Frequently Asked Questions About PsycEXTRA®

If you have a question that's not on this list, please email PsycINFO.


What is PsycEXTRA?

PsycEXTRA® is a bibliographic and full-text database of content from a variety of highly regarded sources for "gray" or fugitive literature in psychology, behavioral sciences, and health.

As of December 2012, more than 300 domestic and international organizations, state and federal agencies, universities, and associations have provided content. In addition, many individuals have contributed their dissertations, conference presentations, and other work.

PsycEXTRA includes 29 different types of documents — ranging from amicus briefs to web articles and including conference materials, data sets, grant information, multimedia records, reports, and more — that provide key information for clinicians, researchers, students, information professionals, policy makers, historians, and consumers.

The date range spans the late 19th century (extensive conference proceedings) to several months in the future (conference programs already available for future conferences and announcements of grant funding currently seeking applicants).

PsycEXTRA provides an archive for these hard-to-find materials and indexes them with APA's Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms and classification codes, as well as other fields and limits (for complete information, see the Guide to the Fields in PsycEXTRA Records).


Who is the intended audience for PsycEXTRA?

The potential users of PsycEXTRA include research libraries, public libraries, community colleges, secondary schools, community mental health centers, hospitals, psychological associations, information professionals, researchers, and the general public.

Here are just a few scenarios of what you can find in PsycEXTRA:

  • Nutritionists – grant or clinical trial information on the use of dietary supplements
  • Students – very current information on events within a short time of occurrence (for example, within weeks of its occurrence in April 2010, there were press releases, brochures and fact sheets, testimony, reports, and videos on the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Current additions on the oil spill's aftermath include blog entries; reports; newsletter and magazine articles; and conference presentations and abstracts)
  • Hospice care providers – multimedia films or brochures or fact sheets on end-of-life care that would be helpful to a patient's family
  • APA Division members – research, directories, conference materials, bibliographies, and web articles related to his or her group
  • Caregivers – blog entries, multimedia, or fact sheets to help them battle stress and find organizations that can help with them care for their charge
  • Historians – conference materials and monographs from the earliest days of the development of psychology as a science
  • Elementary school guidance counselors – age-appropriate standards and guidelines, newsletter and magazine articles, and brochures to help children struggling with the aftermath of natural disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy and traumatic events such as the Newtown school shooting
  • Independent information professionals – data sets on school transportation-related crashes that have occurred within the past 5 years

Our series of content search podcasts have also explored database content and how it might be used.


What is "gray" literature?

Gray literature is generally material for professional or lay audiences that is often difficult to find because it is disseminated outside the traditional peer-reviewed journal or scholarly book.

Librarians have called this literature "ephemeral" or "fugitive" because of the challenge it presents to discovery. It often appears only fleetingly: The electronic resources are frequently moved or taken down and lack of indexing makes it difficult to find.

PsycEXTRA currently includes 29 kinds of documents. They include conference materials; clinical trials; data sets; reports; dissertations; grants; legislation and other legal materials; standards; journals, magazines, and newsletters; brochures and fact sheets; speeches, interviews, and oral histories; web materials; and more (for complete information, see the Guide to the Fields in PsycEXTRA Records).

This literature is diverse, ranging from raw data in some of the data sets; to teaching aids such as bibliographies and curricula; to practical tools such as grant and patent information; to brief consumer education materials; to very substantive, rigorously researched, reports and monographs; to a suite of legal materials that includes amicus briefs, testimony, and legislation itself. Some have been peer reviewed and some have not.

The work of many researchers is found in gray literature well in advance of any formal, peer-reviewed publication, and PsycEXTRA allows authors to make available the whole history of their research and other researchers to trace that history. In addition, as some researchers do not submit their work to scholarly publications; consequently, the results of their research can be found only in the gray literature.


Who produces PsycEXTRA?

PsycINFO®, a department of APA, produces PsycEXTRA.

PsycINFO is the most comprehensive and authoritative publisher of bibliographic reference sources that cover scholarly and peer-reviewed publications in psychology and related disciplines. The department also produces the electronic versions of APA journals and books in PsycARTICLES® and PsycBOOKS® databases, PsycCRITIQUES® database of book and film reviews, PsycTESTS® database of bibliographic and full-text tests and measures, and PsycTHERAPY® database of streaming video demonstrations.


How does PsycEXTRA differ from the PsycINFO database?

PsycINFO includes bibliographic data and abstracts from scholarly, peer-reviewed sources; PsycEXTRA contains professional literature from outside the peer-review system that is aimed at both a lay audience and professional audience.

In addition to bibliographic data and abstracts, PsycEXTRA also contains full-text content for a large percentage of documents covered.


How much retrospective coverage does PsycEXTRA have?

Many of the document types covered in PsycEXTRA — such as conference papers, technical reports, brochures, and facts sheets — are one-time publications. No retrospective coverage can be provided for these, although original documents are retained in the database along with any updated or revised editions.

However, many of the association and organizational documents, such as standards and guidelines, monographs of early conference proceedings, and newsletters, are archived from the content owners' earliest history.

There is a growing body of historical material in PsycEXTRA, including all issues of the APA Monitor to volume 1. The database also includes many important early works from the mid- to late 19th century, including vital conference presentations, that helped define and shape the study of psychology.


How much current coverage does PsycEXTRA have?

Content is added to the database biweekly.

One of our priorities is to include recent materials relevant to psychology, behavioral science, and health. In order to do that, we make reviewing certain major magazines and websites a priority.

In addition, we add materials such as conference abstracts, presentations, and programs as quickly as possible. Some content, such as grant funding opportunities and conference programs, is added well in advance of the decision cut-off or conference.


What search capabilities are available?

Each document in PsycEXTRA is indexed precisely using the Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms® to help pinpoint accuracy in retrieval.

PsycEXTRA is searchable using a number of fields: Bibliographic data, abstracts, content owners, geographic data, grants, index terms, keywords, and by limits such as classification codes, content owner type, and document type.


How long has PsycEXTRA been available?

PsycEXTRA was launched at the end of the second quarter of 2004.


How often is PsycEXTRA updated?

As of 2007, PsycEXTRA is updated biweekly.


What does access to PsycEXTRA cost?

The price of PsycEXTRA for institutions is tiered depending on the size and type of institution. Academic, K–12, public library, corporate, government, and hospital pricing are available. APA believes the data fees are very affordable. Find more details on the Site License Fees for Institutions page.

Pricing for individuals depends on whether you want an annual subscription or on-demand access. Read more on our APA Databases Access for Individuals page.


If I have relevant content to contribute, how do I submit my content to PsycEXTRA?

Email PsycEXTRA and we will help you with the submission process. We will forward a coverage agreement for signature to be faxed or emailed back to us. Then just send us your documents. APA will evaluate your content to determine whether it can be included in PsycEXTRA.

Paper documents will be scanned, and a PDF file returned to you if you wish. Organizations that contribute a substantial amount of information will be given a single user license to PsycEXTRA to monitor their material in the database.

For example, students and others interested in submitting conference materials or a dissertation can view our brief tutorial about submitting conference materials or a dissertation (2 minutes, 8 seconds).


Is PsycEXTRA COUNTER compliant?

COUNTER is a statistics standard for reporting online usage statistics. APA PsycNET, the APA delivery platform, is fully compliant with COUNTER Release 3.

For more information visit the Usage Statistics page of the Librarian's Resource Center. We also have a tutorial (4 minutes, 9 seconds) that gives a detailed overview of the APA PsycNET usage statistics reports we provide and the formats in which they are available.