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Psychology Databases

awilliams Alexander Williams
Research Support Librarian for the Social Sciences
Falvey Library, Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova , PA , 19085
Room 227

Psychology Databases – Which should I use?

What is the difference between these databases, PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES and Proquest Psychology Journals?

 Three Overlapping Databases

  PsycINFO (ProQuest)
Indexes journals, dissertations and some books in the fields of personality psychology, social psychology, educational psychology and more.

  PsycARTICLES (ProQuest)
PsycARTICLES is a database of full-text articles from journals published by the American Psychological Association, the APA Educational Publishing Foundation, the Canadian Psychological Association, and Hogrefe & Huber.

  ProQuest Psychology Journals
Provides full text for hundreds of psychology related journals.


Generally, your first choice should be PsycINFO to research a psychology topic, especially for a major assignment.

  PsycINFO (ProQuest)
PsycINFO is the most complete database in the field of psychology indexing journal articles, books and dissertations back to 1872.  Searches can be limited in a number of ways including by age, gender, human, animal, patient. Methodology of citations can be limited to literature review, qualitative study or quantitative study among other choices. The only direct links in this database to full text will be to journals we subscribe to through PsycArticles namely most American Psychological Association journals.  The Find It button must be used for other citations without the direct link to find full text.

The image below shows 1157 results for the search repressed memory. This search can be refined using the options on the right hand side.  PsycINFO has a detailed thesaurus, allowing you to narrow your search by carefully defined subject terms.

The image below shows an article record from a search performed in PsycINFO.  You can see that the full text is available directly.  This full text link is available through the library's subscription to PsycArticles.


If you need just a few full text articles, search PsycARTICLES, knowing that you may be missing some important references.

  PsycARTICLES (ProQuest)

A search for repressed memory in PsycARTICLES does not retrieve as many articles as PsycINFO, but all of the results should be available directly in full text.  Also, the search features for PsycARTICLES are not as advanced as in PsycINFO.

ProQuest Psychology Journals

The Library subscribes to Proquest Psychology Journals in order to have full text to many more journals but it is the least satisfactory when searching a topic.  The thesaurus of subject terms is limited, and it is difficult to compose a narrow, focused search.

  ProQuest Psychology Journals
The Library subscribes to Proquest Psychology Journals in order to have full text to many more journals but it is the least satisfactory to search a topic.

Searching All 3 Databases Simultaneously

Because PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES and Proquest Psychology Journals are all hosted on the same platform, ProQuest, it is possible to search them all simultaneously.  This may be a helpful shortcut, but beware that you may lose some of the powerful search features of PsycINFO, which is the best resource for searching for articles by topic in the area of psychology.


Last Modified: Thursday, January 22nd, 2015