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SOC101 Library Research Skills Guide: Identifying sociology resources

Identifying sociology resources

Below are some ideas to consider when determining whether a resource is related to the sociology discipline. 

If you are unsure whether a resource has a strong enough connection to the sociology discipline, contact your lecturer. 

Is the journal sociology-related?

Search the journal title in Ulrich's Web Global Serials Directory and/or SCImago and refer to the journals subject classification. Does the database classify the publication as sociology-related?

Search for the journal title in Primo Search and use the availability links to access the journal. Navigate to the 'About' section of the journal for details of it's focus. Ulrich's Web often also has a link to the journal homepage.

Browse some of the other articles published within the journal to get a sense of the topics that the journal regularly accepts.

What if the resource is a book?

Books are categorised by subject too. Check the first few pages of a book or eBook for these details.

Arvanitakis, J. (Ed.). (2016). Sociologic: Analysing everyday life and culture. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press. 

Some books will also have a section dedicated to the contributors of the resource that will provide insight into their research interests and professional background. For example, your textbook has a contributors section on page xiii.

Does the author have experience in sociology?

Journals will often include author affiliations on the PDF of an article (usually at the top). In most cases this will indicate the institution or organisation that the author is affiliated with. Sometimes a database will also specify the department or school within an institution that the author works within. Use this to consider whether they are active in the discipline.

If the department or school isn't specified, Google the author's name. You can often find author profiles or information about them on their institution's website. 

You may not need to investigate the authors of each resource so thoroughly as it may have other indicators that make it clear that it's sociology-related. If it's unclear though, it can help to look into the authors as above for more information.

Harnois, C. E., & Hewamanne, S. (2020). Categorical variables without categorical thinking? A relational reading of the Sri Lankan demographic and health survey. Gender Issues, 37(4), 355-375. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12147-020-09252-5