April 2010 Reload of PsycINFO Research Databases

Read about enhancements to data elements, major corrections to existing data, updates to the controlled vocabulary, and other changes in the annual reload of the APA research databases.

Reloads of the PsycINFO databases have been an annual event since 2002. PsycINFO is generally the starting point for research in the behavioral sciences as well as other related disciplines. Each year, we look for ways to enhance the researcher's experience with our databases. The annual reload provides us with the best opportunity to provide new ways to retrieve content, discover innovative and cutting-edge research, and increase the overall utility of the databases.

The PsycINFO Department of the American Psychological Association is proud to announce the 2010 annual reload of PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, PsycBOOKS and PsycCRITIQUES, which was released to vendors on April 26.

This year our focus has been on providing our customers with enhancements to data elements, major corrections to existing data, updates to the controlled vocabulary, and other changes that supplement weekly database releases.

It is important to note that APA's family of databases is interconnected. Every metadata record for documents in PsycARTICLES, PsycBOOKS, and PsycCRITIQUES appears in PsycINFO, which facilitates comprehensive searching across all our database content. Because of the interconnectivity of the databases, reloads for PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, PsycBOOKS, and PsycCRITIQUES are done concurrently.

Enhanced Data Elements

Often, new features are generated from suggestions that we receive directly from our customers. Since our last reload in 2009, customers suggested that we provide more granularity in the values associated with the Methodology field. This field contains values such as clinical case report, empirical studies, and literature review among others.

After careful research by the Product Development Team, four new methodology values were added to the existing 6 values currently available to our users:

  • Brain Imaging
  • Interview
  • Focus Group
  • Twin Study

The new values will allow users to easily identify these specific methodologies used in research. The new values will be mapped to older records, allowing users to retrieve archival and historic content.

The Auxiliary Material field has been renamed Supplemental Material. Even though the name has been changed to reflect current nomenclature, this field will continue to provide access information to supplemental data that may accompany the original source document.

Computer Software, Experimental Materials, and Text have been added to this field to complement the existing 10 values such as video clips, audio clips, data sets and more. If the source document refers to supplemental material, generally a URL will be provided in the document that will take the user to specific supplemental material. In some cases, the supplemental material may not be available on the Web and will be appended to the source document.

We continue to address the growing demand for multiple and persistent links to content. Trends in publishing as well as changes in the researcher's workflow have created the need to provide better pathways to content.

This year, we have provided 2 new access points to data.

We added OpenURLs to Dissertation Abstracts that we cover in the PsycINFO database from ProQuest/UMI. The Open URL is a web-based URL that can be used to access the full text of dissertations.

In addition, when available, a DOI from CrossRef for Supplemental Material has been added to PsycINFO records. The DOI can be used to link directly to the full text of supplemental material associated with an article, chapter, or book.

Global Updates

To provide our users with the most accurate and correct information, many global corrections have been made, including adding ISBNs to older book records and providing the original language to records that had a "non-English" language value instead of the language of origin.

Keying errors in special characters, incorrect data in the author field, and bad volume/issue data were also fixed.

As part of the reload process, PsycINFO does a global search of the CrossRef database to correct any broken DOIs and to acquire any DOIs that may have been deposited since the last reload. With this year's reload, users can expect to find more working DOIs that lead directly to the appropriate full text.

Thesaurus Update

This year's reload included an update to the Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms®, the controlled vocabulary used to index all APA databases. The Thesaurus has been considered an industry benchmark for many decades.

New terms selected for this update represent concepts expressed in the psychological and behavioral literature as well as in areas related to psychology such as neuroscience, medicine, and technology. Scope note additions and revisions, hierarchy changes, and term status changes were also made. As with previous reloads, new terms have been mapped to relevant records that have been previously released to provide users with greater access to historical content.

More details about the changes are provided in New Terms Added to the Online Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms.

Timing of the Reload

The reloads of PsycINFO research databases were released to vendors, including APA PsycNET, APA's own delivery platform, on April 26. We anticipate vendors will process the reload and update their platforms as soon as possible.

APA will be tracking when vendors load the new version and will post that information on the Librarian's Resource Center. Be sure to visit the APA Databases Reload Status page for the latest information.