Education 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:

Does being overweight impact academic performance

Identify the words/phrases that constitute the main topics:

Does being overweight impact academic performance

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 

Some relevant PsycINFO subject headings

body mass index
body weight

academic achievement
mathematics achievement
reading achievement
science achievement


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

obesity or overweight or "body mass index" or "body weight"


"academic achievement" or "mathematics achievement" or "reading achievement" or "science achievement"

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