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Sociology Guide: Articles

This guide is designed to help students do research within the fields of sociology, anthropology, and criminal justice.

Databases for Sociology Research

These are the best databases we have for research in Sociology. There are more options, especially for cross-disciplinary research on the Secondary Databases tab. You can see all our databases in our Databases A to Z list.

These databases are divided into general databases and related subject databases.

  • General databases are good for doing fairly basic cross-disciplinary research.
  • Subject databases are good for finding research on your topic from fields other than yours.

General Databases

Subject Databases

Get a list of online and print journals SDSU currently does or in the past did subscribe to:

You can also search for a specific journal by title in the search below:

Search for journal titles

  • Think about where you are searching for articles. Use library databases first, Google Scholar after library databases and end with a basic Google search. Here is an explanation of why.
  • Think about what type of information you need. Papers and speeches need more academic, research based information and a general interest. For instance, if you see a movie and are curious about a phenomenon or a person, looking it/them up in Wikipedia or on Google might be fine but when writing a paper about the phenomenon or person, you will want reliable, scholarly, in-depth information that you can verify. Here is more information on quality of information.
  • There are many strategies you can use to narrow, broaden, or refine your search. Check out the Research 101: Search Strategies pages for more information (click the down arrow on the right of the Search Strategies tab to see more information) such as:
    • Generating keywords
    • Boolean operators (searching with AND, OR, and NOT)
    • Subject terms
    • Citation searching
    • Mining reference lists

Search Alerts

Search alerts allow you to save searches and have them run automatically with the results being sent to you periodically. Check who provides the database you use most often and follow the instructions below.

Ebsco database search alert instructions.

ProQuest database search alert instructions.

Web of Science (Clarivate) database search alert instructions.

If your database is not from Ebsco, ProQuest, or Web of Science, contact your subject librarian for help.

Terminology: Journal/Magazine

Are you confused about the difference between journals and magazines? No problem, here is what to look for to determine which you have.

Journals: Content is written to inform the reader.

  • Author(s) named and credentials given
  • Sources cited in the article
  • Bibliography at the end (often it is long)
  • Articles report on research or review the current state of a topic
  • Articles tend to be long
  • Illustrations are usually graphs and charts and are necessary to understand the text
  • Few if any advertisements in the journal

Magazines: Content is written to entertain the reader.

  • Author is often not named
  • If sources are given, they are not cited entirely
  • No bibliography
  • Articles report on events and people, if research is reported, it is not in detail
  • Articles are short
  • Illustrations are often in color and are intended to entertain
  • Lots of advertisements for a wide variety of products

Interlibrary Loan

Although Briggs Library has an extensive collection, you may need items that are not available at the Library. No worries! You can request those articles, books, and other materials through Interlibrary Loan.

Keep in mind that the process may take from a week to ten days. Start your research early!

Many of our databases have an Interlibrary Loan Request button for articles not available in that particular database. Before submitting the loan request, be sure to check our Journals List for the title of the source or periodical (i.e. New York Times).

Librarian for Sociology

Elizabeth Fox  

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 Contact:                       Office Hours:
Briggs Library 019       Monday - Thursday 1:30-3:00
  605-688-5569              Friday 3:30-5:00

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