Open HPU Databases

in another browser window to work through this tutorial side by side.

This tutorial is designed to help you find psychology articles via the database PsycNET. Advance through the tutorial using the arrows at the bottom of the box. Perform tasks using the webpage on the right.

PsycNET searches American Psychological Association resources such as PsycINFO and PsycARTICLES, on a single platform. It contains numerous full-text peer-reviewed articles in psychology and related disciplines.

psycnet logo

Access PsycNET

To access PsycNET on the HPU databases page, browse databases alphabetically, by clicking on the letter P and scroll down until you find the PycNET link.  

click p then scroll down until you see PsycNET and click on that link.

Or go to the "All Subjects" drop down option, located on the top left side and select Social Sciences to find the PsycNET link

AZ databases go to subjects and select social sciences.

If are off-campus, you will be prompted to authenticate as an HPU student by logging into Blackboard. You will then be re-directed to PsycNET.

Note: This tutorial might open PsycNET in a different tab. Keep both tabs open - one with this tutorial for instructions and the other tab to explore PsycNET.  

Now you try it!

Click the PsycNET database link to access it.

Searching PsycNET

1 of 4Once in PsycNET, you will be searching PsycINFO and PsycARTICLES. Both databases are highly recognized in psychology, social and health sciences disciplines. 

In the Advanced Search section, type the keywords that best represent your topic and click Search. It is recommended to start with two or three different keywords first, to see if there is enough content on that topic.

screenshot of advanced search. sample search is eating disorders AND adolescent

Searching PsycNET

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Create more Advanced Searches by adding related terms, synonyms, and variables. Try to group similar keywords in the same search row and those terms representing different variables in other rows. You can add more rows if needed.

 example of advanced search: eating disorders OR eating problems AND adolescen* OR teen* AND "social media" NOT preadolescent

When searching, keep in mind some of the most common search commands across databases. 

use quotes to search terms as phrases, AND to have all those terns search, OR to have either of those terms searched, * to use as a trunation or wild card.

Searching PsycNET

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In most databases like PsycNET, you can select where you want to search for your terms. Use the drop down boxes next to each search box, to select among the various fields offered. Some of the most used fields are: article Title, First Page, Author, and Abstract.

illustrates how using the dropdown options next to each search box can determined where you want your terms to be searched on.

PsycNET also uses Index Terms as a search field. Index terms are assigned to an article/book by a person, rather than a computer.  They are also assigned based on the topic of article/book and use psychology terminology. 

Think of Index Terms as Hashtags.

Searching PsycNET

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The only caveat of index terms is that you must know what term is being used as an index term - otherwise the search will give you no results. It is like using a hashtag that no one else uses; you must use the terms that have been pre-assigned.

A way to find out what terms are assigned as index terms is by doing a pre-search on the APA THESAURUS feature at the top of the PsycNET tabs.   

go to apa thesaurus. then search for a term or browse a letter. select terms that are relevant to your topic. Add terms to your search using the add to search box on the right side.

Now you try it!

Use the APA THESAURUS and see what Index Term is used instead of Eating Habits. Then search that Index Term in PsycNET. 

Search Results

1 of 2The results will be arranged in different tabs. All for both databases, PsycINFO only results and PsycARTICLES only results. Results are sorted by relevance but you can change the sorting by year, title, author or times an article has been cited.

Result lists will display: type of source, title and other bibliographic information, and links to content within the source such as abstract and list of references.  It will also display links to DOI and Find It, which can lead you to the actual article.

results show type of sources, title, author, publication and links to content.

Note: First Posting items are articles posted online by publisher prior to being published in print. 

Search Results

2 of 2If you have more than a hundred results you can filter your results by using the options on the left side. 

Search additional terms within result lists. Narrow your results by Index Terms, Publication Type such as Peer-Reviewed Journals, Year and other options. 

Filter your search using the option on the left of your results.

Now you try it!

From your search, narrow the results to Peer Reviewed Journals published after 2012.

Access Full Articles

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When you see promising articles, you should click on the Abstract link to see what the article is about. If you still think the article is good - look for the Find It link.

The Find It link will check all HPU holdings to see if we have access to the article via another database.

Find it link will be displayed in results lists or if you click on title.

Now you try it!

Look at your first result and check out the Abstract and Find It links.

Access Full Articles

2 of 3The Find It link will take you to our link resolver - which informs you if the article is available through another HPU database or not. 

If the article is available in another database you will see View Full Text options. Click on the link to be redirected to the database that hosts the actual article.

Link to View Full Text displayed, click on it to access actual article.

Did the article display a Full Text link?

Access Full Articles

3 of 3If there is no Full Text availability - you can request the article through our Inter library Loan service (ILL). ILL will ask other institutions for a copy of the article. Start an ILL request by clicking on the Request This Item and finish the form that open ups.  Or fill out a Journal Article Request Form. Requesting articles via ILL takes from 3-10 working days. 

image shows request this item link

Research Help

If you have any question about searching in PsycNET or finding other resources for your research projects, do not hesitate to contact a Librarian.

In person at Meader or Atherton Reference Desk
By phone at (808) 544-1133 or (808) 236-5803
By email at
Or via Chat Reference available 24/7


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