Class work: Comparing PsycINFO and Google search engines

searching for “educational system in America”

Google scholar: came back with the result of 3.2 mil. hits.

CSA web: came up with 249 publications


Google: searched instead of “Find articles with all of the words” i used a different field to “Find articles with all of the words with the exact phrase” which narrowed their result to about 245 articles, yest CES web showed a structure to the searched results.

CSA WEB: showed scholarly journals, peer reviewed, books and chapter essays – it clustered the subject into categories that could help narrowing the results to a specific area – books, journals, or peer reviews.  CSA showed the Database and Descriptors field to the right of each search hit.


database field in CSA Web showed PsycINFO – database

descriptors: taggs that further would describe the subject of the article, and by reading those, one can make sense of what is in the article.  Goggle does not provide those.  here is where PsycINFO and Google part ways.


further searching on the subject: i tend to like Google scholar for its “quickness”  – i just typed up the phrase and was able to narrow the topic to my subject.   adanced search in PsycINFO is meant to be searched by the professionals who know the vocabulary better, I would probably find myself not able to orient myself through the searched results.

Reading Response to: “Publish, Then Filter”

“Here Comes Everybody,” Chapter 4 reflection:

The chapter begins by saying that  “media landscape is transofrmed, because personal communication and publishing, previously separate functions” are now merging together.  The media landscape becomes more miscellaneous.  The problem is that bad filtering is mixed with good.  In other words, “bad” miscellany clogs up the internet.

Peronal postings, messages, twitts, in-joke photos, and other “user generated content” seem like a bad information that we are better off without.  The argument is that this is not really a “bad” information and it is not addressed to the millions of users, instead, in the sea of misc. is simply not intended for everyone to read.  Public is not writing it for you.

Internet is like a public place.  One can sit in a park and hear a group of friends talk to each other few feet away.  The cyberspace is a public park also.  Most information that is generated is not even a content, it is just a way of communication with one another.

Communications media is a one-to-one pattern, where one talks another listens, and the other way around.  Broadcast media is one source to many recipients.  Today’s communication technology is changing and evolving and the traditional ways are “evaporating”  Social media networks are the cause to that.  It is important for us to understand what we are seeing and not mix up apples and oranges.

Fame Happens.  It is obvious that we now are able to accept mayors and city council members as well as famous celebrities to our blogs, posts and pages, and, more than ever we are closer to those people, but… not really… even though these webblogs and pages democratized and socialized the community, the fame the social factor, kept the one-way communication because, simply there are too many inputs from the audience that it is simply impossible to return the favor to all. But with a small groups and social communities, the egalitarianism is possible.

Filtering a tool for Communities of Practice.  We so got used to the physical order of things, we can’t stand the messiness of the new media.  But in all  that mess, we enable ourselves to do more and better things, to share and to  find, to create and to consume.  I loved the way this paragraph ended is by mentioning that in the past “little things happen for love, big things happen for money.”  Well, today we can do big things for love.

Revolution and Coevolution.  Today we live in an era of increased  “expressive capability”  More of us can communicate out to and receive from others.  Today we can instantly communicate with the other side of the world only with a split-second delay.  The new technology to a modern society presents us with a challenge, at the same time making new things possible.  If enough things that were previously impossible today are possible, that is revolutionary.  Owning a TV does not make us to be able to create television programs, but owning a computer, makes us create and receive a vast amounts of content.

Reading Response to: “Psychology Journal Articles”

Reflection on the readings.

This chapter begins with talking about research and peer review process.  Psychologists prefer to use a quality research because it is done by peer review process, which is a careful and meticulous process of reviewing and contributing to the thought process on the works of professionals by other professionals in a particular field of study.

Such quality research can be seen in PsycINFO and PA, that contains citations and summaries of variety of works.  PycINFO is invaluable tool to researches in psychology as it includes a powerful search engine which could customize particular search in a variety of ways.  That sorting of information not only helps to search for, but also to create infrastructure for sorting the information.

With time, published psychology literature was subdivided into several categories: 1. periodicals, articles and reviews, 2. books and chapters, 3. doctoral dissertations, 4. research & tech report, 5. letters, corrections, editorials, obituaries.

Prior to explaining the science of searching, authors talk about definitions of self.  “I think, therefore I am”  popped in my head.  What does “self” mean, what does “self” represent.  “Self is a psychological concept.” (p. 57)  According to its thesis chapter focuses on gender definitions of self “to illustrate the search for journal research literature in psychology.” Mouth-full!

First we read about Field-Restricted approach to searching the database by two names of the author and  the year of publication to which they yield several citations, one of which is their “target article.”  The article provides additional information such as bibliography, title, institution affiliation, publication information, year, moth, volume, pages, ISSN, brief abstract, data about abstract, and information about the subject content.

Subject Approach.  By reviewing the article found in a search we come up with the table of search terms and phrases,to follow up with the keyword search using truncation and wild-card features of the interface, which allows us to search “plural forms of words with variant spellings.”  For example behav* will retrieve all words for behavior: behaving, behaviors, behavioral, etc.

Thesaurus Search is a different approach which uses thesaurus index terms of the field of study, which is a pre-made list of terms that help reflect your topic.  Thesaurus also helps to find topics that are related to each other.

The other way to find related articles is to search the cited articles and reference lists.

Using psychological abstracts is more limited as one can only search by author and/or by subject.


Electronic Document Retrieval.  There are two way to access the information: 1. Libraries subscribe to the titles the same way as to the printed materials. 2. Linking the article’s citation to its full text.

In conclusion, the world is changing, so does the information.  More sources are available today electronically then they ever have.  In the PA one can search using subject, author, abstract.  PsycINFO contains all of the features of the first and much more, such as keword, abstract search, links, and more.