Library Research Guide to Psychology: Illustrated Search Strategy and Sources

By Nancy E. Douglas; Nathan E. Baum | Go to book overview
FIGURE 6.2. Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol 12, no. 28, 1980. Author index.
FIGURE 6.3. Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 12, no. 28, 1980. Subject index.
ences," each covering 700 to 1,100 journals, with some overlap. Each section is published weekly and includes copies of the Tables of contents of journals in the subject field (FIGURE 6.1) These tables of contents are generally less than six weeks old when they appear in Current Contents. Each issue of Current Contents contains an "Author Index" (FIGURE 6.2) and a "Subject Index" (FIGURE 6.3). Current Contents issues also have a list of journal titles and issue numbers for which contents are included.
Using Current Contents
The first problem you face is which subject section of Current Contents to use. This can be quickly solved by looking at the list of journals included, which is published at intervals in each section (FIGURE 6.4). The "Social and Behavioral Sciences" section lists journal titles which we discovered in our research on the relationship between television news violence and human aggressive behavior.Once the appropriate section has been chosen there are three possible approaches. In each case, you should begin with the most recent issue of Current Contents and go backward until you begin relocating older articles you have already seen. The three approaches are as follows:
1. Search the "Author Index" (FIGURE 6.2) for names of workers in your area.
2. Search the "Subject Index" (FIGURE 6.3) for key terms. The first number in each entry refers to the page number in Current Contents and the second number refers to the page number in the journal's Table of Contents.
3. Use the list of journals covered in each issue to identify where Tables of Contents for journals important to your topic are located (FIGURE 6.4) and then browse through these Tables of Contents. Though this browsing approach is not too efficient for term paper research, it is sometimes used by scholars to keep up with on-going research in a particular field.

Summary
1. Rapid developments in psychology make it important to find the latest information.
2. Index coverage lags about eight weeks to a year behind the publication of the journals.
3. Current Contents provides access to recent issues of journals through the reprinting of their Tables of Contents. Current Contents has weekly journal title, author, and subject indexes, and occasional listings of journals covered. You will generally use the "Social and Behavioral Sciences" section for research in psychology.
4. Current Contents can be searched using names of important authors in a field, or by browsing Tables of Contents for key journals in the field, or by using the key word subject index.

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