Getting Started with PsycINFO

PsycINFO-- covering psychology deeply

PsycINFO is the database produced by the American Psychological Association (APA). It indexes journals, books and book chapters, and dissertations from 1887 on. It covers more than 1,700 journals, primarily from the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

PsycINFO is of use to people in education, communication, medicine, business, public health, and other disciplines, as well as psychology and psychiatry.

PsycARTICLES is the companion product, indexing and providing full text for journals primarily from the APA, the Canadian Psychological Association, and a few other titles.

Searching in PsycINFO

Search PsycINFO using your chosen terms, along with Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT (or the operators in the dropdown menus); the truncation symbol gets variations such as other word endings and plural forms. For example, putting in child* would get back child, child's, children, children's, childhood, and so on.

Also, terms connected with AND, OR and NOT work much better than typing in an entire sentence.

A search like: (anxiety or depression) and parenting style and child*

should work much better than using a sentence such as: Does parenting style affect anxiety or depression in adult children? because the software tries to find the whole sentence if you type one in.

Using quotation marks

Want to find a phrase instead of individual words? Put the phrase "in quotes." For example: "altruistic behavior." Be aware that this will limit your search. The word altruism by itself produced ten times as many citations as the phrase "altruistic behavior."

Also, stop words are common words that occur so often that they interrupt the software; they include words such as the, so, when, and where, for example.

Typically, when a phrase is enclosed by double quotations marks, the exact phrase is searched. This is not true of phrases containing stop words. A stop word will never be searched for in an EBSCOhost database, even if it is enclosed in double quotation marks. A search query with stop words only (i.e. no other terms) yields no results.

When Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) are included in a phrase search that is enclosed by quotations marks, the operator is treated as a stop word. When this is the case, any single word will be searched in its place.

If one of the words in your search term is also a field code, or tag for a particular area of the record to search, that word will be treated as a searchable field code unless your phrase is surrounded by quotation marks.

Use the "Find It" button to locate items. PsycArticles should include full text of the articles found. PsycINFO may or may not have the full text attached to the citation.