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SOC101 Library Research Skills Guide: Locating sociology resources

Locating sociology resources

There are numerous approaches to locating sociology-related resources. Typically you will conduct a topic analysis to identify your key concepts and carry out research in Primo Search, journal databases and/or Google Scholar using different combinations of your keywords and different search techniques. However, sometimes relevant resources may seem particularly challenging to locate.

This page contains some alternative approaches to locating sociology-related resources. You can apply these tips to locating resources from other disciplines too.

Citation searching & footnote chasing

Use an article you have already located to help you find other resources on your topic. 


Citation Searching
Some, but not all, databases have a feature that allows you to see who has cited the article you're looking at. This will lead you to more recently published resources. 


Footnote chasing
Use the reference list of the article you have already found to source similar readings. These readings will be older than the original article so keep this in mind if your lecturer would like you to use recent material. 

Locating and search within a sociology journal

Searching directly within a journal can be a useful approach to locating discipline-specific resources. Below are strategies to help you locate sociology journals.


Use Primo Search

When searching for resources in Primo Search, take note of the journals that relevant articles are published within. Run a search for the title of the journal in Primo Search, use the availability links to open the journal and use the journal's 'search within' option.

This will search within a much smaller number of resources than in Primo Search so try keeping your search to 1-3 terms initially.


Use Ulrich's Web Global Serials Directory

Most often you'll use Ulrich's Web Global Serials Directory to determine whether an article has been peer-reviewed, however, the database also categorises the journals it cites by subject. Toggle down the Advanced Search and use the 'Subject (Keyword)' scope to locate journals considered to be sociology related.

You can limit your results by publishing status, serial type, content, language and more.

When you have identified a journal you'd like to search within, either head to the journal homepage using the website link in Ulrich's Web (see image, Identifying Sociology Resources) or search the journal title in Primo Search to access the journal.

TIP: Search using more than one keyword in Ulrich's Web Global Serials Directory to locate journals with a specific focus (i.e  sociology AND health). 


Use SCImago

SCImago is a database that researchers can use to compare different journals. Use SCImago to identify a range of journals considered to have a sociology focus. 

Run a search for the journal in Primo Search to see if it is held by the Library.


Below is a selection of some sociology-related journals. They are arranged broadly by theme but you will find that articles can take a multi-disciplinary perspective on some topics so journals from other areas might also be useful depending on your social movement.

You will need to determine the suitability of these journals and the articles contained within them. While these journals may provide a place to start, they are by no means the only sociology journals available through the Library. 

See, Use Journal Databases for some journals about social theory and issues. Again, this will not be a comprehensive list. 

Environment Gender & sexuality Health
Media Race & Ethnicity Labour, law & government