PsycINFO

EBSCO PsycINFO – Quick Guide

PsycINFO is an online database for abstracts of journal articles, books and dissertations, compiled by the American Psychological Association. UEL subscribes to it via EBSCO.

PsycINFO contains over 3 million citations and summaries of journal articles, books, book chapters and dissertations across the many fields of psychology. It also covers psychological aspects of disciplines such as counselling, coaching, education, psychiatry, sociology, linguistics and business. It covers over 2,500 journals from across the world, with content ranging from the 1800s to the present day. 99% of material is peer-reviewed.

How do I access EBSCO PsycINFO?

  1. Go to the Library and Learning Services intranet page.
  2. Click on the Databases & E-journals box.
  3. From the Database A-Z list choose E for EBSCO.
  4. Select On-Campus or Off-Campus access. You will need to login to access off campus (see the video guide here).
  5. Select PsycINFO from the list of EBSCOhost databases.

Searching PsycINFO

1) Enter your search terms in the box and click Search.

2) Refine the results from the left-hand side of the results page by, for example:

Linked full text – Only shows results with instant access to the complete article. It is generally best to avoid this option as PsycINFO specialises in abstracts, with the full-text of many articles easily found in other collections (see below).

References available – Displays articles with instantly available reference lists.

Peer reviewed – Limits results to articles which have been verified for accuracy and quality by recognised experts.

Publication date – Useful for restricting results to recent articles or, alternatively, to a particular period e.g. ‘current’ thinking in the 1980s.

Age and gender – Limits results to those which examine certain age groups or a specific gender e.g. women aged 18-29.

Methodology – Restrict to certain methodologies e.g. empirical or qualitative.

How do I find the full-text of articles?

  • From the results list, click on the article title to see its full record, including an abstract.
  • If the complete article is available from PsycINFO, a PDF Full Text or HTML Full Text link will appear. Click on this link to access the complete article.
  • Often full-text will not be available from PsycINFO because it specialises in abstracts. To check if UEL has the full article available elsewhere in its collections click the Check for full text access‘ link in the search results and a search will be conducted in LibrarySearch for full text access.

Can I print, save, email or export references?

  • From the results list, click on the title of an article to view it’s full record. You will then see Print, E-mail, Save and Export icons on the right-hand side under ‘Tools’.
  • Alternatively, from the results list click on the Add to folder link to save records to a folder on EBSCO. Click on Folder at the very top of the screen to view the folder contents. You can then print, email, save or export the records together.

How can I improve my search?

PsycINFO defaults to phrase searching e.g. optimism health will find those words appearing next to each other. To find them anywhere in a result (i.e. not necessarily adjacent to one another), put AND between them e.g. optimism AND health.

Other search tips:

  • Use OR to broaden your search by looking for alternative words: e.g. optimism or positivism will find results containing either of these terms.
  • Use NOT to narrow your search by eliminating certain words e.g. children NOT teenagers will eliminate results containing the word ‘teenagers’.
  • Use ? in the middle of a word to find alternative spellings e.g. wom?n will find woman and women. Along similar lines, * finds alternative word endings e.g. stress* will find stress, stressed, stressful etc.

For further support, contact your Subject Librarian. Your Subject Librarian can show you advanced features such as how to use the indexes and the thesaurus, as well as tips on refining your search.

TIP: Click on Sign In at the top of the screen to create a free EBSCOhost account. You can then save your folders and search history for future use. Without an EBSCOhost account, anything saved in your folder will be lost when you end your session.

What is the PsycINFO thesaurus? How do I use it?

  • The PsycINFO thesaurus enables you to find search terms which match those used to index the articles. Using these ‘subject terms’ will improve your results.
  • Click on Thesaurus at the top of the screen.
  • The first search box is for PsycINFO. The second one is for the thesaurus. Enter the word or phrase you are looking for in this box and click Browse.
  • Once you find the term you want, tick the box and click Add to add it to the PsycINFO search box. Alternatively, click on the term itself to view related terms.
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