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Popular press articles
Popular press articles are written for a general (aka "popular") audience, as contrasted with academic articles, which are written for a specialized audience of academics. For more information on popular press sources, please view the characteristics of magazines found in our What is a scholarly (or peer-reviewed) journal? guide.
Empirical research sources
There are several ways to find empirical research about your topic. (To review the criteria of a scholarly article, please see our guide, What is a scholarly (or peer-reviewed) journal?)
In some cases, a particular news article refers to a specific original study. In these cases, usually, the information about the study mentioned in a newspaper or magazine article or television show is pretty limited. You might only know the name of the author and the journal title, rather than the full citation. Nevertheless, you might still have enough information to track that original study down. In these cases, you can try the following approaches:
- Check the general SFU Library Search -- put in the information you do have. You may need to try different combinations of keywords.
- Google can be useful for finding the full information about an article. For search hints, see How to Use Google Search More Effectively (Short version: use quotation marks to search a phrase! e.g. "how good are fish oils")
- Google Scholar -- access Google via the Library's website to ensure you see the "Where can I get this?" links that will take you to full-text SFU offers
- If a newspaper article mentions a study from Statistics Canada, chances are that it was mentioned in The Daily, Statistics Canada's news release site -- check Daily issues near the date of the article or television show
To find original empirical research on your topic in general without a specific study in mind, an excellent approach is to search the subject-specific databases:
- Check a subject index such as PsycINFO, the major index for psychology and psychological aspects of related disciplines. For search tips, please see:
- Quick Reference Guide
- PsycINFO tutorials found on PsycINFO's YouTube channel, notably,
- Sample PsycINFO search on EBSCOhost
- Using the methodology limiter in PsycINFO on EBSCOhost (to narrow to empirical studies)
- View some of the Library's self-guided library tutorials
- If SFU does NOT subscribe to the journal you wish to access, you can request the article for free from Interlibrary Loans.
Useful resources, and where to get more help
The Thesaurus section of PsycINFO (at top of the main search page) is also a useful source of definitions of psychological terms
Student Learning Commons
Workshops at all campuses -- free
Ask a Librarian in person, via chat, etc.
Cite your research!
- Citation Guide: APA SFU library guide
- Publication manual of the American Psychological Association [print]
- APA style help from APA
- American Psychological Association (APA) Format from Purdue University