The most recent recipient of the APA Librarian Conference Travel Award, Stacey Smith from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, used the award to defray the cost of attendance at the Library Assessment Conference earlier this fall. Alison Cody, assistant manager of APA’s Databases & Electronic Resources Customer Relations group, recently talked with her to get her impressions of the conference. The following transcript of our conversation has been lightly edited for clarity and context.
APA Style CENTRAL® incorporates all of the references and content from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, currently in its sixth edition. When future editions of the Publication Manual are released, APA Style CENTRAL will also be updated with the new rules and features.
Within APA Style CENTRAL’s Learning Center, each of the quick guides, or short training videos, is linked to one or more sections from the Publication Manual that cover the same topic.
You can find the link to the Publication Manual in the Learn More feature for each quick guide.
The Publication Manual section with related content opens in a new window or tab (depending on your browser settings):
For more information, see our Handout about APA Style CENTRAL and the Publication Manual.
PsycTESTS® is a research database that provides information on tests mined from the scholarly literature in PsycINFO®. Nearly 40,000 unique tests are represented in PsycTESTS, organized into 15 instrument types and 30 classifications.
There are a number of ways to search for a test, including the author name, keywords, test name, or test construct. (A construct is the concept the test is measuring, such as Confidence or Anxiety.)
PsycTESTS also includes limits, or controlled lists of values, that can be set before you run the search, toward the bottom of the advanced search page, or after you run the search, along the side of the search results page. These limits include:
- Administration Method – how the test is given to participants, such as Paper or Interview.
- Fee – indicates whether or not there is a fee for test use.
- Instrument Type – the primary testing category of the instrument, such as Checklist or Task.
- Permissions – the level of permissions needed in order to use a test. The Permissions statement may grant use for non-commercial research and teaching, or it may specify who to contact to obtain these permissions.
- Supporting Documentation – supporting documentation types, such as instructor guide or answer sheet.
These next three limits may seem familiar from PsycINFO:
- Age Group – specific population age groups that were the focus of the test.
- Population Group – populations to which the test was administered. Possible values are Human, Animal, Male, Female, Inpatient and Outpatient.
- PsycTESTS Classification – the general area of psychology that the measure is designed to assess, such as Human-Computer Interaction or Personality. (The PsycTESTS Classification system was created using the same principles behind the PsycINFO Classification Codes, but the codes and descriptors are different for these databases.)
There is also a Full Text Test Available checkbox that limits your search to records that have the PDF of the test attached to the descriptive record.
Opening a record from the search results takes you to the Test Master Record, which provides a profile and descriptive summary of the test.
Test Master Records have one or more Test Child Records that include information related to the test’s development, use, or review.
Child records may be:
- Test Development: discusses the development of the test. You’ll see this for most of the tests in the database.
- Test Review: reviews the test – this is available for a small percentage of the tests.
- Test Use: reports on a new use of the test – for example, a researcher may have taken a test designed for adults and administered it to teenagers. This is also available for a small percentage of tests.
For more detailed information for your platform – APA PsycNET®, EBSCOhost, Ovid or ProQuest – please view our presentation on SlideShare.
When you begin a review of the literature, it’s important to construct a successful search query that harnesses all the research on the topic. One way to do this is to search for synonyms and related concepts at the same time.
First, list the concepts that you are researching. This can be done with pen and paper. For example, I want to learn more about ADHD in teenagers, particularly at school.
Next, brainstorm alternate terms for each of your concepts. ADHD could also be called: ADD, hyperactivity, or attention deficit disorder. Teenagers could also be called: adolescents, teens, or high schoolers. School could also be called: education, classroom, class, academic, or learning.
Keep the terms you brainstorm for each concept together in their own group – we’ll call these your concept groups. Within the concept groups, you’ll join the terms together with OR. The OR search will find items that include at least one of the terms you include, so you’ll get a lot of results from these searches.
Next, you’ll join the searches you just created for your concept groups with AND. In the type of search we’re building, the AND search will find items that include at least one term from each concept group.
Once you have your concept groups mapped out, you can begin your research on PsycINFO® by following these steps. For more detailed information for your platform – APA PsycNET, EBSCOhost, Ovid or ProQuest – please view our presentation on SlideShare.
- Before you type anything, login into (or create) your personal account. This allows you to edit your search, and to save the search to run again later.
- Open your PsycINFO advanced search page. Customize the search by adding more rows for search terms, and changing the conjunction from AND to OR.
- Most platforms will search All Text or All Fields as a default. This is a fine starting point, or you can pick a particular field to search, such as Keywords, Abstract, or Title.
- Type in the terms for your first concept group: ADHD OR ADD OR hyperactivity OR attention deficit disorder. Run the search and save it to your account
- Run the rest of the concept group searches and save them.
- Within the saved searches page, you can combine your searches with AND. Save this master search too!
- This may be a large number of results to work with. Now that your full search is saved, you can further refine it by adding or removing terms, or adding limits such as document type or methodology. If your project is long term or ongoing, you can run this saved search once a month or once a week to review just the recently published articles on the topic.
For more detailed information for your platform – APA PsycNET, EBSCOhost, Ovid or ProQuest – please view our presentation on SlideShare.
APA PsycNET: slides 5-13
EBSCOhost: slides 14-21
Ovid: slides 22-29
ProQuest: slides 30-37
If you’re affiliated with a college or university, you can ask a librarian for assistance with your search. Subscribers to APA PsycNET® Gold, Gold Plus, and Platinum packages can contact APA Databases & Electronic Resources Customer Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-374-2722.
Related Training Resources
Using Index Terms and Keywords (APA PsycNET): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFeyRb73yZM
PsycINFO YouTube Channel playlist: Using the Methodology Limiter: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZhiJFnGuh4whhw0wUwrrYhFWYvbedmiA
Setting up an alert (APA PsycNET): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVdD0UtC-Xg
You may be interested in attending our PsycINFO Results Management training (all platforms): http://www.apa.org/pubs/databases/training/webinars-students.aspx
APA Style CENTRAL® is the newest member of the APA Style® family, and launched on July 11.
APA’s training specialists have developed a one-hour introductory session for librarians. This webinar includes a content overview and a live demonstration of features. (Please note that additional training on administrative features, as well as training geared toward students and other users, is currently in development.)
There are two sessions scheduled for November, and one for December. Click on any session below to register (all times are EDT):
- Thursday, November 3, 2016, at 3:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, November 15, 2016, at noon.
- Wednesday, December 7, 2016, at 9:00 a.m.
For more information, and to see the full schedule, visit the APA Style CENTRAL webinars page.