W47 2011)
    • Handbook of Psychology (Ref. BF121 .H1955 2003) -- vol. 11 covers Forensic Psychology
Finding Books
  • MnPALS Plus
    The online catalog to the library at Gustavus Adolphus College. Choose "All MnPALS Libraries" under "Library to Search" to search other MnPALS libraries (such as Minnesota State schools) and request books through Interlibrary loan. See our Guide to MnPALS for instructions. You may want to supplement your use of the catalog with browsing shelf areas for your topic.
Finding Articles
Databases for articles and other materials offer references to publications that may or may not be in this library; some databases offer full text of articles and others simply citations. There are in-depth databases that cover publications in a particular field and others that are interdisciplinary. You can access databases from a drop-down list on the library's main page.
  • Annual Review of Psychology
    Annual Reviews
    Offers review articles on topics in the field. These sort out the published research on a topic, discuss it, and provide references. A good overview of what's going on in the field for the topics covered.
    • Location(s): Current volumes online. Older volumes shelved at BF30.A5
  • PsycINFO
    Citations and abstracts to articles from more than 1300 international journals in psychology and related fields, going back to 1840. This database covers all areas of psychology, including experimental, developmental, communications, social processes and issues, personality, physical and psychological disorders, professional issues, applied psychology, educational psychology, and behavioral literature in such related fields as law, business and medicine. Also includes citations for books and book chapters.
  • Web of Science (Web of Knowledge)
    The Science Citation Index Expanded, the Social Sciences Citation Index, and the Arts & Humanities Citation Index of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). Besides indexing a wide range of journals in the sciences, social sciences, and history, this resource allows you to search for articles that cite a specific author or published work. Coverage from 1997 to the present. Click on the "Web of Science" tab to limit your search to one or more specific citation databases.
Legal Resources
  • LexisNexis Academic
    Search current news, business information (including business news and corporate financials), and legal news and information. International news sources are also included. Note: Click on the "US Legal" tab to search U.S. law reviews and bar journals for scholarly reviews of a variety of legal topics and developments.
    Coverage varies by title; mostly 1980s-present
  • Resources for Law
    A guide to resources for law research from the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.
Finding Journals
  • Journal Locator
    Find out if we subscribe to a particular journal, either online or in print. Paper copies of journals are located in the lower level of the library. If a journal is not available in print or full text at Gustavus, you may request copies of articles through Interlibrary Loan.
Interlibrary Loan
We can order books and articles from other libraries if you need something we don't have.

Citing Your Sources
  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
    American Psychological Association 2010 6th edition
    This manual sets out the APA's style rules and guidelines. The APA also provides an APA Style website at
    • Location(s): Ready Ref BF76.7 .P83 2010
  • Avoiding Plagiarism
    If you're confused about whether you should cite a source or not, take a look at this explanation of plagiarism from Purdue's Online Writing Lab (OWL).
Contacting Michelle
I am happy to discuss your research questions with you. Contact me via e-mail at or call me at x7563.

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