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FAS 361: Research Methods

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

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How to Begin

To identify articles on your topic, start by selecting a database. You can see an alphabetical list of databases by clicking on Research Databases on the library homepage. For some of our most popular databases there are also direct links at the bottom of the library homepage under "frequently 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.

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.

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.

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".

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 can get to the "advanced search" option by clicking on the three little lines in the upper left corner of the search page.

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.

 

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.).

For More Information

Additional information can be found in these library research guides:

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