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I Can PsycINFO (And So Can You!): Thesaurus & Controlled Vocabulary

This research guide will assist students locate relevant articles on their topic using the EBSCOhost PsycINFO Database & will focus on searching strategies using keywords as well as how to locate controlled language using the Thesaurus.

Thesaurus...We Know You Want To

C'mon, we all know you've been tempted to sneak a peak at the thesaurus in Word while writing a paper.  It's OK - we all have.  It builds our vocabulary and expands our knowledge, right? 

The PsycINFO Thesaurus is one that SHOULD be used.  It provides an alphabetical list of discipline-specific terms, complied by experts.  It's basically your list of professional jargon, or CONTROLLED VOCABULARY

Still hesitant?  Here are a few quick tips on using the Thesaurus:

In PsycINFO, the 'Thesaurus' link is located at the upper left corner of the screen.


Once you're in, type a keyword in the box and click the Browse button.



The thesaurus will identify your term as a subject heading or specify other subject headings that describe your keyword.


You can explore your options by reviewing the detailed information PsycINFO provides for each term.  Click on the link to discover more information. The Explode button retrieves all references indexed to that term as well as all references indexed to any narrower subject terms. The Major Concept button create a search query that finds only records for which the subject heading is a major point of the article.



Once you have determined which controlled vocabulary fits your research topic, check the box(es) and click the Add button.  PsycINFO allows you to conveniently create search phrases within the thesaurus!

Subject Guide

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Scott Zimmer