Top 5 Recommendations for Psychology
1. Stay Focused
It's best to have a clear idea of your main research question, as well as the subquestions you're looking to answer, before you wade into statistics. This will help you stay intentional while searching, and keep you from getting overwhelmed by the data. For help in nailing down your research question, see the skill tutorial on the Topic Development page, or ask your librarian for help.
2. Who Cares About Your Topic?
Meaning, what agency or organization would be interested in gathering data related to your topic? For example, if you're researching 'depression in college students', many organizations report on this area: university counseling centers; major hospitals (think Mayo Clinic); federal agencies, such as SAMHSA and NIMH; professional organizations like the APA and ADAA. Thinking contextually in this way can lead you to sources of reliable data and reports on your topic.
3. Locate Relevant Organizations Online
If you are looking for the agencies or organizations relevant to your topic, try this Google search tip: Isolate the main keyword or phrase for your topic, and pair it with '.gov', as this will (ideally) prioritize government websites in your results. The same can be done for .org, though keep in mind that any website can purchase a .org domain, while .gov is a protected domain for government agencies.
Example search string: Learning Disabilities, .gov
To narrow by location: Learning Disabilities, North Carolina, .gov