Note: this is the 6th Edition tutorial, which is now out of date. A Psychology APA Style 7th Edition Tutorial is available.

Using Journals to Locate Articles

Journals are an excellent resource, but take care not to choose journal articles that are too technical. The Athabasca University Library catalogue (AUCAT) contains journals on most topics that may be chosen for academic assignments. You may wish to contact the Library staff to discuss what is available on your specific research question or topic, and to request assistance in accessing online peer-reviewed articles and journals (see the Library Services section of the online Student Manual for more information). You may also choose to make use of a library in your area for print journal articles and/or online journal databases.

The Athabasca University Library Website

Using the Internet to Locate Articles

The Internet may be a valuable source of information for your research question or topic, but be careful with your selections. Do NOT choose information from consumer or public education websites (e.g., Wikipedia), as these are known as tertiary sources (see previous information in this tutorial). The articles from these sites may not be research-based or peer-reviewed, and are not considered reliable academic sources. Using such materials will seriously affect your grade. Follow your tutor's guidelines on selecting appropriate, valid, and reliable materials.

When accessing journal articles online, ask yourself the following questions to help determine if an article is valid and reliable:

  • Does it cover fact (vs. opinion or propaganda)?
  • Can the information be verified (vs. opinion, i.e., stemming from the interpretation of facts)?
  • Is it well researched, with supporting evidence?
  • Does it substantiate information in articles you have already read?
  • Are the ideas objective and impartial (vs. use of emotion-arousing words and bias)?
  • Does it substantiate information in articles you have already read?
  • Is the information a primary or secondary source?
  • Are the main points clearly stated?

For more information about searching for articles, see