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Social Work - A Research Guide


Use databases to find articles and do research on social work topics.

Access databases from the High Library webpage under Articles &  more. 

Outside of the Elizabethtown College campus network, access databases from the High Library webpage, by clicking on Outside Network Access, supplying  your network ID and password, clicking on Articles & More, and selecting a database.  

Useful databases include:

Academic Search Premier - a multi-disciplinary database


Criminal Justice Collection

ERIC - Educational Resource Information Center .


PsycINFO - Index to psychology articles and book chapters.

SocINDEX with Full Text   Sociology, marrriage and family, urban studies.

World Bank Data   

Research -- search and search again

They call it "research" because it requires persistence and flexibility -- search and search again.

Try both keyword and subject searching.

Narrow a search by using subject headings.   Locate subject headings by looking at the descriptors associated with pertinent articles and books. 

Try these tips to narrow your search.

Try synonyms (AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).   Can't think of any synonyms?   Try an online thesaurus.   Try these tips to expand your search.

Try both singular and plural forms of words.   Use an "*" in Academic Search Premier to get a variety of word endings.

If searching a compound word, try it as one word and as two words (for example,  rain forest and  rainforest).

If searching a word with an internal dash, search it in each database with and without the internal dash (for example, search both x-ray and xray).

Keyword vs. Subject

Use both methods for the best results

Begin with a keyword or words and phrases search.

Browse the results and look at the full record of an especially appropriate item.

Scroll down to the subject headings/descriptors.

Click on the best subject heading/descriptor link.

Write down other listed subject terms and continue searching with those terms.

What is peer-reviewed? How do I know?

Journal articles that are scholarly or peer-reviewed:

  • are written by professionals for professionals in that field
  • have bibliographies, abstracts, and contain research data
  • are not read by the general public

In databases, click on the SCHOLARLY/PEER-REVIEWED link to retrieve this kind of article.