Tutorial Tuesday: How (and Why) to use the APA Thesaurus on APA PsycNET

It’s Tutorial Tuesday! 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: How (and Why) to Use the APA Thesaurus on APA PsycNET®.""

How can you be sure you are finding the best results for your search?

By using the best search terms! The APA Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms (“APA Thesaurus”) contains the controlled vocabulary that APA uses to describe and categorize all content indexed in PsycINFO. This resource is regularly updated to include new and changing terminology for topics in the behavioral sciences, and you can put it to work for you!

Using the APA Thesaurus helps you eliminate “noise” from your search and retrieve the most relevant results by revealing the best search terms for your topic. The APA Thesaurus is a valuable tool for students new to research or any researcher who is new to a topic area and may not yet know the best terminology for searching.

This brief video (2:40 minutes) demonstrates the benefits of using the APA Thesaurus when searching databases on the APA PsycNET platform, and includes:

  • Examples of recent terminology updates to the APA Thesaurus;
  • How to access the APA Thesaurus when crafting a search;
  • Using the APA Thesaurus to find related terms for narrowing or expanding your search;
  • Discovering index terms for broader concepts that encompass your research topic and make searching more efficient; and
  • Uncovering additional search terms you may not have considered.

This tutorial is a great resource to link from a LibGuide or course module for any class working with APA Databases on APA PsycNET, 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 with the link to this new version.

Related Resources:

Webinar Alert: Tour the New APA PsycNET Interface

Please join us for a brief tour of the redesigned APA PsycNET® platform, which will launch in mid-July!

This 30-minute webinar will highlight the contemporary new “look and feel” of the APA PsycNET search platform and other changes. Highlights include:

  • Technology upgrade: A new cloud-based environment and other behind-the-scenes infrastructure improvements for enhanced system performance, reliability, and search precision
  • Responsive design: Improved content rendering and functionality across all devices, including mobile
  • Content discovery: Addition of a new “Related Content” section providing links to up to 25 similar items, and options to explore trending topics
  • Search tools: Addition of the “Test Lookup” tool, enhanced access to the integrated APA Thesaurus, and platform-wide access to your recent searches

This overview is intended for anyone who uses APA PsycNET through an institutional or personal subscription, including librarians, students, researchers, and professionals.

Register for a session using one of the links below (Note: All times are Eastern Daylight Time / UTC-4):

For more information about using APA PsycNET, see our YouTube playlist of APA Databases on APA PsycNET.

How to Access APA Databases After You Graduate

Graduation cap and diplomaAre you a recent graduate, or about to complete your degree? Will you need access to PsycINFO® and other APA Databases after you graduate? At many colleges and universities, alumni are not eligible to use the library’s online resources after graduation.

If you intend to continue your research while you look for a job, or prepare to begin a new degree program, you will need to access journal articles and other material directly through the publisher.

The American Psychological Association provides several different database access options for independent researchers and others who are not affiliated with a college or university. Continue reading