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SOC4850: Senior Seminar: Finding Articles

Using Databases to Find Research Articles

Sociology/CJ Databases

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 in the Library’s many Sociology or Criminal Justice databases.  You may need to search in more than one place to find everything, but these databases are subject-specific - meaning that your results will be more focused than if you used Google or a more general search (Seach All, Find Articles, etc.).

Databases range from general to subject-specific, can be used from off campus, and many offer full-text access to articles.  Find a full list of databases on our homepage!

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

General Sociology Databases

Search All 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).

Preliminary Research

Preliminary Research

If you're exploring a topic that's new to you or that you need to know more about, overview sources like encyclopedias or dictionaries can give you a brief understanding of the topic, history, key individuals or events, and important terminology.

Rather than going to Wikipedia, the Library provides online access to some great resources through our Credo Reference database!

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/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.