From the Deck of . . . the ALA Midwinter 2016 Lunch & Learn

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 our SlideShare account.

One of the items we discussed during our presentation at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting was how to find book reviews in PsycINFO. We performed this search demonstration live using ProQuest, and have recreated it below with screenshots. You can take similar steps to complete this search on APA PsycNET, EBSCOhost, or Ovid. If you need assistance, talk to a librarian, or contact us at

Before we get started, remember that PsycINFO is not a full text database, so the full text of the reviews you find may not be displayed. If you’re searching PsycINFO through your college or university’s subscription, ask a librarian for help finding the full text. If you’re searching through an individual subscription to APA PsycNET, this brief tutorial may be of assistance.

Cover of Positive Spirituality in Health Care, by Frederic C. Craigie, Jr.
Let’s say that you’re thinking of using Positive Spirituality in Health Care, by Frederic C. Craigie, Jr., in an upcoming course, and are interested in seeing some reviews of the book. Start by making sure you’re searching only PsycINFO. Find the “Reviewed work – RV” field and enter the name of the book:

Searching PsycINFO on ProQuest for Positive Spirituality in Health care in the Reviewed Work field

There’s a review in the journal Families, Systems, & Health.

Screenshot of search results

This is a journal published by APA, with full-text available in our PsycARTICLES database. If you have access to PsycARTICLES on ProQuest, you’ll automatically have access to the full text.

What happens if you don’t find any reviews of the book? If you’re interested in reading reviews no matter when they come out, you can turn the search into an alert. Here’s a search for reviews of Supervision Essentials for the Integrative Developmental Model, by Brian W. McNeill, PhD, and Cal D. Stoltenberg, PhD. As you can see, none are available yet. To turn the search into an alert, click “Recent searches.”

Turning a search into an alert on ProQuest

Then, hover over “Actions” next to the search. You can get an RSS feed that will deliver any relevant results when they’re added to PsycINFO, or you can set up an email alert that will do the same.

Setting up a search alert on ProQuest

To set up an email alert, click the “Create alert” option and fill out the form. (ProQuest does not require that you have a free account to set up alerts, but other interfaces do, so you may need to set one up at this point.)

Setting up a search alert on ProQuest - adding your details

That’s it! On ProQuest, your search will remain active for 1 year, and you have the option to extend it if you need.

During our presentation at ALA Midwinter, we presented three other live search demos. Screenshots for all four of them are available by downloading the slides.

  • EBSCOhost: Using the Thesaurus
  • APA PsycNET: Sort search results by Times Cited
  • Ovid: Using the Author Affiliation field

Alison K. Cody, MSLIS

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