New Handbook: The APA Handbook of Comparative Psychology

The APA Handbooks in Psychology series was launched in 2011 to provide comprehensive overviews and in-depth study of specific subfields within psychology. All of the Handbooks are included in the PsycBOOKS® database, and titles are also available individually.

The series currently contains 23 authoritative titles, including the 2014 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title, APA Handbook of Sexuality and Psychology.

The most recent addition to the series, the APA Handbook of Comparative Psychology, was published in September 2016. This two-volume set highlights community psychology’s emphasis on the synergistic relationship between research and action, and offers an international outlook, including chapters integrating perspectives from across cultures and contexts around the world. For more information, including a full table of contents, please visit the APA website.

PsycBOOKS users on APA PsycNET® (including subscribers to APA PsycNET Gold, Gold Plus, and Platinum), EBSCOhost, Ovid and ProQuest can access the entire series by browsing PsycBOOKS or by performing a title search for a particular handbook.

Institutions also have the option of purchasing handbooks individually. Print only, Electronic only, or Electronic + Print options are available through APA, with electronic access provided via the APA PsycNET® platform. For more information on pricing and availability, please see the APA website or contact us at

New in PsycBOOKS: January 2017

In January 2017, APA added 4 new APA books 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, Index Term and More

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a keyword and an index term, and how they can aid your search? What are classification codes, and how does this all relate to MeSH terms? This post will demystify the four types of vocabulary you see in PsycINFO®.

Keyboard with rainbow colors reflecting off of it

Keywords (also called Key Concepts or Identifiers) – Individual words, key concepts, 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. There is no pre-existing list of keywords that authors, publishers, or APA staff choose from.

Keyword searching is a good fit for researchers who are new to a topic, and want to get the full scope of what is available. Keyword searching is most similar to the searching you may do on the internet, because keywords are often in natural language or layman’s terms. In addition, you do not need to select or know terms from a pre-existing list, as you do for the following three types of vocabulary.

Index Terms (also called Subjects or Subject Headings) – Index terms are also single words or brief phrases that describe the document’s content, but they are chosen from a pre-existing list (also called a controlled vocabulary). For the APA databases, that list is the Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms®, which includes more than 8,400 terms. APA staff typically choose about six index terms for each document. You can use the thesaurus tool, linked from the PsycINFO search page, to search or browse index terms alphabetically or by topic.

Index term searching is a good fit for the focused researcher, who has identified their best term(s) and now wants to quickly find all of the items about a particular concept. With the wide variety of concepts and vocabulary used in the psychological literature, searching for and retrieving records about specific concepts is virtually impossible without the controlled vocabulary of a thesaurus. It provides a way of structuring the subject matter in a way that is consistent among users (e.g., searching for Dysphoria, Melancholia, and Depression can all be achieved by searching the term “Major Depression”).

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Exhibits Update: Society for Personality and Social Psychology Convention

The Society for Personality and Social Psychology Convention will be held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX, from Thursday, January 19 – Saturday, January 21, 2017. The American Psychological Association will be participating in the Exhibits Hall throughout the conference.


Stop by to learn more about APA Style CENTRAL®, an exciting new institutional electronic resource for APA Style® that launched this summer, and get the latest updates about APA Journals, Books, and Databases.


And be sure to look for our Theater Session, Teaching with APA Style CENTRAL on Saturday, January 21, 2017, 11:00 am to 12:15 pm.