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Check my IDEAS page for links to sites with topic ideas and reports of recent research. As an example, take a look at the report “Fathers Wired to Provide Offspring Care” on the Science Daily website. While this report is not from a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal, the nice thing about this website is that it provides the journal reference at the end of the report. The journal article will be an acceptable source for your research paper.

You can also browse through some of the journals mentioned in the Human Development and Family Studies Research Guide or browse through electronic journals by clicking on one of the Social Sciences categories and selecting one of the journals:

Browse through the Table of Contents from subject encyclopedias in Gale Virtual Reference Library. Choose Social Science from the list of Subjects in the left-hand column of the database and then click on any of the pictured titles. At that point, it’s like pulling an encyclopedia off the shelf and paging through it. You can select a volume and read through the entries for ideas.


Research Guides

Penn State subject librarians have set up Research Guides to help students navigate the library resources in particular subject areas. The Human Development and Family Studies guide points out some important databases and journals in your field.

You may also find the Sociology Research Guide and some of the education and psychology research guides will be helpful.



Library-subscription databases provide access to high-quality, credible sources for peer-reviewed journal articles.

You may need to use the Get It! link to access the full text of some articles.



Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
The DOI is a unique identifier, guaranteed never to change, assigned to articles as a way to help readers locate the content online through registration agencies, such as CrossRef.org.

You can also enter a DOI in the following site to find a document: http://dx.doi.org/
APA citation style now recommends including the DOI for both print and online sources. Most scholarly journal articles will have a DOI and when it is used in your citation, no further retrieval information is necessary. Clicking on a hyperlinked DOI can often lead you to the full text on an article.

Please refer to Penn State York’s APA 6th Edition Quick Reference (July 2009) handout for examples.


BFFOswald, D. L. & Clark, E.M. (2003). Best friends forever? High school best friendships and the transition to college. Personal Relationships, 10, 187-196.


LionSearch is a new interface to the combined resources provided by the Penn State University Libraries.