PsycINFO Expert Tip: Search Alerts & PsycALERTS

If you’re working on a long-term research project, one of your first steps may be a review of the literature. You’ll spend some time picking your best search terms, creating a search query, and identifying journals that are a close fit with your topic. As you move into the data gathering and writing stages, you’ll still want to keep an eye on new publications in your area.

Or if you are an instructor or practitioner, even though your formal schooling is completed, you want to make sure you continue learning about new discoveries in your field of expertise.

Setting up a search alert helps you efficiently keep up with scholarly publications that meet your criteria as they are added to PsycINFO®. There are three types of search alerts you can set up on APA PsycNET®: Topic Alerts, Citation Alerts, and New Publication Alerts. Together, these are called PsycALERTS®.

This post explains in detail how PsycALERTS work on APA PsycNET. If you access PsycINFO® on EBSCOhost, ProQuest, or Ovid, these platforms have free personal accounts and search alert tools that serve the same purpose. It’s best to get the alerts from the same platform that you use to access PsycINFO, so you can easily find the full-text at your institution.

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From the Deck of … MLA ’18 Sunrise Seminar

Welcome to “From the Deck of . . .” an irregular series in which we highlight search demos and other information from the slide decks we create for our live training sessions. You can view and download these materials from the PsycINFO SlideShare account.

At the Medical Library Association Annual Meeting earlier this month, we presented a Sunrise Seminar training session. This session focused on searchable fields in PsycINFO® that are especially relevant to medical & health fields, including:

  • first postings
  • NLM Title abbreviation
  • PMID
  • MeSH
  • grants / sponsorships
  • methodology

We also demonstrated how the APA Style CENTRAL® Writing Center can assist with teaching or writing your own meta-analysis, including:

  • choosing a paper template
  • managing the reference list
  • creating and importing tables


You can review the slides from our MLA 2018 Sunrise Seminar on our SlideShare account.

You can also view just the slides about APA Style CENTRAL.

 

Related Resources:

Blog post – Online First Publications
Blog post – What’s a PMID?
Blog post – Grants & Sponsorships
Tutorial – The Meta-Analysis Template

Webinar Alert: Spring PsycINFO Sessions for Librarians

Our spring semester lineup of webinars for librarians kicks off next week. If you’re looking to expand your search skills, or just need a PsycINFO refresher, we hope you’ll join us! We offer two different one-hour sessions, both of which include live search demos.

 

Behind the Scenes of PsycINFO reviews the structure of APA Database records, and covers fields such as Index Terms, Keywords, and Classification Codes.

 

Beyond Subject Searching in PsycINFO includes a review of searching for information on tests and measures, and looks at other ways you can use PsycINFO to do more than just locating articles.

 

Additional Webinars for Students and Faculty

Looking for sessions for students and faculty, or our APA Style CENTRAL Online Introduction? Please visit our main webinars page for schedules and descriptions.

 

View Tutorials Anytime, Anywhere!

We also offer a large library of video tutorials. These can help you – and the students, faculty, and researchers you support – become a PsycINFO expert: https://www.youtube.com/PsycINFO

From the Deck of… ALA Midwinter 2018

Welcome to “From the Deck of . . .” an irregular series in which we highlight search demos and other information from the slide decks we create for our live training sessions. You can view and download these materials from the PsycINFO SlideShare account.

At the recent American Library Association Midwinter conference, APA hosted a Lunch & Learn training session, which covered searchable vocabularies in PsycINFO®.

  • Keywords are searched using natural language, and are good for current research and new concepts.
  • Index Terms (also called Subject Headings) are found in the thesaurus tool, and help the focused researcher quickly find all records about a concept.
  • PsycINFO Classification Codes® describe broad areas of psychology, and are good to pair with a keyword or an index term search.
  • MeSH, or Medical Subject Headings, are assigned by National Library of Medicine, and are good for searching neuroscience and health topics, especially for researchers familiar with PubMed.

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In Case You Missed It – Searching By Keyword, Index Term, and More

In January of 2017, we posted about searching PsycINFO® by different vocabularies – keywords, index terms, classification codes, and MeSH.

 

In case you missed it, start the new semester off with a better understanding of which vocabulary will suit your needs.

 

Keywords (also called Key Concepts or Identifiers) – individual words, key concepts, or brief phrases that describe the document’s content; usually provided by the author or publisher.

Good for researchers who are new to a topic.

 

Index Terms (also called Subjects or Subject Headings) – are chosen by APA staff from Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms®.

Good for the focused researcher. 

 

Classification Codes (also called PsycINFO Classifications) – a descriptive term plus a corresponding numerical code; like the index terms, there is a pre-existing list, or controlled vocabulary.

Good to pair with keywords or index terms.

 

MeSH – Medical Subject Headings are a controlled vocabulary maintained by the National Library of Medicine for their PubMed database.

Good for medical or neuroscience topics.

 

To learn more about any of these search vocabularies, review our post on them from January 2017.

 

Related Resources:

PsycINFO Expert Tip – Searching by Keywords Across Platforms

PsycINFO Expert Tip – Classification Codes

SlideShare – Searching by Keyword, Index Term, and More

Tutorial – Using PsycINFO Classification Codes on EBSCOhost