PsycLINK, the practice wiki created by psychologists for psychologists, has a new look that will make it easier for clinicians and researchers to share and discuss clinical scales, journal articles, websites and more.
Now almost two years old, PsycLINK is part search engine, part bulletin board and part social networking site, allowing psychologists to have discussions, suggest resources and store documents that are then organized into easily searchable categories. It’s the perfect repository for any resources that might be useful in a psychologist’s practice, says APA 2010 President Carol Goodheart, PhD, who launched PsycLINK during her presidency.
For example, she says, instead of downloading a list of patient books on bereavement to your personal computer, you can store it on PsycLINK where it will be easy to access with a quick search and available for others’ benefit as well. It’s also the place to ask questions and get answers about everything from clinical issues to suggestions on whether to take credit cards.
Storing and searching through documents and online discussions is even easier now that PsycLINK has switched to a more user-friendly software platform, called Jive. While the old site could be clunky to navigate, the new site looks much like a Google Group with separate tabs for documents, discussions, surveys and other useful tools. There’s also a navigation bar that allows users to easily upload documents to the site and a search tool for finding topics. There will also be a collaborative work area that allows different people to edit and compare versions of documents. “The site is self-explanatory,” says Susan Wachira-Nyika, a consultant with APA’s IT Services who worked on the new site. “If you want to share an article, your options will be crystal-clear.”
Accessing the site will also be easier. PsycLINK users will go through a site called APA Communities, and rather than needing a separate username and password, they can simply use the same log-in they use to access their MyAPA account.
There, they will find a wealth of information that wasn’t there a year ago. Practice management issues — including how to rent office space and how to market your practice — are among the hottest topics right now, says Mary M. Lewis, PhD, head of the PsycLINK advisory board.
The website also links to PracticeOUTCOMES, a searchable database with information about measures that psychologists can use to monitor patient progress. The database provides tables of information about a measure’s reliability, the population it works with and its cost. It can also compare measures side-by-side.
User-driven sites take a while to gather momentum and have enough users and data to be self-sustaining, says Lewis. PsycLINK is “on the cusp,” says Lewis. “Now that it’s more userfriendly and more visual, I think we will get more usage among early career folks.”
Beth Azar is a writer in Portland, Ore.
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