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SO 308: Research Methods

SW 308: Methods of Social Research 2

Library Resource Guide

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Selected Reference Sources

Reference sources offer convenient access to a wide range of information. Everything from statistical sources to specialized encyclopedias and dictionaries can be found in the reference collection. The following is a small sample of relevant resources for sociology and social work. Browse the collection in these call number ranges or check at the Reference Desk to locate additional sources.

Dictionary of Social Work and Social Care

The Social Work Dictionary
HV 12 .B37

Encyclopedia of Social Work (4 vols.)
HV 35 .S6

Encyclopedia of Sociology(5 vols.)

Social Workers Desk Reference

Statistical Handbook on the American Family
HQ 536 .S727

Perhaps someone has written a thesis or dissertation on your topic.

Sources for Locating Journal Articles

If you would rather search specific databases individually, try these:

Social Services Abstracts (1979-present)
This database abstracts and indexes over 1300+ serial publications and includes abstracts of journal articles and dissertations, and citations to book reviews. 

Sociological Abstracts (1952-present)
This is the premier database for sociology and related disciplines. Some of the topics covered include culture and social structure, family and social welfare, and demography.  This database covers a wide range of documents including over 1800 journals, conference papers, books, and dissertations.

PsycINFO (1805-present)
This is the premier database in the field of psychology. Contains articles relevant to social work.  Covers a wide variety of literature including journals articles, books, dissertations, and reports on psychology & related fields.

Medline: 2 ways to get there:
Via FirstSearch (Mid 1960s-present)
Index to periodical articles covering biomedical research and the clinical sciences including nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, allied health, and pre-clinical sciences. Medline via FirstSearch allows you to restrict your search to journals held in our library and links to full text articles in other FirstSearch databases.

Via PubMed (Mid 1960s-present)
Index to periodical articles covering biomedical research and the clinical sciences including nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, allied health, and pre-clinical sciences. Medline via PubMed is through the National Library of Medicine and includes features not available via the FirstSearch version: selected words in journal abstracts are linked to online scholarly book entries, thus assisting readers with confusing terminology; and each citation in PubMed has a link that will retrieve other related citations. Links to full-text articles, but access is limited to titles subscribed to by the library.

Google Scholar
Search for scholarly literature including peer-reviewed papers, technical reports dissertations, and books. Results will include links to online articles through our subscriptions, links to publishers wanting you to buy the articles, researched papers from universities, and prompts to search our library catalog.

Complete, searchable, full text articles from over 1,000 core scholarly journals. 1878 to the most recent 1-5 years (varies by title).

Directory of Open Access Journals. Nearly 13,000 free, scholarly journals, covering all topics. Not all are searchable at the article level, however.

And don't forget WorldCat and MelCat for obtaining books NMU does not have.

Government Information

The federal government and state governments publish a wide variety of information in the social services/social work fields. Government documents found in Olson Library, both state and federal, are included in the library's online catalog.  In addition, the library provides access to government agency websites as well as government search engines from its Government Documents page.

Three relevant government agencies include:

United States Department of Health and Human Services

National Institutes of Health

Child Welfare Information Gateway

Most government agencies include a search function on their home page to query the site. These are especially helpful when multiple agencies exist under one main agency as in the case of Health and Human Services. Also look for agencies that have lists of publications or links to reference items.

The U.S. Government's Internet Portal. Although this is a general resource, links lead you to specific subjects and topics within Federal, state, and local government. This is an excellent resource for loctating statistics and is a good place to start if you aren't sure what agency or depatment might deal with your topic.

APA Style

APA Style Guide
Updated examples of how to cite some of the more common types of sources, including web sites and online journal articles, according to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.  Consult the Manual in the Reference Collection (BF 76.7 P83) for further information or types of sources not listed here.

What is an annotated bibliography? Example from UNC Charlotte. The American Sociological Association has an example, "Working Annotated Bibliography", at the bottom of the link.

Writing in Sociology, by Mark Edwards. HM569 .E39 2012

Need Further Assistance?

Stop by the Reference Desk for further assistance with any of these sources.  You can also contact the Reference Desk through live chat or by phone at 227-2294. The librarian responsible for Social Science/Social Work can also help. Contact Bruce Sarjeant (bsarjean@nmu.edu), 227-1580.


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