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Social Work

Find books, article databases, and trusted websites to explore and research all aspects of social work.

About Sociological Abstracts

Sociological Abstracts has several powerful features to help you find relevant articles, book chapters, and dissertations for your assignments.

These include:
  • Refining Search Results
  • Limiters

These features are explained more fully below.

Start your research early!
  • Sociological Abstracts has little online full text. You may not be able to read an article immediately.
  • Use the Find It! button to see if we have the full text of the article in another database, or to order it.
  • Ordering is free and easy. An ordered article may arrive in 1-2 days, but sometimes takes 5-7 days or more. Plan ahead.
Still confused? Need more help?

Refining a Basic Search

Getting started:

  • Do basic searching by adding keywords to the boxes, with one concept per box.
  • After your initial search, use the Refine Results options on the left to get better results.

For example, searching for racism gives you nearly 50,000 hits. Some of the results may only mention racism briefly and would not be a good fit.

On the left, you can narrow these results by subject — what you really want, and what the articles will actually be about.

Sociology might be a good thing to focus on for a sociology paper.

This gives you new results, as well as more subjects to choose from. If you click on Inequality from the next list, you end up with 170 focused results.

Keep in mind that Inequality is still part of your search.

If you're more interested in just Sociology, click the small X next to Inequality to remove it (this is in the upper left corner of the results list). Your results increase to over 3,000.

Using Limiters

On the Advanced Search page, you can specify your search in several useful ways:

  • Peer Reviewed: Peer reviewed articles have been read by other experts who provide feedback before publication. For academic papers, you typically want to only use peer reviewed articles.


  • Publication Date: You probably want more recently-published information. You can select a specific date range and might want to look at articles published in the last ten years.


  • Document Type: You probably only want to see articles in your results.

Using the Thesaurus

Searching by keyword usually gives you something, but the results may be overwhelming or imprecise, even with limiters and narrowing your results.