Finding Articles

You don't use the Library Catalogue to find articles.

  • The search for articles starts with an index, which you search using keywords.
  •  The index is an online database providing descriptions of articles (citations).
  • Follow links from citations to articles.
  • Some indexes have no links to full text, and you'll need to search the Library Catalogue or E-Journals A-Z for the journal, then look for the volume/issue/date provided in the index.

The Finding Articles tutorial explains the process in more detail.

Other Tutorials

What is Interlibrary Loan?

Interlibrary loan is a system that allows you to request material from other libraries to be sent to Trent for you to borrow. Normally, there are no costs to use the ILL service. Plan ahead because it can take a few days or even weeks for material to be sent, depending upon availability.

Visit the RACER (ILL) page for more information.



To find articles, you search an index (a database) for descriptions of articles on your topic. 
From there, follow the links to the full article. See the "Finding Articles" tutorial for details.

Successful searching requires two things: search in the right place, and select the best search terms.
For the right place, select a database that covers your topic appropriately.
For search terms, select a few key terms that you expect to find in a description of your topic.

Major Scholarly Databases

The most important database to use for finding articles in Sociology is Sociological Abstracts. This database covers thousands of scholarly journal in Sociology. It's available to search alone, or as part of the ProQuest Sociology Collection.

You may also want to search Scholars Portal Journals and/or Social Sciences Citation Index (from Web of Science).There will be some overlap, but you may find different results in different databases, depending on your topic.


Other Useful Databases

These databases might also be useful, depending on your topic and your research needs. They're in alphabetical order.

Recent Articles from Sociological Forum

The journal is peer reviewed and committed to publishing high quality, cutting edge research on substantive issues of fundamental importance to the study of society.

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Troubleshooting Searches

Too few articles:

  • Check for typos and spelling. Consider using both American and British spellings (eg. behaviour or behavior).
  • Remove long phrases.
  • Make sure you're using a database that is likely to include information on your topic.
  • Try using other synonyms and alternate words joined by the Boolean Operator 'OR' (e.g. aboriginal or indigenous or First Nations).
  • Check your Boolean logic.  Are you using 'AND' when you should be using 'OR'?
  • If you have found at least one good article, look at the references of this article to find other related articles OR use the 'Find citing' or 'Find related' buttons when available in the databases.

Too many articles:

  • Add another concept to your searching using the Boolean operator 'AND'.
  • Add Limits (e.g. Peer Reviewed, Date of Publication, Language, Publication Type, etc.).
  • Check your Boolean logic. Are you using 'OR' when you should be using 'AND'?
  • When Keyword searching, try searching just in the Title field. This is not recommended for all searches, as you will eliminate relevant articles that don't have those keywords in the title, but it will likely find a few articles to get you started.
  • If you're searching in a database that covers all subjects (e.g. Academic Search Elite, Web of Knowledge), look for a database that is subject specific.