The Tutorials on APA Databases page has been redesigned for easier use. It contains the same content, but the tutorials are now grouped in playlists by platform (APA PsycNET, EBSCOhost, Ovid, and ProQuest).
This page also contains the YouTube playlist for the Introduction to APA Databases that explains how to use our different databases and what you’ll find inside each one. This information is helpful for new users or anyone that could benefit from a refresher.
If you’re not yet familiar with this extensive library of video tutorials, we invite you to head on over and check it out! On the APA Databases site, look for the “Tutorials on APA Databases” link under the “Training & Technical Support” section in the right navigation pane.
Feel free to link to any of these playlists — or individual videos — in your library websites, LibGuides, course management systems, or other locations where students, faculty, and researchers will find them.
Today we’d like to highlight one of our APA Style CENTRAL® handouts, “Research Lab Book: Develop My Research Idea” (PDF, 599K). Please feel free to link to this handout where students, faculty, and researchers will find it!
APA Style CENTRAL’s Research Lab Book is a suite of tools to help you plan and document your research process. Develop My Research Idea guides you through developing a research idea that is neither too broad nor too narrow. Appropriate for use with original research or a literature review, this 5-step approach walks you through a structured framework for brainstorming your interests, identifying a specific topic, developing a research question, elaborating on the details of that question, and clarifying your expectations about the outcome of your research.
When you’re done, you’ll be ready to search for relevant literature and begin considering your study design.
Undergraduates and others who can benefit from a more structured way of formulating a research topic will find this tool helpful.
Faculty and writing instructors can also use these steps individually or in combination as Continue reading
When you start writing a paper in APA Style CENTRAL®, you choose a template and then choose either the Student assignment or Professional manuscript version. The difference is that the Professional version includes three additional paper sections – an Author Note, an Abstract, and Keywords.
You can add these fields to a paper that was started using the Student template.
Click on the Customize Paper Sections on the upper right, and then select to Include Author Note, Abstract, and/or Keywords.
The Abstract and Keywords will be added as sections ahead of the Body on the left side, and Author Note will be added as a section within the Title Page.
If you have started a paper in the Professional template, and don’t want to use these fields, just leave them blank.
In January of 2017, we posted about searching APA 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 APA 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.
APA PsycInfo Expert Tip – Searching by Keywords Across Platforms
APA PsycInfo Expert Tip – Classification Codes
Tutorial – Using APA PsycInfo Classification Codes on EBSCOhost
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.