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SOC3010/CCJ3010: Research Methods: Finding Articles

Using Databases to Find Research Articles

When conducting your literature review, you should try to find as much information about previous research on your topic, as possible. 

One of the best places to look for articles is on the Library’s Find Articles or Databases tabs.  Find Articles will give you a broader search, across all of our databases and resources, but may be too broad (including things you don't want).  The Databases option allows you to focus on specific collections of information, but may require that you search in multiple places.  Each has its merits, but I would recommend starting with subject databases, to make sure you're finding the most relevant information first.  Either search option can be used from off campus, and many articles are available in full-text.

If your topic covers more than one subject (Social Sciences and Music, etc.) you'll want to search more than one database to get the full picture.

General Sociology Databases

A general search isn't always the best place to go when doing research.  In fact, some our our databases actually offer more control over you searching!  

The following databases are good starting points for your Sociology/Criminal Justice research.  The contents of each are different (with some overlap) so it's always a good idea to check in multiple databases to ensure that you find all relevant information.

If you topic touches on another subject, such as education, health, or gender studies, be sure to look in those databases as well (see below).

Education Databases

If your topic touches on issues of educational equality, or relates to issues present in schools and higher education, you might want to also explore these databases:

Health-Related Databases

For those of you dealing with issues of healthcare and mental illness, the following databases will be useful:

Gender-Related Databases

In addition to searching the general sociology databases (above), check out these resources when dealing with issues of gender inequality:

Scholarly v. Popular

When conducting research, you will usually be asked to find Scholarly Articles, or artices from a Scholarly Journal, rather than popular sources (like magazines and newspapers).

Not sure what the difference is between scholarly and popular?  Check out this short tutorial: Scholarly v. Popular

Is It Scholarly?

How can you tell if you've found a scholarly article?

Some of our databases allow you to limit your results to Scholarly or Peer-Reviewed (possibly Refereed) articles.  In some cases, this isn’t so clear.  You can either check with your professor or a librarian, or you can search for the journal name in Ulrichsweb (under Articles & Databases, on the Library homepage). 

Once you’ve found the name of the journal you’re looking for, look for a small referee’s shirt icon (), to the left of the title.  This indicates that there is scholarly (peer-reviewed, refereed…) value to the articles in this title.