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.

Your APA Account

To set up any type of alert, you’ll need to be logged in to your APA account.

If you access APA PsycNET through a Gold or Platinum package:

  • the username and password for MyAPA and My PsycNET are the same
  • the email associated with your APA account is the email that will receive PsycALERTS. You can view or edit your email within MyAPA

If you access APA PsycNET through your school or institution:

  • you’ll need to create a free APA account, if you haven’t before
  • when creating your account, provide the email where you want to receive PsycALERTS

Saved Search & Topic Alerts

The first step to turning your search into an alert is to save the search to your account. From the APA PsycNET search results page, click the disk icon to save your search.

Open My PsycNET to view your Saved Searches. You can set an email alert (or get an RSS feed) to be notified when new PsycINFO records that match the search are released. Once you click the bell icon, the search will also appear in the PsycALERT tab as a Topic Alert.

Click the pencil icon to edit the Name, Frequency, or Expiration Date of Topic Alert. (To edit the search itself, go back to the Saved Searches tab.)

Citation Alerts

Citation alerts track individual articles from APA Journals, and notify you if a publication in an APA database cites it, if a correction to this article is published, or if a comment/reply about this article is published.

You can start a citation alert, correction alert, or comment/reply alert by going to the HTML full-text of any PsycARTICLES record. On the search results page, select the PsycARTICLES tab. Then, select the Full-Text HTML.

At the top of the page, you’ll see Alerts next to a bell icon. Here, you can choose to be alerted if a publication in an APA database cites, corrects, or comments / replies to the article you’ve chosen.

The alerts will be sent to the email associated with your APA account, and will include a link to the APA PsycNET page for the new publication, which could be a journal article in PsycARTICLES, a dissertation in PsycINFO, a book chapter in PsycBOOKS, or another scholarly work.

New Publication Alerts

Alerts for new issues of APA Journals, Database releases, and New APA books are are managed separately from APA PsycNET. To access these, go to and login with your APA account (as explained in the first section).

The “Journals” tab allows you to set up a PsycALERT for new issues of APA Journals. You can select which titles you want to receive notifications for, and if you want to be notified of new issues, new Online First Publications, or both.

The “Books” PsycALERT is for new books published by APA. You will receive an email notification once a month when new full-text book chapters are available in the PsycBOOKS database.

The “Databases” PsycALERT is for PsycTESTS. You will receive an email notification once a month when new records about psychological tests and measures are available in the PsycTESTS database. PsycTESTS provides the full-text of the test in about half of its records. For a guide to finding full-text tests in PsycTESTS, please view our tutorial.

Related Resources

APA PsycNET Help – My PsycNET

APA PsycNET Help – Email Alerts

APA PsycNET Help – Return to Saved Searches

Marta Soto