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Finding information for Psychology: Activities 3-5: Using FindIt@Bham

A guide to help you find information for your Psychology essays, reports and dissertation.


These practical exercises will introduce you to key services and search techniques in finding information at the University of Birmingham.  They will guide you through FindIt@Bham which covers:

  • The Library Catalogue
  • the University’s gateway to electronic resources

If these activities are being completed as part of the supported database session, a tutor will be available to support you should you have any questions or problems.  Work through the exercises, noting your answers.

You can use your own search terms if you prefer, the exercises are intended for guidance only.

Start the session by logging into your PC with your Active Directory username and password, opening the internet and going to FindIt@Bham

Further Help: You can find extra hints and tips on how to use FindIt@Bham here

Activities for FindIt@Bham

Search for a book you know you will need to read or try the following search:

Example: children and systemic psychotherapy

  • Type in the keywords child* systemic psychotherapy and select ‘Library Catalogue’ from the drop-down menu.  Using the asterisk to truncate the word ‘child’ will find results containing the words child/children).  If you want to search for a phrase, then place quotation marks around it.


  • To refine your results, use Tweak my results on the right hand side to find ebooks and books only.


  • If it is an eBook you are interested in click on the View Online button on the item you are interested in and follow any instructions to take you through to the online version.
  • To view only print books, remove the Active filter for eBooks


  • To locate the print item on the shelves, click on the Check for current availability link for the item you are interested in. This will tell you the Location or Library the item is held in as well as the Classmark so that you can find it on the shelf. 

  • You may also find it useful to click on the  button.

Search for a journal title you are familiar with, or try searching for the following:

Example: British journal of psychology

  • Type in the keywords British Journal of Psychology and select 'Library Catalogue' from the drop-down menu.

  • From your results you can select either the print version or the e-version.

  • JOURNAL indicates that this is a print copy that can be found in the library. By clicking on Check for holdings you will be able to find out which library the item is available in and where it is located on the shelves. This will indicate the holdings i.e. which years are available. If it is a title that is held in the Research Reserve you will need to click on the blue Request this item button and follow the instructions.
  • EJOURNAL indicates that this is an electronic copy. To see it click on View Online link will take you through to the electronic version. 


  • Notice the range of sources offering online access. Pay attention to the line underneath the blue links. This will tell you what years are covered from that particular link.  Connect through to a service by clicking the blue link.  View the Table of Contents for the most recent issue, and drill down to any interesting articles, then click to link to full text.

You can use Article Search to find a particular article or to do a basic literature search.  Try doing both now.  Search for the following article:

Example: Mevorach, C., (2010) Ignoring the elephant in the room: a neural circuit to downregulate salience.  The Journal of Neuroscience, Vol.30(17), p.6072-9,

  • If you have a full reference it is useful to type in some keywords from the title along with the family name of the author or perhaps the title of the journal. 
  • Select ArticleSearch from the drop-down menu


  • In your results list you will see that the keywords and phrases you used are underlined in yellow


  • Click View Full Text to get to the full text of this article. 


  • If there is more than one blue link available, choose the one that best suits your needs or is a service you are familiar with. Click on the link to connect to the online article.
  • All publisher webpages look slightly different but you should be able to find a link to read the full-text. It might appear as one of the following: PDF, HTML, Word, Download or Export.
  • Now try a more general subject search for an area of interest to you.  Don’t forget to use the post-search refine options on the right-hand column of the FindIt@Bham screen when you see your results. 
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