PSY 321 Research Methods - Smith: PsycINFO vs. Google Scholar
Where to Search
The search scope of Google Scholar and PsycINFO are very different.
Google Scholar searches across resources from all disciplines/subject areas:
- journal publisher websites
- professional association websites
- university websites
- Google Books
PsycINFO searches a defined set of resources, all focused in the field of psychology
- over 2200 journals (99% peer reviewed)
- book chapters
Google Scholar and PsycINFO search in very different ways and have different features.
|Searches the full text of the article for keywords||Searches keyword in title, abstract, and other record fields|
|No subject headings||Can use subject headings to search|
|Publication date limit||Publication date limit|
|No limits for research methodology, study population age group||Many limits available, including methodology and age group|
|Results ranked by combination of times cited and Google algorithm||Results ranked by publication date (newest first)|
Demonstration of Scope Difference
PsycINFO identifies the citing articles within its scope (the journals it indexes). Within PsycINFO, this article has been cited 223 times since 2001.
Google Scholar's scope is larger, therefore it can identify that an article has been cited more times across a larger body of literature or types of sources (such as books and reports). Google Scholar reports this article has been cited 344 times since 2001.