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SOC 391: Research Methods: Home

This guide can be used for both SOC 391 and FAS 361.

How To Get Help

Having Trouble Finding Your Article?

The yellow "Get it @ ASU" links or other full-text links within our databases should take you to the article if we have it. But if it doesn't, it's a good idea to check further. There's a good chance that we might still have the article you need. There are three ways that you can do this:

Search the title of the article in Library One Search. If you put the title of the article in quotation marks into the search box it will be a little more specific, but that's not always necessary. Usually just a simple cut and paste will work.

Search the title of the article in Google Scholar. Sometimes there's a direct PDF link in Google Scholar but if not, use the "get it @ ASU" links to take you to the article if the library has access to it. 

If those methods don't work you can also use our Journal Title Lookup feature to lead you to the full text online if we have it or to see if we have it in print.

These are also the methods you can use to find an article if you have gotten a reference from another source, such as a bibliography, and already know the citation information (journal name, volume number, date, etc.).

Citing Your Sources

Many databases will have a "cite" button or something similar that will allow you to generate a citation for your bibliography. This is great! Just be sure to treat this as a "first draft" of the citation and check it very carefully for mistakes. Here are some sources that will help you learn more about APA Style.

How to Begin

To identify articles on your topic, start by clicking on Research Databases on the library homepage. Then you can select your database title from the A-Z listing. For some of our most popular databases there are also direct links at the bottom of the library homepage under "most used resources". The easiest way to go for this class is to use the links in the box below this one.

Selected Databases for Social Science Research

Click on a title below. After you get to the database record click the blue "connect" button.

PsycInfo: Covers all areas of psychology and is also a primary database for research in family studies and human development. Click on the "peer-reviewed" option to limit your results to just that type of publication. The search boxes allow you to combine concepts to narrow your search. Example: social anxiety AND treatment effectiveness.

Google Scholar: Enables you to search Google specifically for scholarly literature. Covers a wide variety of journals in all subject areas including the social sciences. A great place to start your research; just remember that it is not comprehensive and unfortunately there is no way to limit to peer-reviewed materials. There are also no abstracts to view. Use the "advanced search" option to focus your search more effectively. You get to the "advanced search" option by clicking on the little down arrow at the end of the search box.

Academic Search Premier: Also known as Ebscohost. Covers a wide variety of journals in all subject areas including the social sciences. Also covers a lot of popular magazines that are not research-based, so be sure to click the box for "scholarly peer reviewed articles".

SocIndex with Fulltext: Searches the same way as Academic Search Premier, but adds coverage for some additional social science journals. You may want to search both databases for a more comprehensive search. Remember to use the "advanced search" option and to click on "scholarly peer reviewed articles".

Sociological Abstracts: A primary database for research in sociology and related areas. Click on the "peer-reviewed" option to limit your results to just that type of journal article. The search boxes allow you to combine concepts to narrow your search. Example: political attitudes AND college students.

Remember: Once you have done a search in a database, look for a link to full text. That is the first place to click to find the article. If you don't see something that says full text, click the yellow "get it @ ASU" button. That will also lead you to the article if the library has it online. 

Other databases may be relevant, depending upon your topic. You can use the subject pull down menus on the research databases page or check out the "article databases" tab on the three Library Guides for research in sociology, psychology, and family and human development listed on this page on the right.

 

Strategies for Successful Searching

  • Be creative when deciding on keywords to search. Think about different ways to describe what you're looking for. After you do your first search look carefully at the titles and abstracts that you retrieve. Do you see other words or phrases that might be a better or different way to express your topic?
  • Link concepts with the word AND. For example, a good way to find articles on how people feel about the death penalty would be to search: public opinion and death penalty 
  • If there are different ways to say the same thing, consider using the linking word OR. For example, death penalty is also often referred to as capital punishment. To make sure you find all of the relevant articles, you can search it like this: death penalty or capital punishment
  • Adding an asterisk at the end of a word will get alternative word endings. A search on child* will find the word child, but will also find childhood and children. Very handy! (Note that this does not work in Google Scholar).
  • To retrieve an exact phrase enclose it in quotation marks. "Video game violence" will limit your search to that exact phrase. But be careful; often that will limit your search too much at the beginning. Try your search without quotation marks first.
  • Remember to check the box that says "peer-reviewed" or "scholarly". This will make sure you get the kind of research that you probably need for your assignment.
  • If you are not finding what you are looking for, please ask for assistance. We are here to help you!

Your Librarian

JoAnn Mulvihill
Contact:
Need help? Call me at 480-965-3081 or send me an email. My office is located in Hayden Library Room C1N.

Subjects: Psychology, Sociology, Family and Human Development, Counseling and Counseling Psychology
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Additional information can be found in these library research guides:

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