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Social Work

Finding Academic Articles


Academic Journals vs. Popular Journals

Most professors prefer that you locate scholarly sources from academic journals for your research, which disqualifies many sources you would find in a regular Google search.


Popular Journals (magazines) are the journals you typically find on newsstands and grocery store checkout lines.  Their articles are written and edited by journalists without particular expertise in the field of study.  You will usually want to avoid these unless told otherwise.



Academic/scholarly journals, on the other hand, contain articles written by scholars who are experts in that discipline.  They often go through a rigorous process called peer-review where they are evaluated (sometimes multiple times) by other scholars in the same field before being published. These are the articles your professors usually want.  This page should help you find where to look for them.


Suggested Databases


This is a list of recommended databases to search for Social Work Research.

Other Suggested Databases


What If I Can't Find the Full Article?


If you can't find the full-text of an article but have a citation, you can still get access.


TRY THIS FIRST:  Use the citation information you have to search here.  The Find Journals tab on the library homepage takes you directly to this link.  Remember to search by the journal title.

Interlibrary Loan  Request the article to be sent to you from another library.  Use the article form and be sure to select your home library.  These may take several days to arrive so you can't wait until the last minute.  Articles will be emailed to you.

Google Scholar



Google Scholar is a helpful alternative source for finding authoritative academic articles.  There is no Advanced Search in Google Scholar, so if you have multiple terms, you must connect them in one line using your Boolean Operators (and, or, not).  For example, "capital punishment" AND juveniles OR adolescents

Research often works best when you search in a variety of places.  I recommend trying some of our GALILEO databases in addition to searching Google Scholar.  Sometimes one option works better than the other.  Other times, you may find some extra articles that boost the quality of your paper or assignment by checking Google Scholar as well. You can also find open access articles here that you might otherwise miss.

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