Have you seen the free search help resources for teachers and students available from APA?

Teach your students how to search APA’s research databases

By Anne Breitenbach

Did you know that APA offers a host of free teaching tools for psychology research that are perfect for undergraduate students? Not only do we provide video tutorials, training webinars and reference guides that will help students learn how to efficiently search scholarly research databases, but we also have website materials, podcasts and topic guides that will help them explore psychology and human behavior.

Improving research skills

Let’s start with the materials you can use to introduce them to improving their research skills:

Video tutorials are a terrific resource. We have them for all major platforms that provide access to the APA databases. For example, if your institution uses EBSCOhost, this video, How (and Why) to Use the APA Thesaurus When Searching PsycINFO via EBSCOhost, will explain use of the Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms in under three minutes.

We have more than 80 videos, all available on YouTube, that will show students clearly and quickly practical tips for using the database on their own platform. In addition, APA grants permission for educators to link to these tutorials from their own websites, course management software and other resources intended to assist students and researchers in their work.

Would a webinar aimed at the new researcher in psychology be useful? Just ask. If you have at least 10 students who could benefit, the PsycINFO Department has four trainers, one of whom would be happy to customize a session. We provide training on our databases on the major platforms, APA PsycNET, EBSCOhost, OvidSP and ProQuest, between the hours of 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. EST. Just email us and we’ll contact you.

We also have platform-specific quick reference guides that fold to the size of a credit card for quick referral. Email us and tell us what platform you use and how many students are in your class. Alternatively, you can download PDF versions directly from our website.

Exploring topics in psychology and human behavior

Not surprisingly, one of the best places to go for information about psychology and human behavior content is the APA website itself. Linked to our homepage, you’ll find information about psychology topics, a psychology newswire for what’s currently in the news, and links to the most-viewed content on the website.

For a student curious about the kind of content available in the APA databases or looking for a topic, we also offer archives of search examples and an accompanying podcast. Content is available for PsycEXTRA, our gray literature database that contains very current information and hot topics; for PsycBOOKS classic books, which examine the fascinating history and core theories of psychology and related disciplines; and PsycCRITIQUES, which provides current reviews of important new works in psychology and is a terrific source for teachers looking for course material and students looking for topics. You may subscribe to the podcasts from our webpage or iTunes. Some examples of recent episodes include the following:

Our topic guides also give search hints and examples for a variety of topics found in PsycINFO and PsycEXTRA. For example, you can find guides on content ranging from consumer psychology and marketing to neuroscience to religion and spirituality to sports, each includes suggested thesaurus terms and existing sources in the database.

And we always value your input. Like what you see? Let us know. Have an idea for a new topic or product? Please contact us with questions, ideas and suggestions. We can be reached by email or by phone at (800) 374-2722.