Social Work Research

Finding Articles


These are the most useful resources for finding social work journal articles:

Academic Search Premier via EBSCOhost
Academic Search Complete provides full text for more than 5,990 publications, including full text for more than 5,030 peer-reviewed journals. It does not cover every social work journal published, but it covers the core journals and will be sufficient to find a few articles on most topics. Because of its interdisciplinary nature, we recommend that you always search this database.

Social Work Abstracts via EBSCOhost
This database covers the most social work journals and includes references to materials from 1977 to the present. Please note that this is not a full-text database: it only includes citations and abstracts, not full-text articles. However, it is the definitive resource for social work research and you should search it for every project.

SAGE Journals Online
SAGE Journals Online provides full-text access to peer-reviewed journals in the social sciences and other subject areas.

ScienceDirect provides full-text access to more than 1500 peer reviewed journals in social & behavioral sciences.

PsycINFO via EBSCOhost
PsycINFO contains citations and summaries of journal articles, book chapters, books, and technical reports, as well as citations to dissertations, all in the field of psychology and the psychological aspects of related disciplines, including social work. Highly recommended if your topic has anything to do with human behavior.

This database contains more than 25,000 full-text articles from 42 journals published by American Psychological Association and allied organizations. Coverage includes general psychology and specialized basic, applied, clinical, and theoretical research in psychology.

ERIC via EBSCOhost
ERIC is the largest index of education-related journal articles and reports in the world. Highly recommended if your topic has anything to do with school social work.

Finding Books


New social work research is typically first disseminated through journal articles. However, books can still be an important component of your research. Just remember to look at the publication dates and note that journal articles may give you more recent research.

To locate books owned by Niagara University Library, use the Library Catalog.

The ebrary electronic book collection offers full-text access to many titles.

If you want to search for books owned by other libraries, too, then try searching WorldCat, a catalog that contains references to more than 57 million items owned by 9,000 libraries worldwide. Don't worry - if you need a book owned by another library, you can request it. To learn how, jump to the section called Obtaining Materials NU Library Does Not Own.

Tip: One thing to note when searching for books is that they are usually not as specific as articles, so construct your search in a more general way than you would for an article search. So, let's say that you were doing research on using music to help autistic children. Your best bet would be to search for books about the broader subject of autistic children and pick out book titles that may look relevant.


Finding Facts, Statistics, and Web Sites


The Library has some excellent reference books in the field of social work and related disciplines. For example:

  • Encyclopedia of Social Work (HF5803 .A38x)
  • Encyclopedia of Education (LB 15 .E47)
  • Encyclopedia of Psychology (BF 31 .E5)

These titles are located in the Reference Collection on the first floor.

Tip: Reference books can also help you locate keywords to help you perform better searches. For example, suppose you are doing a paper on missing children. If you take a few minutes to look in a social work encyclopedia, you will learn more about the topic and find keywords like kidnapping and abduction. Knowing more background information and keywords will help you do better and more comprehensive research.

The World Wide Web is a great place to find statistical data. Try these sites:

If you are looking for specific information on the World Wide Web, visit a search engine like Google and type your keywords in.

If you would like to browse a directory of social work web sites, try these:


Obtaining Materials NU Library Does Not Own


If you need an article or a book that NU Library does not own, you can make use of Interlibrary Loan to obtain it.

Tip: In a hurry? If the article or book you need is owned by another library in Western New York, you can visit that library and use their resources on site (view a list of Western New York library web sites).

Please note: If you wish to borrow a book from another Western New York library, you can get an InfoPass card at the Reference Desk.

Citing Your Sources


Format your paper and cite your sources according to the:

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (Ref BF76.7 .P83 2010)

This manual is the definitive source. The official manual is not online, though APA does provide some guidance on how to cite web sites and electronic databases:

You may also want to check out some style tips from APA:

Here is a guide from Long Island University:

Try a Google search of "APA Style" to see other guides. You will find many sites listed that provide examples of APA Style. The first few that are listed tend to be reliable, but you will have to be careful.

Tip: Please talk to your professor if you have questions about how to cite your sources.