A few tips on literature searching from fellow Sociology students:
Most all databases have similar search functionalities.
An example of using these search functions in Sociological Abstracts:
It can be difficult to keep up with all the new information that might be relevant to us. One way to make it easier is using search alerts. These are simply tools that send you information on an ongoing basis after you have subscribed to them. Most every database has this functionality available; you usually just need to create an account on the database platform.
By setting up alerts you don't have to remember to check if a journal has published a new issue, you will be notified (almost always via email). You can also use search alerts to find if there are any new articles that match your search terms.
Google Scholar also offers search alerts.
Ask yourself as you search: Are most of your hits from Sociology journals? Or another field, such as Psychology? Turn to the primary database of the field where the research is happening. A few examples are:
|Psychology (including Organizational)||PsycINFO|
|Gender||Gender Studies Database|
|Urban Studies||Urban Studies, Sage Full Text|
|Public Health/Health Sciences||PubMed|
Also considering using multidisciplinary databases like Web of Science, Google Scholar, and JSTOR. Web of Science is highly recommended.
Literature review articles can be very helpful in providing background information for your research.
In order to find these articles quickly, add "Literature Review" OR "Review of the Literature" as a title field search in the database.
Or, if available, select the research methodology limit for "literature review".
This guide page was created in collaboration with Sociology graduate students in SOC 594, Spring 2015:
Sasha Bassett, Adam Bond, Katrien Cokeley, Emma Deppa, Lauren Ferguson, Aaron Levine, Joyce McNair, Madeline O'Neil, Nathan Rochester, Shah Smith, Corrie Stocking.