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Database Help at the Cypress College Library

Guide to using databases at the Cypress College Library

Start using PsycArticles

Steps to using PsycArticles

Step 1: Logging in

PsycArticles can be found on the library's Database page. It is listed as one of our most popular databases, in the P section, and when you search for Psychology databases by subject. Click on PsycArticles and login using your MyGateway credentials to get started.

Bonus tip:

You can search multiple Ebsco databases at once by selecting the "Choose Databases" link on top of the search box. Browse the list of databases available and several at a time. Each database has a unique collection of articles specializing in any given subject area.

PsycArticles Choose Databases link demonstration

Step 2: Searching & using keywords. 

Enter your keywords into the search box(es). Keywords are simple short phrases or words to describe your topic. For example, if your research question is "What makes college students motivated?" some of your keywords might be "college students" and "motivation" : 

PsycArticles database search demonstration of college students and motivationStarting with general/broad keywords will give you a good overview of the results available, but it is likely that you will get too many results. If that's the case, you can quickly narrow down your results with more specific keywords or by using subject terms and other strategies for refining your search, as defined in step 3. 

Step 3: Refining the search. 

There are a few ways to refine a search. This can be done by using more specific keywords and subject terms, also by defining dates and resource type. 

More specific keywords

Let's use the example of "college students" and "motivation" -- is there a way we can make this more specific to our exact research?  If your research question is "What makes college students motivated?" Try to define the exact type of college student you are researching and the brainstorm keywords on what might motivate students. 

  • Instead of searching "college students" you can search... "community college students", "low income college students", "LGBTQ+ college students", "Black college students", etc.
  • Instead of searching "motivation" you can search... "incentives", "goals", "graduation", "success", "student attitudes", "mental health", "career", "money", etc. 

Subject terms

After using the specific keywords of your choice, browse the results paying close attention to the subject terms listed below each article. Subject terms are keywords that define the main subjects of the article. The database has a defined list of subject terms, so it's most efficient to model your keywords after the subject terms that the database is already using. 

PsycArticles search demonstration of community college students and student attitudes

Notice how both "community college students" and "student attitudes are listed as subject terms? We only got 19 results for this keyword search, so it's best to browse them all. However, if we had gotten a higher number (40+), we would want to experiment by changing the "Select a Field (optional)" dropdown menus for each one of these terms (or one at a time, if the results get too narrow) to the "SU Subject Terms" option. Doing this will reduce the number of results you get, giving you a more manageable list (around 20 or so). Since our number is already fairly low - we wouldn't want to narrow it down any further, in this scenario. 

Date & Resource Type

EBSCOhost toolbar with Date limits circled & Source Type Underlined Two very effective ways to limit your search are by date and resource type.


Generally, your professors would like you to use articles published within the past 5-10 years. Anything older than that can be considered outdated. A quick way to narrow your results down is to use refine the date range to hide results that are too outdated.  There will be times, such as researching historical information, when you will want to see articles regardless of the date range. Check with your professor if you are unsure. 


Resource Type

Did your professor specify to use a particular type of article? Are you required to use academic journal articles (also known as, peer-reviewed articles), magazines, or newspapers? If you are looking for a particular type of article, you can use this feature to select only the type of article you are looking for. 

Step 4: Navigating results & saving articles

Navigating results

Once you have a list of around 30 or less results, you can start vetting these results for your research. Save time by...

  • Subject terms will tell you exactly what the subject of the article is, so always read these to get a good general idea. 
  • Locate the magnifying glass/paper icon next to each article listed magnifying glass on paper icon from the EBSCOhost databaseclicking on this icon will open a popup window that gives you more details about the article, including the abstract.
  • Read the abstract. An abstract is a short summary of the article, usually one paragraph. Start by reading the abstract to determine if this article is going to be the right one for your research. Articles can be long, so this will save you a lot of time. 

Example of article information in EBSCOhost

Saving articles

From the results list, click on the article title that you would like to save. You will be directed to the "detailed record" page:

Example of detailed record page in EBSCOhost


To retrieve the full article, click on PDF Full Text or HTML Full TextPDF Full Text maintains the formatting of the article, as it was originally published. HTML Full Text removes the original formatting and also comes with an option to listen to the article, with an audio player embedded within the detailed record page. 

To save the full article, you have a number of options located in the Tools sidebar. 

Tool bar in EbscoHostGoogle Drive allows you to save the article directly to your personal Google Drive account.

Add to folder allows you to save the article to a folder in EBSCO; however, you will first need to create a personal EBSCO account. If you save articles to a folder without creating a personal EBSCO account, your folder will not be saved.

Print allows you to print the full article. 

Email allows you to email yourself the article - one of the more popular choices for saving amongst our students!

Save allows you to save the article directly to your computer desktop or USB.

Permalink gives you the permanent link for the article's detailed record page, so you can easily access it again. Please note, you will have to be currently registered at Cypress College and login again to access it.