Before Trying the Scholarly Databases, look for Background Information
Google Smart Searching strategies
To do a Google Smart search, go to the search bar and type in your keyword [ex. environmental justice] space followed by site:.edu (or .gov, .org). This type of search narrows your results to specific types of sources (academic, non-profit, or government-related), which can be helpful in locating credible information.
For students gathering background information and developing foundational knowledge on a research topic, longform journalism sources can be valuable for distilling critical ideas and formulating research questions.
Lengthier than your average newspaper article, longform journalism integrates various multimedia tools including video and interactive graphics and data to propel feature storytelling and engage readers. Longform tends to be substantive in content, underscoring immersion reporting, investigative techniques, and sustained narrative (Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications).
Longform Article Examples
These longform periodical titles are freely available on the Internet (limited article access) and via the CSUSM Library's databases.
The Economist (CSUSM Library) News and opinion on international politics, business, finance, science, and technology.
The Conversation Independent news source from the academic and research community curated for the general public. (Note: These are not peer-reviewed, scholarly journal articles)
Epic Magazine Immersive narrative non-fiction articles.
Guernica Focuses on the intersection of art and politics. Content includes memoir, investigative reporting, commentary, and multimedia journalism that explores identity, conflict, culture, justice, science, and more.
JSTOR Daily Provides background information on a variety of topics in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Articles contextualize current events with academic scholarship. (Note: JSTOR Daily does not contain scholarly articles; you will find those in the JSTOR library database).
Longform Sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh's writing program, this site recommends new and classic non-fiction from around the web.
Longreads Gathers stories from all over the web and also produces original content which includes in-depth profiles and feature articles.
Mosaic Longform articles on science-related topics.
Pacific Standard Publishes investigative pieces focusing on social and environmental justice.
ProPublica Nonprofit newsroom producing investigative journalism pieces focusing on government and politics, business, criminal justice, the environment, education, healthcare, immigration, and technology.
The Verge Focuses on culture and technology.
How do I structure my keyword search?
Tips on searching the databases
Here are some general tips on searching for articles for your report:
|Use keywords, not long search phrases||
Instead of searching for "How is environmental justice a critical feminist issue?" break down your search into the main keywords:
environmental justice AND feminist
Use quotation marks (" ") to keep phrases together
Use AND to combine different keywords
|"environmental justice" AND intersectionality|
|Use OR to combine similar/associated keywords||intersectionality OR critical race theory|
|Look for ways to limit your search in the database||You can often limit by type of article (scholarly and peer-reviewed), year of publication, subject|
Library Databases for Sociology
| Sociological Abstracts
Provides access to the latest international findings in theoretical and applied sociology, social science, and political science.
|Links to full-text via Get-It||1963 to current||All|
| Social Services Abstracts
Abstracts of current research focused on social work, human services, and related areas, including social welfare, social policy, and community development.
|Links to full-text via Get-It||1980 to current||All|
Contains (EXCEPT for the latest five years) core scholarly journals in sociology, history, economics, political science, mathematics, African-American & Asian studies, literature, humanities, music, and biological, health & general sciences.
|Full-text||1838 to most recent five years||Most|
A national database of education literature, including reports and journal articles.
|Links to full-text via Get-It||1966 to current||Some|
| Social Work Abstracts
This database provides access to social work and human services journals from 1965 to the present. Topics include addictions, therapy, child and family welfare, civil and legal rights, mental health, education, and human services.
|Links to full-text via Get-It||1965 to current||Most|
| Academic Search Premier
This scholarly collection offers information in nearly every area of academic study including: computer sciences, engineering, physics, chemistry, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, ethnic studies, and many more.
|Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It||1975 to current||Most|
| Google Scholar CSUSM
Link to citations and full-text from your CSUSM Library databases and beyond!
|Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It||current to current||All|
| Dissertations and Theses Database: The Humanities and Social Sciences Collection
Dissertations and Theses Database includes digitized dissertations in a variety of subject areas including Art, Communications, Education, History, Linguistics, Literature, and Social Sciences.
|Some full-text||1979 to current||All|
| WestlawNext Campus Research
This is a comprehensive database for news, business, and law-related information has been designed for students. It brings together news databases arranged geographically and topically; newswires as well as business, trade, and professional journals and publications; and law-related resources, including both primary law and analysis.
|Full-text||1789 to current||Some|
| Oxford University Press Journals
Provides access to the full text of approximately 168 scholarly journals in a variety of disciplines including life sciences, medicine, physical sciences, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, and law.
|Full-text||1996 to current||All|
| Sage Journals Online
Sage Journals Online includes over 460 journals in Business, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Science, Technology and Medicine.
|Full-text||current to current||All|
| Women's Studies International
Includes over 204,000 records drawn from a variety of essential women's studies databases.
|Links to full-text via Get-It||1972 to current||Most|
| Project Muse
Full-text coverage for hundreds of scholarly journals in the humanities, social sciences, and mathematics
|Full-text||1993 to current||All|
Citing Your Sources
What is ASA style?
ASA stands for the American Sociological Association. It is the citation style used by many sociologists, and it is the style used in all ASA journals.
Official ASA Style Guide
This is the official ASA manual published by the American Sociological Society. The CSUSM Library currently offers copies of the 5th edition.
- Library copies (HM569 .A54 2014)
The CSUSM Library owns a copy of the official ASA Style Guide that you can consult in person. Click on the link to see where it is located.
- Quick Style Guide (ASA website)
Free PDF from the official ASA website, offering brief summary of ASA style and some sample citations.
Helpful Online Guides
- Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL)
Examples of ASA-style citations from Purdue University's famous OWL website.
- CiteSource ASA (Trinity College)
Examples accompanied by helpful screenshots and pictures showing you how to locate the information you need to include in your citation.
- ASA Format (Cal State Los Angeles)
Guide to key components of an ASA-style paper, including example citations.