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Lesson Resources

These pages have a range of resources compiled - and some specially created - for Psychology Honours students to assist with developing searching and research skills. 

Research Guides: Psychology

Library Training Resources 2022


These articles and videos were originally compiled for another Psychology Masters group, but they are applicable for Psychology systematic reviews in general.

Our Systematic Review LibGuide has much more comprehensive information, but these articles are recommended reading for you to gain a good understanding:

WATCH AND HAVE A GO (50 MINUTES) Now see how to conduct your own search by watching the videos below and responding to the questions after each video.

VIDEO 1: Developing search terms  (4:17)

  1. What’s your research topic?
  2. What’s your PICO?
  3. Prepare your own table (Concept Grid) and generate possible alternatives for your search terms.

VIDEO 2: Preliminary Scoping search (7:19)

  1. Find OVID Medline in the library catalogue
  2. Enter your proposed search terms to get some preliminary results. How many articles did you find?
  3. Find an intervention that matches the types of article you’d most like to find
  4. Got questions? Note them down.

VIDEO 3: Finding more terms for the Concept Grid (5:43)​

Pull out the table you created after viewing Video 1.

  1. Locate your preferred article after viewing Video 2
  2. Are there new MeSH subjects you can add to your search? How many articles do you have now?
  3. Find 5 articles from your list that match the types of interventions you are interested in and identify additional MeSH terms to add to your search. How many articles now?
  4. Got questions? Write them down.

VIDEO 4: MEDLINE (Ovid) Search  (12:35)

Once you have decided on your search terms, integrate them all in the 'final' search.

But you still need to be prepared to tweak or make improvements once you have assessed the results.

PRISMA Guidelines – Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria and Processing Results 

See also Prisma Guidelines on our Systematic Review Libguide

  • Inclusion and Exclusion criteria (specific parameters of the topic)

Meline, T. (2006). Selecting studies for systemic review: inclusion and exclusion criteria. Contemporary issues in communication science and disorders, 33(Spring), 21-27. 

  • Screening the results

Polanin, J. R., Pigott, T. D., Espelage, D. L., & Grotpeter, J. K. (2019). Best practice guidelines for abstract screening large‐evidence systematic reviews and meta‐analyses. Research Synthesis Methods, 10(3), 330-342

  • Using EndNote to assist screening process

  • PRISMA diagram

  • Documenting Your Search

Writing Your Review

When writing up your systematic review keep in mind the specific guidelines for structuring your review. Systematic review standards are elements that should be reported in any published systematic review. Also there may be other 'Instructions to Authors' provided by the journals or organisations in which you plan to publish.

The PRISMA statement can be followed to ensure reliable coverage of the systematic review methods, results and conclusions. The PRISMA Elaboration and Explanation (E&E) document that accompanies the PRISMA statement provides instructions for each of the items on the checklist.

Video: Searching PsycINFO on Ovid at MQ Uni (10:03)

Video: CINAHL Part 1: Search our topic "CBT for Anxiety in Children"  (10:26) in the database CINAHL (Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature). This database is provided by EBSCO, but we have it on a special platform to allow subject heading searches.

Video: CINAHL Part 2: Refine search, Assess results and Export to EndNote (4:25)


Database Videos (produced by the vendor OVID - relevant for PsycInfo, Medline and Embase)

The following are a selection of training videos most likely to be most useful for you (though some of these are very detailed):


Saving the search history in OVID (from the University of Otago, Wellington)

It is advisable to save your search history in Medline (or PsycInfo) once you have finalised your search strategy. This will save you having to enter it again each time.


Evaluating Sources/CRAAP Test



Evaluating resources - Links to StudyWise via iLearn

Referencing / APA Style


Referencing Software


Vendors' Material

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Jane Van Balen
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Contact your Research Librarian