Have you ever needed to find a psychological test? It can be a surprisingly difficult task! Many of the tests you may know by name, such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale or the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, are commercial tests. This means those who are interested in using them must pay a fee, and may also need to meet other criteria. If you’re a student who needs a test to review for a class, or if you’re researching how to create an effective psychological measure, you’ll need to find non-commercial tests.
You can, of course, find these types of tests in PsycTESTS®, our database of psychological tests and measures. This database contains information about, and excerpts from, more than 34,000 tests in the behavioral sciences. But what if you don’t have access to PsycTESTS?
Try PsycINFO®! You probably know PsycINFO as a database of journal articles from publishers around the world. PsycINFO doesn’t contain any full-text, but each article included is represented by a record, which has been extensively tagged by APA’s indexers. This information allows you to assess how useful the article may be before you try to find the full text. Continue reading
Recently, we reviewed how to edit a search alert in order to incorporate recent changes to the Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms®, which was updated in December. In our example, we updated a search that included an Index Term that’s no longer being used to tag records in PsycINFO®: Aspergers Syndrome.
This article was added to PsycINFO and PsycARTICLES® on November 2, 2015.
We add records about new articles, book chapters, and dissertations to PsycINFO twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. Every item in an APA database includes the specific date it was added to that database. On APA PsycNET®, this is called the Release Date. It’s formatted in year-month-day order, with no spaces, hyphens, or slashes. For example: 20151214 or 20160201.
You can use this information to create a search that will retrieve results that were added to the database in a specific timeframe. With this technique, you can create a search that will find all the records added to PsycINFO from the date that this Index Term was changed, until the date that you changed your search alert.
We have put together a set of slides that demonstrate how to search by the release date on APA PsycNET, EBSCOhost, Ovid and ProQuest. If you are affiliated with a college or university, you can ask a librarian for assistance with this process. 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.
The Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms®, which is used to tag and categorize records in PsycINFO®, was updated in December 2015. In addition to adding terms, we changed five terms that had already been a part of the Thesaurus – they are no longer Index Terms, but have been turned into Use references.
Here are the terms that were changed, along with the new Index Terms that have taken their places:
|Terms that are now Use references
||New Index Terms to search
Pervasive Developmental Disorders
| Autism Spectrum Disorders
|Q Sort Testing Technique
Do you use the Grant/Sponsorship field in PsycINFO? This field displays the funding sources that the authors include in their acknowledgements. The Grant/Sponsorship field will capture data about grant funding, but you’ll also see information on fellowships, scholarships, departmental awards, and more – any type of funding source that the authors acknowledge. Take a look at the variety of funding acknowledged here:
The Grant/Sponsorship field from a PsycINFO record, shown here on APA PsycNET.
The Grant/Sponsorship field is divided into four sub-fields: Sponsor, Recipient, Grant Number, and Other Details. You’ll always see the Sponsor and Recipient sub-fields, even if the authors didn’t indicate who the sponsor was (though they almost always provide this information) or who was the named recipient of the funding. If the authors provide the grant number, we include that in a separate sub-field. Any other information about the funding source is added to the Other Details sub-field. This can run the gamut from the name of a scholarship to the name of a large-scale research initiative.
All four of these sub-fields may be searched by choosing the Grant/Sponsorship option. For example, try searching PsycINFO for your institution, or for a grant number (try KZCC-EW-103-2).
Searching PsycINFO, via APA PsycNET, for the grant number.
Why provide this information? It’s one more detail that we believe can be helpful in working with PsycINFO. Instructors can use the information to open a conversation about bias in research with their class; it can also be used as a source of ideas for researchers who are seeking funding, looking for collaborators, or want to find out if the funder was a government agency or commercial entity.
You won’t see the Grant/Sponsorship field on every record in PsycINFO, as we didn’t begin collecting this information until 2005. And of course, not everything indexed in the database includes funding acknowledgements.
By Ian Galloway, Senior Vocabulary Development Specialist
We recently released an update to The Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms, the source of the controlled vocabulary used in indexing PsycINFO and the other APA databases. All of the items included in APA databases – journal articles, books and book chapters, dissertations, and more – are represented by a record that is indexed, or tagged, with Index Terms from the Thesaurus. This allows someone searching a database to quickly find all of the items about a particular concept, such as Affirmative Therapy, Playfulness, or Transactional Leadership, no matter what terminology the authors used.
Keywords, Index Terms, and PsycINFO Classification Codes from a record in the PsycARTICLES database.