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SOC 105: Introduction to Justice Studies (Saldana)

SOC 105: Finding Empirical Articles related to Sociology and Criminology

SOC 105: Finding Empirical Articles in Sociology and Criminology

Distinguishing scholarly articles from non-scholarly sources (CSU Chico, Meriam Library)


To find empirical articles in Sociological Abstracts:

  • Use the "Advanced Search" mode to enter your keywords and include terms from the Sociological Abstracts thesaurus such as:
    • Case Studies
    • Empirical Methods
    • Ethnography
    • Experiments
    • Fieldwork
    • Grounded Theory
    • Interviews
    • Observation
    • Qualitative Methods
    • Quantitative Methods
    • Research
    • Surveys
    • Click "Search"

    • On the left side of the results screen, under "Source Type," you may limit to "Scholarly Journals."

    To find find empirical articles in PsycINFO:

    • Type your keywords into the search boxes
    • Scroll down the page to "Methodology," (in the right column) and select "Empirical Study"
    • Click on the "Search" button
    • On the "Results" page, you can filter by Publication Date and other limiters.

    TUTORIAL: How do I find an empirical article in PsycINFO?


    SOC 105: How do I structure my keyword search in the databases?

    SOC 105: Structuring your keyword searches

    Boolean Searching in the Databases


    Image credit: Information Resource Center Blog


    Tips on searching the databases

    Here are some general tips on searching for articles for your report:

    Tip Examples
    Use keywords, not long search phrases

    Instead of searching for "What are the effects of mass incarceration on communities of color" look for specific keywords related to your topic

    prisoner society re-entry, recidivism, race, acclimation, incarceration, mental health issues, depression

    Use quotation marks (" ") to keep phrases together

    Use AND to combine different keywords

    "prisoner society re-entry " "mass incarceration" "racial bias"
    Use OR to combine similar/associated keywords re-entry or re-integration
    Look for ways to limit your search in the database You can often limit by type of article (scholarly and peer-reviewed), year of publicationsubject 


    Need Help?

    Lalitha Nataraj

    Social Sciences Librarian
    Lalitha Nataraj
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