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Sociology

Research Databases

What is a database? A collection of articles found in journals and newspapers. Some also include videos, ebooks and images.

Why use databases and not websites? Many websites are created or sponsored by companies with the intent to sell products or services.  Their information may be inaccurate or biased.

The following is a list of databases that contain relevant sources in the field of sociology. The first two are for the social sciences. The next two are for popular and current issues. The next four are multi-disciplinary. And the last one is psychology related.

If you are looking for a particular journal, go to Journals page.

Please note: Off-site access to these databases requires a valid St. Francis College login.

  • Social Sciences Full Text (Ebsco)
    Social Sciences Full Text covers the latest concepts, trends, opinions, theories, and methods from both applied and theoretical aspects of the social sciences. Coverage dates: Indexing 1983+, Abstracting 1984+ and “select” Full Text 1994+.
  • Social Sciences Database (ProQuest)
    This database includes over 1000 titles, with the majority available in full text. It covers core disciplines across the social sciences including sociology, social work, anthropology, politics and other areas, featuring journals from over 50 countries.
  • CQ Researcher (CQ Press)
    Search for unbiased reports on controversial social and political issues.
  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context (Gale)
    Search for different views of current social issues.
  • Academic Search Complete (Ebsco)​
     ​A multi-disciplinary database with more than 6,100 full-text periodicals. More than 5,100 are peer-reviewed journals. It offers indexing and abstracts for more than 10,100 journals and a total of 10,600 publications including monographs, reports, conference proceedings, etc. It also features PDF content going back as far as 1887, with the majority of full-text titles in native (searchable) PDF format.
  • OmniFile Full Text Mega (Ebsco)
    A multidisciplinary database. Full-text access to 2,100 journals, many are peer-reviewed.
  • Project Muse   
    Full-text, peer-reviewed articles to a comprehensive selection of humanities and social science journals.
  • ProQuest
    Article abstracts and full-text articles from magazines, scholarly journals, and major English language newspapers. Covers a wide range of scholarly topics.
  • Psychology Database (ProQuest)
    This database provides abstracts and indexing for more than 650 titles, with over 550 titles available in full text. Coverage includes social psychology.

Here are videos on how to use Ebsco and ProQuest.

Newspaper Databases

Articles from the Internet

Here are two additional sources (from the Internet) to help you find articles.

Here is a video on how to use Google Scholar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hi6KcTxJJ2g

Research Tip

Successful information research requires you to know how to phrase your topic to match those of the research system so that the system can find relevant results. This is where keywords come in handy. The Oxford English Dictionary defines keyword as "a word (usually one of several) chosen to indicate or represent the content of a larger document, text, record, etc., in an index, catalog, or database." 

How to find keywords? Start your search with two or three most significant words that describe your topic. Check out a few results that seem relevant. Look at the "Subjects" terms in these results. Now use these terms to search. Another method is use the database's thesaurus. Not all databases have one and sometimes you click a link or a tab to find it. For example, a database called ProQuest has it in the "Advanced Search" page. 

Here is a keyword generator to help you create keywords. https://apps.lib.utexas.edu/apps/libraries/key/nlogon/

Example of keyword vs. subject term: cheating spouse vs. adultery

What're Scholarly Articles?

Scholarly, peer-reviewed, or refereed articles are written by scholars or experts in a particular discipline. The authors' peers review the article before it gets published in a journal (see definition below.) This process adds more credibility and accuracy to the claims in the article.

There are a dozen ways to distinguish scholarly journals from other types of periodicals

Three key specifications are: Who wrote it? What is the article’s structure? Is there a list of works cited?

And here is a 3-question test to help you. Is this Article Scholarly?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, journals are "any periodical publication containing news or dealing with matters of current interest in any particular sphere."

What's an Abstract of an Article?

An abstract of an article summarizes the article. Sometimes you may only see an abstract and not the full-text of the article. The reason is our subscriptions do not have full-text access to every result in a particular database. If you search our catalog and find only an abstract, you can request the article through our interlibrary loan service. And if you search a database and find only an abstract, try to search for the article with its full title in our catalog. This allows you to search all of our databases for it.