Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Notable E-Book: Handbook of Psychology (2nd Edition)

Cross-searchability and 24/7 anywhere and everywhere access options have always made eReference books attractive.  But sometimes there are other considerations, too.  In the case of the new Handbook of Psychology, one of those considerations is the amount of shelf space we'll save!  For the Handbook of Psychology is, in print, twelve large volumes.   So, we opted for the electronic version, which allows users to do keyword searching across all volumes as well as browse and open material from a table of contents.

Wiley, the publisher, claims that "The Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition, provides psychologists, practitioners, researchers, and students with complete and up-to-date information related to the field of psychology and behavioral science.  New topics include discoveries based in neuroscience, clinical psychology's new interest in evidence-based practice and mindfulness, and new findings in social, developmental and forensic psychology."

And reviewers are also impressed. Alan Kazdin, in PsycCRITIQUES, recently said "The work is extraordinary in scope by virtually any metric. The consistencies of the individual contributions across the many volumes are remarkable in level of depth and style of writing. The Handbook of Psychology is a major work without peer in scope and coverage of the conceptual, empirical, and applied advances of psychology. The volumes provide a status report on psychological science, even though clearly selective in their contents. There are broad issues to raise that span many volumes and areas of our field. Overall the volumes reflect an enormous accomplishment, statement, and status report. There is no other set of volumes I have seen that is as comprehensive, integrative, or enlightening as this Handbook."

The Wiley Online Library interface does have some quirks, however.  On the landing page, when you enter the Handbook, browsing is relatively simple, just expand the volume links in the lower middle of the page.  Searching is a little trickier, because if you just put your search terms in the box in the upper right, you'll actually search across the entire Wiley Online Library, so you'll likely pull up everything BUT content from this Handbook--including many articles and book chapters we don't have access to.  So, instead, click the link (highlighted in yellow in the above screenshot) to "Search in this Book."  You can search specific titles, authors or sections if you select from the the check boxes below the main search box, or just put in keywords.  If there are multiple hits, Wiley will sort them by relevance.

When you click on an entry in your search results

note that you first see an abstract.  Tabs provide links to the article, figures (illustrations, tables, graphs and photographs--a handy feature!) and to the references.  Look to the right (as circled in yellow in the above screenshot) if you want to go straight to a PDF of the entry/article.  You see that there are also article tools.  These include the ability to export a reference to RefWorks.

Here is a list of the twelve volumes of the Handbook of Psychology:

Volume 1--History of Psychology
Volume 2--Research Methods in Psychology
Volume 3--Behavioral Neuroscience
Volume 4--Experimental Psychology
Volume 5--Personality and Social Psychology
Volume 6--Developmental Psychology,
Volume 7--Educational Psychology
Volume 8--Clinical Psychology,
Volume 9--Health Psychology
Volume 10--Assessment Psychology
Volume 11--Forensic Psychology
Volume 12--Industrial and Organizational Psychology

As you can tell, this is a detailed and valuable resource.  As the publisher says: "While the field of psychology has been rich in both comprehensive encyclopedias that offer brief listings on a wide range of topics as well as in handbooks devoted to specific topics in the field, there has not previously been any single handbook designed to cover the broad scope of psychological science and practice. Handbook of Psychology fills the gap and provides the only singular source of information on the field of psychology."

Psychology researchers, and those interested in behavioral science aspects of other fields of research, take note of this new addition!

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