Feature

PsycLINK, the Practice Wiki, a free new APA product “by psychologists, for psychologists,” will cut the time it takes practitioners to find quality information, said Karen Zager, PhD, chair of APA’s Presidential Task Force on Advancing Practice, which developed the tool.

Part search engine, part bulletin board, part social networking website, PsycLINK is an interactive, online pilot project that enables clinicians to search for, share and discuss articles, websites and other resources. The task force debuted PsycLINK, the brainchild of APA President Carol D. Goodheart, EdD, at APA’s Annual Convention.

The site’s topics include anxiety, dementia, postpartum depression and other issues that come up in practice, as well as information on practice management. A search for “depression,” for example, identifies links to relevant books and journal articles that colleagues recommend.

The new tool went live for APA members Aug. 14. More than 150 practitioners test-piloted the site by posting questions and sharing comments and resources.

At Monitor press time, 250 psychologists had signed up for the tool, said Jeffrey Zimmerman, PhD, a task force member who demonstrated PsycLINK at the convention session.

“We envision it as a community that will grow over time, and as it grows with contributions from our professional community, it’s going to increase in value,” said Zimmerman.

Psychologists can register by creating a username and password at PsycLINK. Once they’ve signed up, they can search for information by keyword, or add to PsycLINK’s content by posing a question, such as, “What is your favorite billing software?” They can also post a link to a webinar or a website they have found helpful.

PsycLINK members can offer feedback on links and receive e-mail updates when members add new content in a particular area, such as depression. Much like Twitter or LinkedIn, PsycLINK allows users to “follow” the comments and new postings of particular members.

APA will study how many members use PsycLINK, their navigation patterns and the type of content they search for most frequently in an effort to fine-tune the product as it evolves, Zimmerman said. The association is also monitoring the quality of the information psychologists are sharing, and will edit any postings that aren’t consistent with APA policy. While PsycLINK continues in this development phase, it will also feature regular surveys on what users like or don’t like about the site, Zimmerman said, in order to evaluate the application and its continued support and development.

“PsycLINK is quick, easy, professional and what practitioners have always needed,” Goodheart said. “Day by day, month by month, our members will build its size, value, variety, depth and breadth.”