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Psychology: Background Info

This guide provides descriptions of commonly used library resources for research and scholarship in the field of psychology.

About Reference Sources

Reference works, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks, provide background information on a topic and are especially useful at the beginning of a research project. They can help you:

  • get an overview of a topic
  • gather fast facts
  • define terms, theories, and people in an area
  • focus your argument
  • find further readings written by experts in the field

DSM Online

The newest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, called the DSM-5, is now available.  


For a PRINT copy, see the title's GetIt page for locations and call number.  

For an ONLINE copy, use the link above.


Oxford University Press Online

Psychology E-Book Collections

APA Handbooks in Psychology
Contains the online full text of APA handbooks, which provide overviews and in-depth analyses of a variety of sub-fields within psychology.

Includes APA-published books, book chapters, and classic books. It also contains entries from the Encyclopedia of Psychology and other reference works. To access just PsycBOOKS within the PsycNET interface, de-select the "Select ALL" option under "Select Databases" at the top of the page and then select only PsycBOOKS to search the books subset.

See NYU Libraries' E-Books guide for more tips on finding electronic titles across the disciplines.