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Sociology: Search Tips

The library's sociology research guide contains information on library resources like books, e-books, data sources, scholarly, and peer-reviewed journals.

Popular Call Numbers

HM1-1281 Sociology
HN1-995 Social history and conditions. Social problems.
HQ1-2044 The Family. Marriage. Women
HT51-1595 Communities. Classes. Races.
HV1-9960 Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology

Tips for Article Searching

  • Refine your topic: an overly-broad search will return an unmanageable number of results, while a topic that is too narrow won't produce enough information. Play around with your search terms until you find a topic that is researchable.
  • Choose keywords: once you have chosen a topic, you need to identify key words that you can use to search databases. Do some research to find out if there is "official" terminology related to your topic. You may have to try a number of synonyms until you find the one that is best for your search. Tip: some databases also use specific terms called descriptors/controlled vocabulary to organize articles. Knowing the descriptors for your topic makes it easier to find relevant articles.
  • Combine terms: once you identify the best terms for your topic, put them together with Boolean operators such as AND (for more precision in your search), OR (to enlarge the pool of results), or NOT (to exclude possible elements unrelated to your topic). These techniques work in most databases, as well as in Google.

What kind of things are you looking for?

Sociology books and e-books are in OneSearch, click here.

Sociology electronic journals and peer-reviewed articles are in SocIndex and Google Scholar (click here).

Concepts, theories, and general reference are in Gale Virtual Reference Library (click here).

Newspapers and current events are in Nexis Uni (click here).

New York State Newspapers (click here), and for ethnic newspapers try EthnicNewswatch (click here).

For Social Problems and Social Issues try CQ Researcher and Opposing View Points in Context (click here).