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Systematic reviews: APA PsycInfo

APA PsycInfo Quick Link

What is APA PsycInfo?

  • Bibliographic database of psychological, social, behavioral and health sciences literature.
  • Years of coverage: 1806 to present. Older and newer records continue to be added. The range of publication dates is fluid and does not indicate complete journal coverage.

How to search APA PsycInfo

  • Use the same method as searching Ovid Medline - combining subject headings and textwords
  • Subject headings will appear slightly different (APA PsycInfo uses the PsycINFO Thesaurus rather than MeSH)
  • Simple search syntax (commands) such as .ti,ab are exactly the same

If you already have a Medline search strategy

Translating a search from Ovid Medline to APA PsycInfo (Ovid)

  • Use your Ovid Medline search strategy as a cheat sheet.
  • The layout of APA Psycinfo is very similar to Medline, except the subject headings are slightly different
  • SEARCH FOR DATABASE SPECIFIC SUBJECT HEADINGS (this is the main difference - for example subject headings in PsycINFO will include more types of counseling but less medical conditions)
  • Textword search lines will be the same, as long as you have kept to title and abstract fields - you can copy and paste these in
  • The way you group concepts will be the same

How to exclude animal studies in APA PsycInfo

Don't 'limit to humans'

If you select 'limit to humans' you risk losing all non-indexed and pre-print publications in a database which have not been indexed as 'human'. This could be thousands of records.

Instead, remove the animal studies

A safer alternative is to search for the things we don't want (in this case animal studies) and remove them from the results. Adjust the line numbers below as appropriate.

APA PsycInfo example

6. [last line of search - your line number will be different]
7. (animal not human).po. 
8. 6 not 7

Guide Author

Helen Wilding, Senior Research Librarian

Carl de Gruchy Library, St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne

Literature Searching, Systematic Reviews, Mental Health liaison 
Thursdays, Fridays & alternate Wednesdays
Helen's profile | Researchgate | Orcid