Today we’d like to highlight one of our APA Style CENTRAL® handouts, “Research Lab Book: Develop My Research Idea” (PDF, 599K). Please feel free to link to this handout where students, faculty, and researchers will find it!
APA Style CENTRAL’s Research Lab Book is a suite of tools to help you plan and document your research process. Develop My Research Idea guides you through developing a research idea that is neither too broad nor too narrow. Appropriate for use with original research or a literature review, this 5-step approach walks you through a structured framework for brainstorming your interests, identifying a specific topic, developing a research question, elaborating on the details of that question, and clarifying your expectations about the outcome of your research.
When you’re done, you’ll be ready to search for relevant literature and begin considering your study design.
Undergraduates and others who can benefit from a more structured way of formulating a research topic will find this tool helpful.
Faculty and writing instructors can also use these steps individually or in combination as Continue reading →
It’s Tutorial Tuesday! In this series, we explore APA’s library of video tutorials available on the PsycINFO® YouTube channel and the APA Style CENTRAL® YouTube channel. Please feel free to link to or embed our videos in your library websites or LibGuides, course management systems, or other locations where students, faculty, and researchers will find them.
How can you be sure you are finding the best results for your search?
By using the best search terms! The APA Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms (“APA Thesaurus”) contains the controlled vocabulary that APA uses to describe and categorize all content indexed in PsycINFO. This resource is regularly updated to include new and changing terminology for topics in the behavioral sciences, and you can put it to work for you!
Using the APA Thesaurus helps you eliminate “noise” from your search and retrieve the most relevant results by revealing the best search terms for your topic. The APA Thesaurus is a valuable tool for students new to research or any researcher who is new to a topic area and may not yet know the best terminology for searching.
This brief video (2:40 minutes) demonstrates the benefits of using the APA Thesaurus when searching databases on the APA PsycNET platform, and includes:
Examples of recent terminology updates to the APA Thesaurus;
How to access the APA Thesaurus when crafting a search;
Using the APA Thesaurus to find related terms for narrowing or expanding your search;
Discovering index terms for broader concepts that encompass your research topic and make searching more efficient; and
Uncovering additional search terms you may not have considered.
This tutorial is a great resource to link from a LibGuide or course module for any class working with APA Databases on APA PsycNET, and can be helpful in answering email or chat reference questions.
The previous version of this tutorial will remain available, but if you have embedded or linked to it anywhere, we encourage you to update your materials with the link to this new version.
APA Style CENTRAL’s Writing Center was designed to be flexible, offering a wealth of tools to help you manage the process of writing your paper or manuscript. Understanding that users often have different needs at different times, this resource shares how the display can be configured to accommodate your workflow preferences while you are writing your paper.
Details in the handout include:
Three (3) options for temporarily hiding the left navigation menu to maximize the amount of horizontal viewing space while you are working on your paper;
How to collapse the References pane and/or expand the Writing/Editing pane to increase the vertical display of paper text;
Activating full-screen mode; and
The “Find and Cite Reference” tool for creating an in-text citation when your References pane is hidden — or even when you just want to quickly cite your work without having to scroll down past the Writing/Editing pane to access the “References” tab.
These options can be activated while you are working on a paper. Default settings are restored whenever you exit the paper, log out, or otherwise begin a new browser session.
Want to learn more? You’ll find this handout on our APA Style CENTRAL® Handouts and Guides page, where we continue to add handouts and documentation for users and administrators as they become available.
Do you have a “how-to” question about APA Style CENTRAL or some aspect of it you’d like to know more about? Please let us know!