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PsycINFO: Introduction

What is PsycINFO?

  • PsycINFO is focused on the behavioural and social sciences.
  • PsycINFO indexes nearly 2,300 peer-reviewed journals from over 50 countries and in 29 languages (the article  titles, abstracts, and keywords are in English).
  • The PsycINFO Journal Coverage List is available on the American Psychological Association website.
  • PsycINFO also indexes books (3% of PsycINFO), book chapters (8% of PsycINFO) and theses (12% of PsycINFO).
  • PsycINFO does not contain the full text of journals, books or theses, but the important 'bibliographic details', i.e. authors, titles, journal reference and abstracts, plus additional descriptors -called 'Index Terms'- that are added by APA indexers.
  • Currently, PsycINFO contains more than 4 million bibliographic records.
  • The records are enriched by using the American Psychological Association's (APA) Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms.
  • PsycINFO is updated twice each week.

Your PsycINFO, provided by the Library

Subscribers to PsycINFO can choose from a number of different platforms, including EBSCO, Ovid and ProQuest.  The University of Bath Library subscribes to the American Psychological Association's APA PsycNET platform.  APA PsycNET gives access to the following APA databases, in addition to PsycINFO:

  • PsycARTICLES: full text peer-reviewed articles published by APA and affiliated journals.
  • PsycEXTRAgrey literature, including government reports and factsheets for patients.
  • PsycTESTS: information about psychological tests and measures, including some full-text tests.

By default you will search across all of the above and a selection of APA e-books (APA Books), but you can opt to search a single database.

Connecting to PsycINFO

  • The best way to connect to PsycINFO is to use a link on the Library website.  Using a library link makes it easier for you to access the full-text of articles that the Library has provided through its subscriptions.
  • You can find a link to PsycINFO by searching the Library Catalogue or by visiting the Library's webpages for Computer Science, Education, Health, Psychology or Social & Policy Sciences.  Here is another link that you can use:

Selecting PsycINFO for a search

To search PsycINFO on APA PsycNET, choose 'Select Databases' and then 'Select ALL', before marking the box beside PsycINFO.  Please note that each article in PsycARTICLES is also indexed by PsycINFO.

PsycINFO search: select databases option

Obtaining the full-text of PsycINFO records

If there is no Open Access icon, or PDF or 'Full-Text HTML' button, select the 'Check local holdings' button for an automated catalogue search that will check if the document is in the Library’s collection.

Example of PDF Full-Text HTML Open Access result in APA PsycNET

If the full-text of the document is not in PsycINFO and it is not available via the library catalogue, you may be able to find a version via Google Scholar, or open access tools such as Kopernio or Unpaywall.  If you want to request it directly from the author, select the title of a result and scroll down to the 'Correspondence Address' field for the mailing address and/or email address.

If your own efforts to obtain the full-text are unsuccessful, the Library's Inter-Library Loans service will endeavour to acquire it for you, on request.   Members of the University can use the Inter-Library Loans service to request items such as books, journal articles, theses and conference proceedings.  Each request is paid for by your Subject Librarian using the materials fund for your department. The requested items must be for your academic work, so if you need an item for commercial research, please seek advice from the Inter-Library Loans service.

PsycINFO time-out

If you open but do not use PsycINFO for 30 minutes, your search history will be erased.  A 'Session Timeout Message' will be displayed in APA PsycNET. You must re-start your session and re-enter any previous searches.

session timeout message

It is recommended that you permanently save your searches by selecting My PsycNET and creating a personal account.

PsycINFO for a systematic review

If you are undertaking a systematic review and you intend to develop a previously-published systematic review, you may need to adapt their PsycINFO search strategy if they used another platform to access PsycINFO, e.g. Ovid. When writing up your own review, you must state which platform you have used to ensure that your search can be reproduced by anyone with access to the same platform or translated for a different platform.

The Library has produced an online guide to the various steps of a systematic review.