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Psychology Research Guide

Finding "Experts" in a Field of Study - Use of Cited Reference Search

As an emerging scholar who intends to become more expert in an area you will need to show that you have become part of the conversation through your research.

Questions to consider:

Of those currently in the field, who predominates or did predominate in their field of inquiry or research?  How have they influenced the field?

How much do scholars rely on one author's research?  Have other studies been predicated on their research?

Has a particular theory changed  or evolved over time?  How so?

Have they been critiqued?

What might be needed now?  Could an earlier theory or study be applied to a new problem?

Citation counts, citation analysis bibliometrics or cited reference searches are addressed in the following link.  Cited Reference searches are methods to help identify landmark studies, or find recognized experts and scholarly conversations within a field.   Therefore, getting citation counts of how many times an author's work has been cited could help you determine which sources to read and analyze first. Later you will need to question how comprehensive the tools are but initially, this could be a useful step.  

Scholarly Metrics - Cited Reference Searches

Locating Critical Studies or Published Literature Reviews

Using the descriptor term "Literature Review" in the PsycINFO Database will retrieve published literature reviews in the field of psychology.   If you add an intersecting concept to limit all the literature reviews, you may find a general literature review that will help determine what has been written on a topic and what may need to be written on a topic.   Literature reviews can help you answer some the research questions posed on this page and also help distinguish what focus your review will take.

Finding Data and Data Sets for your Research

Information on Writing Literature Reviews

The term "Literature review" varies depending upon the purpose.  It is always best to check with your professor on their preferred type and style when writing a literature review or systematic review.    These links are guides to begin to understand process and some products. 

Graduate Student's Toolkit