Specialized databases in psychology include PsychINFO, created by the APA. The PILOTS database is created by is produced at the headquarters of the National Center for PTSD in White River Junction, Vermont, and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Its goal is to include citations to all literature on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health sequelae of traumatic events, without disciplinary, linguistic, or geographical limitations, and to offer both current and retrospective coverage. the Department for Veterans' Affairs, and focuses on trauma, though it is not limited to military trauma. For books and broader interdisciplinary coverage, use Super Search.
Subject headings are a "controlled vocabulary," an authoritative list of terms assigned by the database to organize resources.
The most common subject headings are created and maintained by the Library of Congress (Library of Congress Subject Headings). Most databases use LCSH to organize resources. Medical and health sciences literature is organized using Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). Databases may also have their own controlled vocabulary, or thesaurus, of terms.
To search by subject headings:
This helpful demonstration shows how to use the thesaurus to craft a search. You can save searches and set up automated search alerts in PsychINFO and in most databases by creating a personal account in the database.
As you become more deeply involved in research, you will use, and need to find, studies that use various methods. PsychINFO allows you to limit your results by methodology. Here are definitions of the various types. The video uses a different platform to search, but the content is the same.