Guide to the Fields in APA Database Records

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Guide to the Fields in APA Database Records

APA Databases records are divided into fields, which makes searching the databases easier. What goes into each field varies depending on the type of literature we're documenting.

This guide lists all the fields, plus an explanation of what each field does.

For more information on the fields, including hints and historical notes, take a look at our Record Structures:

We have also developed a specialized guide to the fields in PsycTESTS.

The * indicates a field that is display only (not searchable) in the APA PsycNET® vendor system.

Check the online help for your search system or the search guide in our Search Help and Training Center to find out how to use these fields and their values when searching the database.

We also have a printer-friendly version of this field guide in PDF format (35KB), which requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you don't already have a copy of the Reader, you can download it for free from Adobe's web site.

Updated August 2016

Field Guide

Unique Identifier PsycINFO unique record identifier
Author Name of Author(s)
Author ID A unique code that identifies academic authors, such as ORCID
Author E-mail Author's e-mail address
Author Correspondence Address Address for corresponding author
Affiliation Institutional affiliation of authors
Title Title of material, including translated titles for non-English language material
Special Section Title A publisher's label for articles that make up a special section of a journal issue
Source Full citation for journals, book chapters, dissertations, and electronic collections. Publisher, year, and pagination only for books. Contains the sub-field, ARTICLE ID*, uniquely identifies an article-by-article published record.
Source Title Translation Gives the English translation of a non-English journal title
NLM Serial Title Abbreviation Gives the PubMed abbreviation for a journal title
Page Count* Total number of pages for a journal article. Generally used when pagination is not available.
Publication Status* This field is intended to capture the publication status of an article in journals. Currently, the value First Posting is being used.
Publication Date Document's date of publication. Includes year of publication and may include day, month, or season.
Publication History* Appears only in journal records and may show the dates of First Posting, Accepted Date, Revised Date, and First Submitted date for an article.
Publisher Publisher of the source material
Other Publishers Notes variations of the publisher name. It may occur in any publication type, but is most common in journal records.
Dissertation Describes the publication information of a thesis, including Degree, Degree Date, Degree Granting Institution, and Advisor
Other Serial Titles Notes variations of serial title name. It may appear in records where the Publication Type is Journal, Dissertation Abstract, or Electronic Collection.
Country of Publication* Publisher's location

ISSN (journals) or ISBN (books)
Book Series ISSNs
Book Set ISBNs

Language Document language
Reviewed Item
(Journal and Electronic Collection records only)
For book, software, etc. reviews, the full citation of the material being reviewed
(Digital Object Identifier)
Publisher-supplied DOI for linking to full-text
Open Access Indicates a database record has been designated open access
Abstract Summary of document's content
PMID PubMed unique identifier
Keywords Key concepts and / or brief phrases describing document's content
Index Terms
(sometimes called Descriptors, Thesaurus Terms)
Controlled vocabulary from Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms
Classification Code Broad content classification (view codes)
MeSH Provides the Medical Subject Headings as assigned by PubMed
Publication Type


Authored Book

Edited Book

Journal Peer-Reviewed

Journal Non-Peer-Reviewed Journal*

Peer-Reviewed Status-Unknown*

Electronic Collection


Book Type

Classic Book

Conference Proceedings

Handbook / Manual

Reference Book

Textbook / Study Guide

Document Type

Abstract Collection




Column / Opinion

Comment / Reply



Encyclopedia Entry

Erratum / Correction


Journal Article




Publication Information














Age Group

Childhood (birth-12 years)

Neonatal (birth-1 month)

Infancy (2-23 months)

Preschool Age (2-5 years)

School Age (6-12 years)

Adolescence (13-17 years)

Adulthood (18 years & older)

Young Adulthood (18-29 years)

Thirties (30-39 years)

Middle Age (40-64 years)

Aged (65 years & older)

Very Old (85 years & older)

Location Country where study was done
(view definitions of values)

Brain Imaging

Clinical Case Study

Clinical Trial

Empirical Study

Experimental Replication

Follow-up Study

Longitudinal Study

Prospective Study

Retrospective Study

Field Study


Focus Group

Literature Review

Systematic Review

Mathematical Modeling

Meta Analysis


Nonclinical Case Study

Qualitative Study

Quantitative Study

Scientific Simulation

Treatment Outcome

Twin Study

Supplemental Material

3-D modeling images



Computer Software

Data Sets


Experimental Materials

Tables and Figures




Web sites

Workbook / Study Guide


Tests & Measures Names of tests and measurements referred to or used in the source material study
Test Digital Object Identifier DOI deposited by APA for linking to test overview records in the PsycTESTS database
Data Set Includes description and access points for a data set
Audience Type
(book and chapter records only)
Written for the General Public


Written for Professionals (Psychology: Professional & Research)

Grant / Sponsorship Identifies the source(s) of grants, sponsorship, and funding for the research or study. Subfields include Sponsor Organization, Grant/Contract/Award Number, Funding Amount, Country of Sponsor Organization, Funding Dates, Other Details, and Recipients.
Clinical Trial Number Identifies a research study sponsored by an institute or agency registered with the World Health Organization
Copyright Data Displays copyright information when an article or chapter record is first published. It may contain copyright statement, copyright holder, and year.
Table of Contents*
(book records only)
Book table of contents
Cited References Reference list published with article, book, chapter, dissertation, or electronic collection (Searchable via PsycNET Cited References search screen)
Release Date
(sometimes called update code)

The date a record was released into a database and the product name to which it was released. The format is YYYYMMDD followed by the product name, e.g., 20090511 (PsycINFO).

Note: If the record was released into another database, e.g., PsycARTICLES, this record will contain two release dates: 20120305 (PsycARTICLES); 20120305 (PsycINFO).

Correction Update Record*

The date a record was corrected if a record is corrected. If corrected, record will always have at least one correction date for PsycINFO. The format is YYYYMMDD and the name of the product in which it was corrected, e.g., 20090701 (PsycINFO).

Note: If the record was corrected in additional products, e.g., PsycCRITIQUES, this record will contain two corrections dates: 20120102 (PsycCRITIQUES); 20120102 (PsycINFO).