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.

PsycINFO Expert Tip: Online First Publications

What is an Online First Publication?

Online First Publication, also called OFP or First Posting, is a publication status that you may see for journal articles in the PsycARTICLES® database. It means that an article has been published online ahead of its journal issue. You can think of it like an artist’s single that premiers ahead of the full album.

How does this early publishing work?

Most scholarly journals release new issues once every month or once every quarter. When an article has been accepted for publication, and the author and publisher have completed any needed edits or corrections to the manuscript, it is assigned to an issue. But it may be months before that issue is published. In order to make the research available sooner, a “First Posting” version of the article is added to PsycARTICLES. It will reach “full publication” status between 1 month and 1 year later, when the issue is published.

What if something changes between the OFP’s release and the full publication?

Any record, OFP or not, can be corrected and have a replacement version released in PsycARTICLES. These corrected records are added twice weekly, at the same time as new records.

Continue reading

PsycARTICLES Expert Tip: What Journals Are Included?

PsycARTICLES®, our full-text database of articles published by APA and affiliated journals, is a rich resource of peer-reviewed articles dating back more than a century. Researchers can find the latest scholarship from across psychology and the behavioral sciences, and can also look back at the history and development of psychology.

But what’s in PsycARTICLES? As of today, the full-text of more than 100 journals is available, back to Volume 1, Issue 1 in most cases. One way to peruse the list of titles is to simply use the Browse menu on APA PsycNET, where you can choose to see the list alphabetically by title, or arranged by topic. (EBSCOhost, Ovid , and ProQuest offer a similar feature.)

Screenshot showing the Browse page for PsycARTICLES on APA PsycNET

Browsing PsycARTICLES on APA PsycNET.

The advantage of using the Browse function built into PsycARTICLES is that you can easily access individual issues of each journal, and from there the full-text of individual articles. However, we also have the full list on our website, where you can easily see the years of publication available, as well as the volumes. This can be helpful if you simply want to quickly check whether or not a particular publication is included.

Screenshot of PsycARTICLES coverage list from the APA website.

The full list of journals in PsycARTICLES is available on the APA website.

 

We also provide access to a document that details any name changes for journals covered in PsycARTICLES.

This information, and more, can be found on the PsycARTICLES Coverage Information webpage. You can find coverage information for our other databases in the Search Help and Training Center.

In Case You Missed It: New Terms Added to the PsycINFO Thesaurus

In November 2015, we 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. This particular update was significantly larger than previous vocabulary updates, containing 227 new Index Terms.

In December, we shared the details of the update, highlighting some of the new terms and other changes that were incorporated. We also provided a document with the full list of Index Terms included in the update.

Did you miss that post? Take a look! It explains several important points about the new terminology, including a change to the language used to tag research on Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Related Resources

Changes to the Thesaurus sometimes impact search alerts and saved searches. For example, when a new term replaces an older term, saved searches and search alerts created with the older term will no longer generate updates. In this update, 5 terms were changed such that any saved searches or search alerts that use them will no longer retrieve the desired results.

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
Aspergers Syndrome
Autism
Pervasive Developmental Disorders
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Complications (Disorders) Sequelae
Q Sort Testing Technique Q-Sort

 

For assistance in updating your search alerts, please see our post PsycINFO Expert Tip: Updating Search Alerts When a Thesaurus Term Changes.