Skip to Main Content

Psychology Subject Guide


Searching for books in Catalyst

Catalyst is the online catalog for both St. Olaf and Carleton College. Use Catalyst to search for books, specific journals, videos/dvds, musical scores, maps, etc.

  • Use a Keyword search if you do not know the subject or wish to combine more than one idea.
    •  e.g.[child* AND depression]
  • Use an asterisk (*) to search various endings.
    • child* will retrieve child, children, childhood, etc.
  • Use "quotation marks" around words you want to search as a phrase.
    • e.g. ["college students" and "mental health"]
  • Once you have found a relevant record, explore the Subject Heading(s) in the SUBJECT field. These Subject Headings are hyperlinks, so go ahead and click on one if it seems relevant to your topic. This will automatically conduct a new search for other materials matching that subject.
Here are some examples of Keywords we may use to search and some relevant Subject Headings:


Natural Language Library of Congress Subject Heading
abnormal psychology Psychology, Pathological
childhood depression Depression in children
chemical dependency Substance abuse

So, one good strategy for searching Catalyst might be:

  1. Search using keywords to find at least one item of interest.
  2. Select that item to get to the screen of information about that item.
  3. Use the subject links at the bottom of the screen to find other items the Library of Congress librarians deemed to be about your topic even if the exact words weren't used in the title.
  • Note: When you use a huge catalog like World Cat, it's good to search using subject terms you identified in Catalyst rather than by keyword. This will keep the number of relevant items to look at to a manageable size.

Finally, If your book is at Carleton, you can request it directly from Catalyst by clicking on the Request button.

Reference Books

Encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and other reference works provide background reading on your topic and related issues, bibliographies, names of authorities and important works in the field. Use them to get a sense of the scholarly vocabulary used to talk about your topic and remember to check the bibliographies that follow the entries for other relevant resources.

American Psychological Association (APA) Style, 7th Edition