Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Human Development & Family Studies: Secondary Sources

A guide to resources in the BGSU Libraries and on the Internet that may help you research topics for Human Development and Family Studies

Secondary Sources

In general, secondary sources offer an analysis or a restatement of primary sources. They often attempt to describe or explain primary sources. Some secondary sources not only analyze primary sources, but use them to argue a contention or to persuade the reader to hold a certain opinion.  Examples of secondary sources include dictionaries, encyclopedias, textbooks, and books and articles that interpret, summarize, or review research works.

Secondary Sources: Reference Books, Annual Reviews, & More

The University Libraries subscribes to the following annual reviews and owns the following reference books.  If you happen to be in the Jerome Library, take some time to browse through the Encyclopedia of Psychology--its eight volumes cover all aspects of psychology. All of the other resources listed here are available electronically and can be accessed from your home, apartment or dorm room if you have internet access.

Secondary Sources: Web Resources

Some organizations and government agencies make information freely available.  These sources could help you explore a topic or, if appropriate, gain a better understanding of one you've already chosen.

Secondary Sources in EBSCO Databases

You can find review articles in these EBSCO databases.  However, rather than limiting, you can construct your search so that you retrieve review articles.  In the EBSCO search box, construct your search like this: literature review + your topic


  • literature review "school violence"
  • literature review anorexia
  • literature review bullies "self esteem"

NOTE:  Put phrases in quotation marks if you want to keep your search terms together.

You may retrieve some results that aren't review articles, but they are articles that include literature reviews, so those may be helpful too.

Secondary Sources in PsycINFO

If you're looking for a review article (an article that reports, synthesizes, and summarizes primary research), it's very easy to conduct a search in PsycINFO and then LIMIT your results so that you retrieve only review articles. 

Once you have a list of results, click on the ALL LIMIT OPTIONS link.  Then select JOURNAL ARTICLE (Publication Type) and LITERATURE REVIEW (Methodology).

Other Useful Databases