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Industrial & Organizational Psychology - Vancouver: Research Process

Get Research Help

Doing research is hard! If you need help getting started, are feeling stuck, or just want to talk it over, contact the Vancouver librarian for help.

The Research Process

How to start your research

STEP 1 - State your research question

  • Use a Venn Diagram to map out your topic
  • Choose a topic that is appropriate to the scope of your research
  • Think of your professional / academic / personal interests
  • Find gaps in the existing literature

STEP 2 - Choose Keywords for Search

  • Identify your key ideas and other ways to phrase them
  • Identify broader, narrower, and related terms
  • Look in encyclopedias and handbooks
  • Find gaps in the existing research

STEP 3 - Choose databases

  • Consider subject specific databases (like APA PsychINFO)
  • Or mutli-disciplinary databases (like Academic Search Complete)
  • Consider what subjects you are researching
  • Consider filter options for databases
  • If you aren't getting results in one database, try another

STEP 4 - Locate Sources

  • Use databases' subject headings (like MeSH)
  • Refine your topic based on search results
  • Use the bibliographies on relevant sources to find other articles
  • Check out this guide for more tips

STEP 5 - Expand / narrow search

  • If you are finding too many sources, try narrowing your search
  • If you are finding no sources, try expanding your search
  • You don't need to change your research topic, just the scope of your search

STEP 6 - Record Citations

  • Keep track of the articles you found
  • Write down the keywords you used
  • Use citation management tools
  • Follow APA guidelines
  • Determine if the articles you have found are relevant to your work
  • Use ACT UP to help assess the information