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9/2/2014
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PsycInfo USER GUIDE

 

PsycINFO covers scholarly literature in educational psychology, experimental psychology, and applied psychology.  This database includes original research, journal articles, literature reviews, survey results, case studies, etc.

BEFORE BEGINNING:

  • List all ideas and concepts that describe your search topic.
  • Narrow your topic.  Remember your goal is to get a manageable number of useful records.
  • Think of as many search terms describing your topic as you can.

 ACCESS:

  • Go to the UCF Libraries homepage at http://library.ucf.edu/
  • Click on <Articles & Databases> and then on <Education> in the Discipline menu and scroll down to the database name OR click on <P> on the "Titles" alphabetical menu.
  • Click on the database name

  • Or select <PsycINFO> from the EBSCOhost menu.

SEARCH:

  • Select one of the search screens from the tabbed tool bar for conducting the search.

 

    •   <Basic Search>  opens the Keyword Search screen. Enter a keyword, phrase or combined word search in the “Find” box and click on <SEARCH> .
    •   <Advanced Search> –offers multiple text boxes, Boolean search (AND, OR, NOT) capabilities and searchable fields that allow you to develop a well focused search.
    • Thesaurus uses subject keyword searching, search history and limiters to help one focus a search.  Click <Thesaurus> from the subtoolbar button.  Enter search terms in the “Browse for” field, select limiters and field codes, then click <Search>. 
    • Choose Databases –allows you to select another EBSCOhost database to search.
  • Type a search term or phrase in the <Find> field.

  • Separate keywords with AND, OR, or NOT.  Expand the search with synonyms by connecting words with the word "or".  Narrow the search by adding more terms and linking them with the word "and".  Combine search techniques: i.e., discipline AND (secondary schools OR high schools)
    If "and" and "or" are both used, the words linked by "or" need to be in parentheses).
  • Use the asterisk (*) to retrieve various endings. i.e., counsel* retrieves counselors OR counseling.
  • To keep words in a specific order, use the (w) within operator.  i.e., behavior w problems retrieves the word behavior always followed by the word problems.  
  • Click on <Search>.
  • Use <Advanced Search> when searching multiple entry fields, Boolean operators, field codes or multiple search terms.
    • Click <Advanced Search> from the Search window toolbar.
    • Enter your search terms in the “Find” box.
    • Enter additional search terms in the optional text boxes.

    • Use the pull-down menus to select Boolean operators to connect your search terms.  
    • Add limiters to narrow your search or expanders to broaden it. To select multiple terms from a list, press the Ctrl key (or Command key) and click the left mouse button. (If you change expanders while searching, this may affect your search history.)   In the example below I have limited results to journal articles.  If I wish to retrieve both journal articles and non-journal items (documents), highlight "None applied."  For additional examples, see the Limit the Current Search below.

     

    • Click <Search>.  

 

 SELECTING SEARCH TERMS  (Using the EBSCOhost Toolbar options)

  • The most effective way of searching PsycINFO is by using descriptors.  However, using descriptors means that you must use the controlled vocabulary (terms the indexers use when describing concepts).  To identify descriptors, you must use the Thesaurus tab on the Ebscohost toolbar.
  • The thesaurus allows you to look up the official subject terms using the subject authority file.  
  • Click on the thesaurus button on the green toolbar to select search terms from the subject authority file.
  • Enter your search terms, for example discipline, in the Browse for field. To search for a person's name, use the following format: last name, first name.
  • Click the Alphabetical radio button to list your search results in alphabetical order.  Click on the Relevancy Ranked radio button to list your search results according to relevance.  
  • Explode retrieves all references indexed to your term and its related narrower terms.
  • Click Browse to view your term(s) as they appear in the Subject Authority File. A results list is then displayed showing terms retrieved.

  • Select one or more terms by checking the box to the left of the term desired.  

  • To see related terms, click on the term itself. You can view the scope note explaining how indexers use the term, plus any broader or narrower terms you can then include in your search.

  • After selecting the terms you wish to search, click on <Add> to add the selected term/s to the search. Your terms will appear in the Find box
  • Click on <Search> to retrieve records that match your search criteria.

     

REFINING YOUR SEARCH:

  • Add additional terms to your search to help narrow or broaden it.  
  • Click <Search>   .

LIMIT THE CURRENT SEARCH: 

  • Use boolean operators when the search contains two or more aspects (terms)

school counselors AND ethics (retrieves records that contain both terms)

school counselors OR school counseling (retrieves records that contain one or both terms)

school counseling NOT educational therapy (retrieves records that contain the first term but not the second term) 

  • Special limiters for ERIC can be used by clicking in the appropriate box and highlighting the needed information.    The Form Content Type options enable you to limit your search results to Empirical Study, Quantitative Study, or Qualitative Study.  Followup Study and Longitudinal Study are additional useful search limit options.

  • Publication types: include authored books, chapters, journal, peer reviewed journal, secondary publication, dissertation abstracts, and reports.

  • Age Group allows you to limit your select to populations between the ages of neonatal to the very old.

  •  Population group limits the audience to human, animal, male, female, etc. 

  • Then click <Search>.

 DISPLAY RETRIEVED RECORDS:

  • Select <Preferences>  from the toolbar to customize the display of the results.
    What to display (how many records at once)
    Display records with title only, brief records, or detailed records
      

  • Click <Apply> to set options.
  • View retrieved records by clicking on the citations you wish to view.

 

  • View retrieved records by clicking on each citation you wish to view or add them to your folder to view later.

  • Use the forward arrow, the back arrow, or the appropriate page number  to navigate through the citations.
  • Use the Page number link to open pages in the results list other than the next or previous one.
  • Display the full content of individual articles (including the full-text when available by clicking on  
  • Use the down and up arrows on the right side of the screen to scroll down or up the page.

 

INTERPRET the CITATION/S:

  Articles:

  • Examine the article citation immediately above this section.
  • The article title is: School Counselors and Confidentiality
  • Isaacs, Madelyn and Stone, Carolyn are the authors of the article.
  • The journal title is Professional School Counseling.
  • Date of the article is April, 1999
  • V 2 is the volume number of this journal; 4 is the issue number.
  • Article is found on pages 258-266.

 MARK: 

  • Click on the folder  button to the right of each citation you wish to print or email.

  • The folder will change to

  • Once you have selected items or articles to save for printing or emailing, go back to the top of the page, and click on the <Folder has items> icon .  

PRINT:

  • Click on the folder  button to save results to the folder once you have selected items or articles to save for printing.  
  • The add folder name will switch to the word  Added. 
  • Click on the link near the tabbed toolbar at the top of the page to collect or manage search results during your session.  The Result List Items will display.  Remove any items you wish by clicking on Remove All.

  • Select <Print> from the delivery options on the screen
  • Select the <Estimate number of pages> link to estimate how many pages will be printed, emailed, or saved.
  • To continue, click <Print> as directed.
  • Results will be formatted for printing and displayed on your screen.
  • Click <Ok> to print items from the browser screen.

 EMAIL: 

  • Follow the directions given above for printing until you get to the delivery option
  • Click on the <Email> icon  to email item records to yourself.

  • Choose the format you want to receive: additional citation details, full text, or pdf
  • Type in the email address to which the citation/s or articles are being sent and a subject (if desired)
  • Click on <Send>

Last updated: 05 May 2009
Terrie K. Sypolt, Reference Librarian