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Psychology: Searching PsycInfo

Library support for the School of Psychology

Why use PsycInfo?

PsycInfo is the main bibliographic database for the Psychology, Behavioural Sciences and Mental Health. It has comprehensive coverage, containing more than 3.4 million records and including references to peer-reviewed journals, books and dissertations. Journal records make up 80% of the database, with nearly 2,500 journals covered. The database is updated weekly, ensuring current research is included.

PsycInfo is set up slightly differently from other databases because of the 'Map Term to Subject Heading' feature - see section below on Subject Headings. It is worth finding out how to use PsycInfo properly because it will improve the accuracy of your search results. 

PsycInfo at Queen's University Belfast is provided through the Ovid platform: PsycInfo (1806-present)

Subject Headings

Using the default Map Term to Subject Heading  feature in PsycInfo will make it easier for you to find relevant journal articles:

Subject Headings are the indexed terms that are used in the database. By selecting the relevant Subject Heading, you will not have to think of all the synonyms and alternative spellings of the topic you are searching for eg if you select the Subject Heading cognitive behavior therapy it will retrieve any article which is about that subject, whether the author has called it CBT, cognitive behaviour therapy, cognitive behavior therapy or cognitive behavioural therapy.  Using the Subject Heading feature will ensure your search results are both relevant and comprehensive

See Step-by-step guide to searching PsycInfo for screenshots of a typical PsycInfo search. 

Confused? Don't worry, just get in touch and I'll be happy to run through it with you! Email me at