Tutorial Thursday: Sample PsycINFO Search

It’s Tutorial Thursday! In this series, we explore APA’s extensive library of video tutorials, available on YouTube. Please feel free to link or embed videos or playlists in library websites or LibGuides, course management systems, or other locations where students, faculty, and researchers will find them.

Consistently some of our most frequently watched tutorials, our sample searches for PsycINFO have collectively seen more than 14,000 views in their lifetime – and for good reason. This tutorial provides a quick overview of how to turn a research question into a productive search strategy.

Four versions of this tutorial are available, using demo searches on each of the major vendor platforms – APA PsycNET, EBSCOhost, ProQuest, and OvidSP. They each follow the same model, starting by pointing out the core concepts in a sample research question.

Tutorial screenshot

The tutorial then moves into a platform-specific search of the PsycINFO Thesaurus, locating the Index Terms for each of the concepts. Major and minor terms, scope notes, and Use references are briefly explained.

Tutorial screenshot

Just four minutes long, this tutorial is a great resource for students who have taken a library instruction session and need a refresher on how to turn their research topic into a database search that works.

How does this tutorial compare to your own methods for reviewing this step in the research process? Do you have any tips or examples that resonate with your students? Share them in the comments!

Sample PsycINFO Search Tutorials for:

Alison K. Cody, MSLIS

I'm the Manager of Customer Support for APA's Databases & Electronic Resources, and a former academic reference & instruction librarian.

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