The research process

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine who teaches history at the university level. I asked him what he felt the greatest failure of high school programs is. His response surprised me. He said that it discouraged him that after two years of a course in IB history, that when asked to do a paper, the students first recourse was Google. They had no idea which sites to visit, which authors to consult, which strategies to employ. They went to Google as any other person not educated in the field would do. This made me think about how I could help students to "start smarter" in their research.

Many students strongly believe that Google is the answer to everything. Sadly, a lot of resources that students use to support their EE arguments are not academic, and some are even of very dubious credibility. Students may, of course, use books - but many schools do not have the budgets to stock a good psychology section on the library.

One place to start is Google Scholar. Another option is a professional database like EBSCO or Psychinfo. However, there is a wealth of other options out there where students can begin their research. Here are some useful links to get started.

Online sources for EE

Bad Science The blog by Dr Ben Goldacre - the scientist who relentlessly try to expose ‘bad science’. A site that can give ideas of what constitutes good science and how to use critical thinking.

The BPS Research Journal provides brief accounts of psychological research from The British Psychological Society

Find Articles - a generic database that has free online access.

Generally Thinking is a psychology database of research articles.

Mindhacks. A site with a description of many interesting research studies in psychology and references as well.

The Psychologist is an excellent online magazine with a lot of recent research. You can also search their archives.

Science daily provides brief accounts of research in many areas of interest for psychology, but mostly in relation to the biological level of analysis.

Scientific American Mind. Most of the focus is on cognitive and biological research. The short articles are good fodder for research questions!

Wiley Interscience is very similar to Science Daily, but fewer articles are available for free.

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