APA PsycNET® Help Files Update

We are pleased to announce that a revised version of APA PsycNET® Help files is now available to support the July 2017 platform update. Help files were updated to reflect the new user-interface changes related to responsive design, content discovery, and search tools.

PsycNET Help is available at top-right of the screen, next to the Login link:

Help link shown to right of Login link

The APA PsycNET Help module includes detailed information about:

  • Getting Started with APA PsycNET, including database descriptions
  • Basic and Advanced Search, including fields, filters, and display options
  • Cited References searching
  • Search results, including searching, managing, filtering, and finding full text
  • Managing Searches, including email alerts, RSS feeds, and permalinks
  • Recent searches, My PsycNET, and MyList
  • Browse function for each database
  • APA Thesaurus, including why & how to incorporate it into your search
  • Additional search options, including Lookup tools, Boolean operators, truncation, and more.

Related Resources:

Tutorial Thursday: Using the Author Affiliation Field in PsycINFO on EBSCOhost

It’s Tutorial Thursday! In this series, we explore APA’s library of video tutorials available on the PsycINFO® YouTube channel and the APA Style CENTRAL® YouTube channel. Please feel free to link to or embed our videos in your library websites or LibGuides, course management systems, or other locations where students, faculty, and researchers will find them.

We recently updated one of our tutorials: Using the Author Affiliation Field in PsycINFO on EBSCOhost.

Video thumbnail

Do you want to discover what institutions are conducting research relevant to a specific topic, or track down a corresponding author’s contact information?

The Author Affiliation field in PsycINFO provides information about authors’ affiliations at the time of publication. This can be helpful to psychology students and practitioners who want to locate an author, see the kind of research conducted at an institution, or are considering where to apply to graduate school based on topics of interest.

This three-minute video demonstrates how to use the PsycINFO® Author Affiliation Field when searching PsycINFO on the EBSCOhost platform, and includes:

  • Description and search examples for the PsycINFO Author Affiliation field;
  • Using the Source, Authors, and Address fields to help obtain the contact information for a corresponding author; and
  • How to search for articles written by authors affiliated with a particular institution.

This tutorial is a great resource to link from a LibGuide or course module for any class working with APA Databases on EBSCOhost, and can be helpful in answering email or chat reference questions.

The previous version of this tutorial will remain available, but if you have embedded or linked to it anywhere, we encourage you to update your materials to link to this new version.

Related Resources:

New in PsycBOOKS: September 2017

In September, APA added 3 new APA titles to PsycBOOKS®:

Bibliographic records are available through your PsycBOOKS vendor. You may also download RDA records directly from APA by following the instructions in the APA PsycNET® Administrator Help Menu.

View the past monthly PsycBOOKS update lists, a list of sample PsycBOOKS titles, and the full coverage list for PsycBOOKS.

PsycINFO® Expert Tip: Searching by Keyword Across Platforms

Keyword searching is a good fit for researchers who are new to a topic and want to get the full scope of the research available. Before you begin searching, you should be aware of the differences between keywords and index terms. Also, note the platform you use to access PsycINFO®, since it may search additional fields alongside keyword.


Keywords (also called Key Concepts or Identifiers) are words or brief phrases that describe the document’s content. The list of keywords for an article is often provided by the author or publisher, though sometimes it is created by APA staff. Keywords can be any word or phrase, and so they are “uncontrolled.”

Index Terms (also called Subjects or Subject Headings) are chosen by APA staff from a pre-exiting list of major topics. This means that Index Terms are a “controlled” vocabulary.


Unlike the other PsycINFO fields, searching by keyword pulls in results from additional fields on some platforms. This means if you run the same PsycINFO keyword search on different platforms, you may get a different set of results. If you notice you are getting results that don’t include the keywords you searched for, check the index terms field or the title field for the terms.


Below are the fields that are included in a PsycINFO keyword search on each platform.

  • On EBSCOhost, select KW keywords to search the keywords
  • On Ovid, select key concepts to search the keywords
  • On ProQuest, you can select identifier (keyword) to search for keywords, or subject heading (all) to search keywords and index terms (MJSUB)
  • On APA PsycNET, select keywords to search for keywords, index terms, and title



Here is an APA PsycNET record where a keyword search for “big bang theory” led to a record with the phrase in the title, but not in the keyword field.

You can search by keyword to become familiar with a new topic, identify the best journals or authors in an area, or see different perspectives on an issue. However, if you are planning to search on a topic over a long period of time, or revisit a saved search, we recommend using Index Terms instead. Searching by Index Term returns more consistent results because they are assigned from a controlled list and because they return the same records regardless of platform – no additional fields are searched.


You can learn more about keywords and other PsycINFO vocabularies in our previous post on searching with keywords, Index Terms, and more.

Related resource: How & Why to Use the Thesaurus tutorials, a guide to searching with index terms

APA Librarian Conference Travel Award: Apply by Nov. 30 for Spring 2018 Conferences

Do you work in an academic or health sciences library in the United States? Are you an early- or mid-career librarian? Are you looking for sources of funding for a conference you’d like to attend this spring?

If the answer to all of those questions is yes, please consider applying for an APA Librarian Conference Travel Award! Through November 30, 2017, we are accepting applications for conferences taking place from December 2017 to April 2018. This includes – but is not limited to – the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology, ALA Midwinter, Electronic Resources & Libraries, the ACRL 2017 Conference, Code4Lib, the ACRL Immersion Teaching with Technology Track, and the Annual Conference on the First Year Experience.

The award is intended to help defray conference-related expenses for librarians with less than 15 years of experience after receiving their MLS or MLIS. Three cash awards are distributed three times each calendar year, and the application cycle opens and closes on a rolling basis. At this time, we are not limiting the conferences that are eligible for travel award funding. Applicants should identify the conference that best meets their professional needs, and explain how attendance will support their current duties and future goals.

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