APA Librarian Conference Travel Award: Reflections on ALISE 2016

The most recent recipient of the APA Librarian Conference Travel Award, Karen N. Reed from the Middle Tennessee State University, used the award to defray the cost of attendance at the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) conference in January. Alison Cody in APA’s Databases & Electronic Resources Customer Relations group recently talked with her to get her impressions of the conference. The following transcript of their conversation has been lightly edited for clarity and context.

Alison: What are your overall impressions of the ALISE conference?

Karen: I had a wonderful time at ALISE! It was very well-organized, and there were a nice range of session topics to choose from.

Alison: While you were there this year, you presented a paper to a special interest group in your research area. How did that go?

Karen: Yes, I presented a paper to the School Library Media SIG, which is an interest group for educators of K-12 school librarians. I was nervous going in, but was very pleased when it was over and I was able to receive audience feedback. People were very supportive but also asked questions that helped me think of an area for future research. You know, when you’re wrapped up in a research project, the subject matter is so clear to you – getting feedback from others can help you see things in a different light, or question where you were going. All of these ideas from others can only strengthen your work.

Alison: That must have been extremely valuable. Was the feedback useful for the current paper as well?

Karen: Yes, the feedback from my audience regarding my paper was so helpful; I’ve taken that feedback into account in tweaking my paper before I submit it for publication. Also, I was amazed at the individuals who attended my presentation: these were well-known people in my field. In fact, several of the people who spoke to me and gave me feedback were researchers that I had quoted in my paper! In speaking to them, I really had to stifle my fangirl urge to gush and instead try to act professional in talking research. But part of me was thinking “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m talking to so-and-so!”

Alison: What a great experience! What else did you pick up while you were there?

Karen: It was extremely helpful to me to listen to the different presentations and compare their research methodologies. I saw a nice range of ideas, and seeing their practical application to a research scenario gave me much to think about. I am currently writing my dissertation proposal, so it was perfect timing for me to attend this conference and soak in the research designs that have worked for other people.

Alison: It sounds like this was a great conference for you. Who would you recommend ALISE to, and why?

Karen: ALISE is structured towards university library science educators, which is a smaller and more specialized group than the prior librarian conferences I’ve attended such as ACRL. This is a more close-knit group of regulars who seem to know each other and work well together across different institutions. If this is a group that you are interested in meeting with and networking, then I highly encourage this conference.

Alison: I agree! And I’m glad to hear that it was a useful conference for you.

Karen: I am just very grateful to the APA for funding this opportunity. The conference went by very quickly, but I will remember it as a career highlight.

Alison: I’m so glad to hear that! Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today.

Now through March 31, 2016, the APA Librarian Conference Travel Award is accepting applications for conferences taking place from May to August 2017. Please see the website for more details on eligibility, deadlines, and application materials.

From the Deck of . . . The ALA Midwinter 2017 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.

We recently presented our Lunch & Learn training session at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting & Exhibition. During the session, we reviewed PsycTESTS®, an extensive collection of psychological tests, measures, scales, surveys, and other instruments. Over 42,000 tests are represented in the database, and a full or partial version of the measure is available for about 50% of them.

PsycTESTS is a wonderful resource for students learning to conduct measures, or researchers developing their own tests. In addition, many of the tests included can be used for non-commercial research and educational purposes, which includes general clinical use. (For more information, see our post How Permissions Work in PsycTESTS.)

During our session at ALA Midwinter, we reviewed the record structure of PsycTESTS, which is very different from a database like PsycINFO®. In PsycINFO, one article is represented by one record, which contains information about the article, taken from the article itself. In PsycTESTS, a test can be represented by multiple records, which contain information about the test, taken from a source document. A source document is typically a journal article, book chapter, technical report, or dissertation.

Visual representation of PsycTESTS record structure at http://www.apa.org/pubs/databases/psyctests

A visual representation of the record structure for PsycTESTS.


Every test in PsycTESTS is represented by a Test Master Record, which displays basic information about the test. You’ll also see either a Test Development Record or a Test Primary Data Record, which provide additional information about the test.

