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Psychology and Counselling: Journals, Databases and Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking

The library offers lots of workshops on critical thinking. We also have recordings of previous workshops which are available on the Academic Skills Hub and dedicated articles to get you thinking critically.


Evaluating Sources

Check the Quality of your BREAD!

A loaf of bread

BREAD stands for:

  • BIAS - Does the author have a particular point of view? Does the article intend to sway you politically? Is the article trying to promote or sell a product?
  • RELEVANCY - Is the article relevant to your topic? Is it relevant to the UK? Is it an academic journal?
  • EVIDENCE - Does the article cite the sources it has used? Are there statistics to back up the research?
  • AUTHOR - Is the author qualified in that research area? Are they experts in the field?
  • DATE - Check the date of the article, if the article is older the information may be outdated. 

Consider each of these issues when searching for articles to find the best available material. 

Bedford, D. (2018) Nurses must consider which information to use and trust. Available at:

Using LibrarySearch to find journal articles


Here are some ideas on what makes a good keyword:

Think about who the population/ sample group. Are you looking for a particular age group, ethnicity, cultural background, gender, health issue etc.

  • What is the intervention/issue you want to know more about? This could be a particular type of medication, education, therapeutic technique etc. 
  • Do you have a particular context in mind? This could relate to a community setting, hospital, ward etc. 

It is important to remember that databases will only ever search for the exact term you put in, so don't panic if you are not getting the results you hoped for. Think about alternative words that could be used for each keyword to build upon your search. 

Magnifying glass

Using databases to find journal articles

The library have several databases of journal articles available for you to search to find the right information for your academic work. The advantage of using a database over searching on the internet is that you are only searching academic information like journal articles.

To access any of our databases, please login to the portal and go to the Online databases and academic journals link in the Search the Library portlet

The best databases for psychology and counselling topics are:

  • PsycInfo
  • Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Collection
  • PsycArticles

Other databases that would be useful are:

  • Academic Search Premier
  • CINAHL Plus with Full Text
  • Medline
  • Scopus

Grey Literature

Grey literature is the name given to any material which is published outside of the commercial/academic circle. It includes reports, guidelines, conference proceedings etc. 

Places to find grey literature:

  • NHS webpages
  • OpenGrey
  • Government webpages
  • Office for National Statistics
  • Charities and other official bodies
  • The British Psychological Society

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