Searching PsycINFO

PsycINFO, which is available at, from the American Psychological Association (APA), contains more than 2 million citations and summaries of scholarly journal articles, book chapters, books, and dissertations, all in psychology and related disciplines, dating as far back as the 1800s. 97 percent of the covered material is peer-reviewed. Journal coverage, which spans 1887 to present, includes international material selected from nearly 2,000 periodicals in more than 25 languages. Although it looks a little different, PsychINFO works alot like Social Services Abstracts.

PsycINFO will automatically open to the Basic Search screen. However, it is suggested that you use the Advanced Search. Click the Advanced Search tab at the top of the screen in order to combine and experiment with various sets of keywords. For example, if you were researching "substance abuse among Hispanics" then you would use the first two Find boxes to enter the main keywords (substance abuse or drug abuse or alcohol abuse) and (latino or hispanic) and then the third Find box to limit experiment with various sets of keywords (e.g. adolescents or teens* or rural or urban or treatment or intervention) (see image below).


Scroll down the Advanced Search page and under Age Groups you can focus on a particular group (see image below).


Scroll further down the Advanced Search and use the Methodology limit to focus on a particular research methods (see image below).


Under Methodology the limits most commonly used by Social Work students are:

NOTE: After you have learned to search PsycINFO, then you will be able to search the Social Work Abstracts and SocINDEX databases, which are available at