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PsycINFO Database: How to use it

Information about PsycINFO with links to tutorials

PsycINFO--Basic Search

Basic Search

  • In the first box, type your search word or phrase. 
  • You may combine terms using the Boolean (logical) operators: AND, OR, NOT
  • Parentheses may be used to group terms.
    • Examples: assessment OR evaluation
    • assessment AND surveys
    • (assessment OR evaluation) AND surveys
  • You can use the truncation symbol (the asterisk*) to find plurals and all variations of a word. Example: dream* retrieves dream, dreams, dreamy, dreamland, etc.
  •  The wildcard symbol (the question mark?) should be used within words. To use the wildcard, enter your search terms and replace each unknown character with a ?.  PsycINFO finds all citations of that word with the ? replaced by a letter. Example: ne?t will find neat, nest, or next.  It will not find net because the wildcard replaces a single character.
  • Searches are NOT case sensitive. 
  • Use double quotes to search for phrases. The words within the quotes must be found right next to each other and in the order in which you typed them.

The results of your search will appear in a list ranked by relevance, but you can change how the results are listed by clicking on the down arrow next to Relevance. 

Basic Search

Database Search Tips

1. Start by identifying the major concepts, themes, works, or authors that you want to research. These are your keywords. Only type your keywords into the search box -- don't type in an entire thesis statement or research question. 

2. Most of the time, you'll either have too many search results to sort through, or too few to choose from. Use the following tips to expand or limit your search results as needed. These tips should work in most library databases. Some databases have additional or different tips you can try. When you're in a database, look for a link labeled "Help" or "Search Help" for information specific to that database.

searching tips too many or too few

Have a question? Ask a librarian! Email Call or text 386-747-9028.