  • The Test Master Record provides basic information about the instrument and links to other records, which contain information from source documents, such as a journal article or book chapter:
    • Test Development Record: provides information describing the development of the measure
    • A Primary Data Record is provided for commercial tests, or tests with no source document (for example, a historical test)

A small number of tests will have an additional record or records:

    • Test Use Record: provides information describing a new use of the measure (for example, an article that reports on using a test developed for adults with children)
    • Test Review Record: provides information about an evaluation of the measure

The way these records are connected, and how they interact with one another, varies widely depending on how you access PsycTESTS: via APA PsycNET®, EBSCOhost, Ovid, or ProQuest. To see what a PsycTESTS record looks like on your platform, take a look at the slides from our Lunch & Learn. You’ll also find some sample search scenarios for PsycTESTS.

The presentation also included an overview of incorporating APA Style CENTRAL® into your teaching, and a look at some new and forthcoming publications.

Related Resources:

A “Getting Started with PsycTESTS” guide is available for each of the major vendor platforms. This handout demonstrates the various fields and features in PsycTESTS. To download or link to this resource, visit our Search Guides page.

Exhibits Update: Society for Personality and Social Psychology Convention

The Society for Personality and Social Psychology Convention will be held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX, from Thursday, January 19 – Saturday, January 21, 2017. The American Psychological Association will be participating in the Exhibits Hall throughout the conference.


Stop by to learn more about APA Style CENTRAL®, an exciting new institutional electronic resource for APA Style® that launched this summer, and get the latest updates about APA Journals, Books, and Databases.


And be sure to look for our Theater Session, Teaching with APA Style CENTRAL on Saturday, January 21, 2017, 11:00 am to 12:15 pm.

APA Training Sessions at ALA Midwinter 2017

ALA Midwinter Meeting logo.Will you be at the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Atlanta this January? We hope to see you at our Lunch & Learn! If you can’t attend the session, please stop by the booth (#1548) to catch a brief presentation on Saturday or Sunday.


American Psychological Association Lunch & Learn @ ALA Midwinter
Monday, January 23, 2016
1:00-2:30 p.m. EST
RSVP: https://apa-lunch.eventbrite.com/?aff=b

Join us for an update on APA’s Databases and Electronic Resources. This year’s session will include an overview of how to incorporate APA Style CENTRAL®, our new resource for learning and teaching APA Style®, into your courses and workshops. Live search demos on the APA Databases will review new fields and features added to PsycINFO® in 2016, and provide a refresher on PsycTESTS®.

Walk-ins are always welcome, but priority will be given to participants who register in advance. Be sure to RSVP if you plan to attend: https://apa-lunch.eventbrite.com/?aff=b

Presentations in the APA Booth (#1548)
Staff from the APA Databases and Electronic Resources Customer Relations team will be available at the booth throughout the conference, and will be conducting brief presentations on Saturday and Sunday:

A Brief Tour of APA Style CENTRAL – A 15-minute whirlwind tour of our new resource for teaching, learning, and writing in APA Style:

  • Saturday, January 21 at 9:30 a.m.
  • Sunday, January 22 at 1:30 p.m.

APA Style CENTRAL: The Writing Center – An overview of the writing center, including a look at collaboration tools and resources for additional help.

  • Saturday, January 21 at 4:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, January 22 at 9:30 a.m.

New Fields & Features in PsycINFO – A brief review of new fields and features added to PsycINFO in 2016.

  • Saturday, January 21 at 1:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, January 22 at 4:00 p.m.

Exhibits Update: National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology

Logo for National Institute for the Teaching of Psychology conference.The National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology will be held at the TradeWinds Island Grand Hotel in St. Pete Beach, FL, from January 3-6, 2017.

If faculty from your psychology department are attending, please encourage them to visit the American Psychological Association table. Representatives from APA will be available to demonstrate APA Style CENTRAL®, our new resource for learning, teaching, and writing in APA Style®.