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Psychology and Counseling: Getting Started

This guide will lead you to some starting points in your psychology research. (Including resources in Chinese / 含中文資料)

What are reference sources?

Reference sources are online or printed encyclopedias, dictionaires, atlases or any other source that is designed to provide a concise yet authoratative overview of a topic of research.

Reference sources are excellent sources to use when you are starting your research, because they provide:

  • general background information
  • brief and factual overviews
  • explanations of terminology and definitions of terms
  • a list of authors who are experts in the field
  • bibliographies of sources for further reading

What about Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is an online resource that can be edited by anyone who has access to the internet.

It has been subject to much criticism by librarians and faculty in academia because:

  • there are no guarantees that the writer(s) of the articles are qualified to write about the subject matter
  • there is the real possibility that the author(s) could post misleading information
  • the lack of any quality controls of the content in Wikipedia (i.e. fact-checking)

Wikipedia does have its good points:

  • the content in Wikipedia is updated on a continual basis
  • it does provide introductory information to a topic
  • the bibliographies at the end of the articles do oft-times lead to authoratative resources

Because of its open nature Wikipedia is still held in much suspect by the majority of librarians and scholars.

If you decide to use any resources found in a Wikipedia bibliography you should make sure that that resource is authoratative.

For more information on assessing online resource, please see the "Evaluating a Website" page.

Welcome to the "Getting Started" page

The resources on this page are designed to help you get started on your research topic. They help you get an overview of your topic before you delve into more detailed books and journal articles. They also help you to identify key concepts and areas of interest to narrow your topic. If you are still having problems finding resources for your topic you may Ask a Librarian or use the virtual reference chat at the side of this page.

Online Reference Databases and Books

Better than Wikipedia! Find information on concepts in psychology, biographical sketches of psychologists, info on specific disorders, and more!

Looking for images?

Looking for some great pictures to use in a lecture or presentation?

Try CAMIO (click on image)

CAMIO is OCLC's online collection of art images representing the most prominent museums from around the world.