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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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:

Tutorial Thursday: Using the Author Affiliation Field in PsycINFO on EBSCOhost

It’s Tutorial Thursday! 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: Using the Author Affiliation Field in PsycINFO on EBSCOhost.

Video thumbnail

Do you want to discover what institutions are conducting research relevant to a specific topic, or track down a corresponding author’s contact information?

The Author Affiliation field in PsycINFO provides information about authors’ affiliations at the time of publication. This can be helpful to psychology students and practitioners who want to locate an author, see the kind of research conducted at an institution, or are considering where to apply to graduate school based on topics of interest.

This three-minute video demonstrates how to use the PsycINFO® Author Affiliation Field when searching PsycINFO on the EBSCOhost platform, and includes:

  • Description and search examples for the PsycINFO Author Affiliation field;
  • Using the Source, Authors, and Address fields to help obtain the contact information for a corresponding author; and
  • How to search for articles written by authors affiliated with a particular institution.

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

Related Resources:

Tutorial Thursday: Using PsycINFO Classification Codes on EBSCOhost

It’s Tutorial Thursday! 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: Using Classification Codes in PsycINFO on EBSCOhost.

Screenshot of tutorial title screen for Using Classification Codes in PsycINFO (EBSCOhost)

For a more powerful and precise search, you can include PsycINFO Classification Codes in your query. Searching all fields or the “Keywords” field in a database is an easy way to start your research, but using these numerical codes from the APA Thesaurus will help you retrieve the resources you need more quickly and effectively.

Classification Codes are assigned by APA indexers to categorize documents in the PsycINFO database according to the primary subject matter. They are especially helpful for targeting your results when a search term can mean different things in different contexts, or when you want to search broadly.

This three-minute video demonstrates how to use PsycINFO® Classification Codes when searching PsycINFO (and other APA databases) on the EBSCOhost platform, and includes:

  • Description and examples of PsycINFO Classification Codes;
  • Where to find the complete list of PsycINFO Classification Codes; and
  • How to apply these codes to narrow your search to the most relevant results on the EBSCOhost platform.

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

Related Resources:

Spotlight: PsycINFO® Quick Reference Guides

Need a brief overview on how to search PsycINFO®?  We have a Quick Reference Guide for that!

Screenshot of PsycINFO Quick Reference Guide for APA PsycNET showing description of PsycINFO

PsycINFO Quick Reference Guide for APA PsycNET®

 

Learn the basics of searching PsycINFO on your platform to make your search more effective. Each PsycINFO Quick Reference Guide covers:

  • System navigation
  • Command searching
  • Correct search syntax for specific fields
  • Advanced search syntax (e.g., Boolean operators, truncation)
  • Limiting your search
  • Managing your search results
  • Platform-specific tips
PsycINFO Search Basics on APA PsycNET: Screenshot of Quick Reference Guide showing descriptions of Boolean Operators (AND, OR, and NOT), Phrases, and Truncation

PsycINFO Search Basics on APA PsycNET

 

Download or link to the PsycINFO Quick Reference Guide for your platform:

This is a perfect course handout for students who are new to searching PsycINFO, or anyone else who may want a refresher. Librarians and faculty can request pocket-size print versions to distribute: Email psycinfo@apa.org with your name, institution, mailing address, quantity needed, and specified platform.

Related Resources:

APA provides search help and training for all end-users, from novices through expert searchers. Find search guides, webinar schedules, tutorials, and more at our APA Search Help and Training Center for databases and electronic resources.

Be sure to check out our PsycINFO YouTube channel for short training tutorials and webinar recordings demonstrating how to put APA databases to work for you. View the playlist for your platform: APA Databases on APA PsycNET, APA Databases on EBSCOhost, APA Databases on Ovid, or APA Databases on ProQuest.