Psychology Search

Traditional Academic Database Example: PsycINFO

  • In many traditional academic databases, all items are examined by human indexers, who assign subject terms to each item that characterize the content of the item. The subject terms come from a disciplinary thesaurus developed by each database producer.
  • Your search strategy--
    In traditional academic databases, seek out the subject headings that are used in the database that are synonymous with the topics you are investigating. How?


Articulate the subject you want to investigate:

Therapy for ptsd for people who experience/engage in spouse abuse

Identify the words/phrases that constitute the main topics:

Therapy for ptsd for people who experience/engage in spouse abuse

Start searching using your own vocabulary for your topics

Review some of the full records on the result list and look for PsycINFO subject terms that are synonymous with your search terms 


Redo your search combining all the database subject terms you found:

therapy or psychotherapy or treatment or counseling or intervention


"posttraumatic stress disorder"


"partner abuse" or "domestic violence" or "intimate partner violence"

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