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PsycINFO User Guide   Tags: counseling, databases, psychology  

a guide to searching PsycINFO (EBSCOhost)
Last Updated: Nov 21, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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PsycINFO is our major database for research in psychology and counseling. This guide will introduce you to PsycINFO and offer tips and strategies for searching the database more effectively.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.


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What is PsycINFO?

PsycINFO is produced by the American Psychological Association and is an abstracting and indexing database of peer-reviewed literature in the behavioral sciences and mental health. While PsycINFO is traditionally known as a psychology database, due to the interdisciplinary nature of the social sciences (of which, psychology is one), sociologists, educators and medical professionals will also find value in it.

PsycINFO is the electronic version of a standard psychological indexing publication Psychological Abstracts among other psychology indexes.


  • More than 3 million records, some as far back as the 17th century
  • Peer-reviewed journals, books and dissertations
  • Coverage of related areas such as medicine, law, social work, neuroscience, business, nursing, forensics, engineering, and more

Updated weekly.

Coverage dates: 1597 - present, with comprehensive coverage from the 1880s.

Journal Coverage:

  • nearly 2,500 journals covered (Journal Coverage List)
  • Journals covered if they are psychologically relevant, archival, scholarly, peer-reviewed, and regularly published. 99% of the journals covered are peer-reviewed.
  • 80% of the database are journal articles

Book Coverage:

  • Book records are 3% of the database
  • Book chapters are 8% of the database
  • Selected if scholarly, professional, or research-based, with psychological relevance

Dissertations and Secondary Publications

  • Dissertation records are 8% of the database

Global Scope

  • Publications from more than 50 countries
  • Journals from 29 languages



If you look at the Library's A-Z list of databases, you will see entries for PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, and PsycCRITTIQUES. Some students are confused as to difference between them when they all start with "psyc".

  • PsycINFO is the database for psychology research from around the world.
  • PsycARTICLES is a database that is composed of 78 APA published journals (as well as Canadian Psychological Association and Hogrefe Publishing Group English language journals)
  • PsycCRITIQUES is a database that covered thens of thousands of book and film reviews from 1956 to the present.

In general, if you are looking for psychology and social science based research, you will want to look in PsycINFO, it is far more comprehensive than the other two.

Psychology Librarian


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