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Searching PsycInfo

This guide is suggested for Psychology students or those interested in searching PsycINFO.


1.   Determine your major concepts: (media or television) and aggression.

2.   Consider using truncation (*) to search the root word or stem; for example, aggress* retrieves aggressive or aggression.

3.   On the Advanced Search screen, decide whether to enter terms to appear anywhere in the record or in a specific field such as TITLE (TI), ABSTRACT (AB) or DESCRIPTOR (DE). When you enter a word or phrase as KEYWORD, the following fields will be searched: TITLE, ABSTRACT, DESCRIPTOR and IDENTIFIER.

4.   If you have an on-target citation, look at the Identifier and Descriptor fields in that citation for appropriate terms.

5.   Click on the tab Search Tools to use the Thesaurus to find definitions of some terms along with more specific, broader and related terms. All of these are labeled Descriptors.

6.   To make your results list more pertinent, scroll down on the search page to enable limits by date, language, age, type of document, or methodology such as empirical study, experimental-replication or literature review.

7.   Click on Search History to see your previous search statements. These may be combined easily using the OR or AND choice. OR will increase the output and AND will reduce the output.

8.   Some citations will have a direct link to full text. For the others use, the FIND IT button. When there is no link to the full text online or print, there is a link to request a copy through ILLIAD -- Interlibrary Loan. This link-resolver page also has a direct export to RefWorks.

9.   RefWorks is a Web-based software designed to help you easily gather, manage, store and share all types of information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies into papers using APA style.


Last Modified: Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016