A Review of PsycINFO
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Marlena Barber, MLIS, Collection Services & Metadata Librarian
Kathy Cable, MLS, Liaison Librarian to the Brody School of Medicine
Laupus Health Sciences Library
East Carolina University


PsycINFO is a database of abstracts and citations of behavioral and social science research from the American Psychological Association (APA). The resource provides approximately 4 million bibliographic records centered on psychology and the behavioral sciences. The abstracts, citations, and summaries are from book chapters, books, dissertations, and articles dating from the 16th century to the present. The database is current, comprehensive, and updated weekly. As of November 2015, there are 2,561 journals in PsycINFO. Subjects covered include psychological literature, behavioral sciences, mental health, and more. Additional subjects are listed here: http://www.apa.org/pubs/databases/training/class-codes.aspx

The intended audience for PsycINFO includes students, researchers, educators, and clinicians in fields including, but not limited to, psychology, psychiatry, social sciences, and public health. The database is designed as a tool to aid researchers in locating article and book abstracts and links to full text articles for scientific study, education, or patient care.

Users can access PsycINFO from one of the following platforms:

  • APA PsycNET
  • Ovid Technologies
  • ProQuest
  • ProQuest Dialog

At Laupus Health Sciences Library, we have access to PsycINFO using the EBSCO platform. The journals in the database are peer-reviewed by subject specialists.


A basic search can be executed using the search bar, but using the advanced search option can be of great help to get more refined search results. Using the options of “Select A Field” and the limiters can retrieve focused results. At times, a topic may be interdisciplinary and cross over into other fields such as medicine and/or sociology, which can expand your search and results.

A benefit of using EBSCO for the platform is that users are able to search other databases, not just PsycINFO, if desired. PsycINFO includes the option to create folders in which to temporarily save articles and email the results/folders to yourself and colleagues. Another nice feature of searching in PsycINFO using the EBSCOhost platform is the Newswires application on the right side of the results webpage. Newswires is an EBSCO-based API that pulls news articles related to the search terms the user inputs. PsycINFO has an excellent tutorial. The “Guide on the Side” tutorial allows searchers to continue to use the website while following along with the tutorial. One feature that we would find helpful is including patient handouts in the results.

Business Model

The product license allows for unlimited users. Users access the resource with an institutional subscription by authenticating through a proxy server. The pricing for PsycINFO varies based on institutional type. Below is annual pricing for institutions with degrees at the baccalaureate level or higher.


Level Full-Time Equivalents APA Data Fee
1 Up to 2,499 $4,250
2 2,500–4,999 $7,150
3 5,000–9,999 $11,750
4 10,000–14,999 $17,750
5 15,000–19,999 $22,750
6 20,000–24,999 $29,950
7 25,000–59,999 $38,100
8 60,000+ Contact APA

Source: http://www.apa.org/pubs/databases/psycinfo/pricing.aspx


We like the way the results are formatted in the EBSCO version of PsycINFO. It is user friendly, so it can be used by various populations, including students, faculty, clinicians, and other researchers. With its up-to-date, comprehensive information in the field of mental health, PsycINFO is a valuable resource for health sciences libraries.

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