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This guide is designed to support RSU Students in the sociology major and taking sociology classes.

Recommended Databases

Academic Search Complete (EBSCO) - An enormous collection of full-text journals, providing users access to critical information from many sources unique to this database. In addition, it includes peer-reviewed full text for STEM research, as well as for the social sciences and humanities

APA PsycArticles (EBSCO) - Covers the journals published by the American Psychological Association (APA) and its allied organizations. Topics include basic, clinical, developmental, educational, and social psychology. Coverage goes back to 1894, and virtually all content is available in full-text.

Criminal Justice Abstracts with Full Text (EBSCO) - Contains more than 200,000 records selected from the most important sources within the discipline. Subject areas covered include; criminology; criminal justice; criminal law and procedure; corrections and prisons; police and policing; criminal investigation; forensic sciences and investigation; history of crime; substance abuse and addiction; probation and parole.

JSTOR - High-quality full-text journal articles relating to nearly every field of scholarly study. This database specializes in historical content, with some articles dating back to the late 1800s. In most cases, the most recent one to five years are not available in full-text.

Project Muse Journals and eBooks - Scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences. Journals are from over 200 university presses and scholarly societies.

SocINDEX with Full Text (EBSCO) - Comprehensive sociology research database, containing full text for 397 "core" coverage journals dating back to 1908, and 150 "priority" coverage journals.

Sociological Collection (EBSCO) - Offers information in all areas of sociology, including social behavior, human tendencies, interaction, relationships, community development, culture, and social structure.

Understanding Peer Review - By NCSU Libraries

How to Search Databases

The academic databases listed on this page are excellent sources for  journal articles. Library databases are different from online search engines like Google, so you will need to master a few basic concepts in order to use them effectively. This guide will outline what you need to know to find the best sources:

Exclude irrelevant words

When using the databases, you should exclude all extraneous words from your searches. First, leave out all articles (a, and, the) in your search. Next, narrow your search terms down to two or three words that describe exactly what you hope to find For example, if you are writing a paper about the effect of music education on memory, narrowing your search terms down to memory and music education will likely retrieve a manageable list of more precise results.

Select and refine search terms

After you have selected your initial search terms, list any synonyms or related terms that might be relevant to your topic. For example, if your search terms are memory and "music education", you might want to try synonyms such as "music learning"  or "music cognition" in place of "music education". You may even replace your term with a related term, such as "music perception." Successful searches are often the result of trying out a variety of terms. Most databases will provide you with suggestions of additional or alternate search terms to use, which can lead you to better results in a shorter amount of time.

Combine or exclude terms

Two or more search terms may be combined in different ways to yield different results. The connectors AND, OR, NOT are useful search tools, and most databases have these built in to make searching easier. Use the connector AND to yield results that contain both search terms. Use OR for results that contain either term. Use NOT to exclude results that contain a specific term.