This video instructs you on how to find peer-reviewed articles in the database, PsycINFO.
Attribution to USU Libraries for use of this video. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Using Explode and Major Concept
1. For a list of subject headings that exist in PsycINFO, click on the Thesaurus tab at the top of the page.
2. Enter your search terms in the Browse field, and then select from: Term Begins With, Term Contains, or Relevancy Ranked radio buttons and click Browse. A list of headings is displayed and your search terms are retained in the Browse field.
3. Click on the term to read when the term was introduced, scope note, broader term and narrower terms associated with your term. This will give you an idea of all the other keywords and terms you can use to search the database.
4. Check the little box beside your term and then the click on Add. This will add your term to the Search Box at the top of the page.
When you Explode a term, you create a search query that “explodes” the subject heading. The headings are exploded to retrieve all references indexed to that term as well as all references indexed to any narrower subject terms.
In a database, exploding retrieves all documents containing the selected term, as well as any of its first level of narrower terms. If a plus sign (+) appears next to a narrower or related term, there are narrower terms below it.
When you select Major Concept for a term, you create a search query that finds only records for which the subject heading is a major point of the article. Searches are limited with specific qualifiers (subheadings) to improve the precision of the search, and limited to major subject headings indicate the main concept of an article.
Combining Explode and Major Concept
If you select both Explode and Major Concept, you retrieve all references indexed to your term (and its narrower terms) and all articles for which the subject heading is a major point of the article.
Advanced PsycINFO Search Techniques
Use the Search Fields
Enter your search terms as show below and click on "Select a Field" if you want to specifically search the terms as part of a title or an abstract. It is not necessary to select a field. You can choose to click on the Search button and it will automatically search all categories.
Limit your Search
Find Empirical Articles
Empirical refers to information gained by means of observation, experience, or experiment. To find an empirical study, click on the "Advanced Search Button" below the search fields.
Scroll down to bottom of the page and under methodology, select "Empirical Study"
This will allow you to limit your search results to empirical studies only.
General Search Tips
Constructing an effective search
From your topic identify keywords or concepts for your research topic that will help you find more resources. List all the synonyms or related terms for your keywords and use the concept map below to construct an effective search.