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Sociology Research Guide: Articles

Subject guide for Sociology

Databases that offer access to Sociology Articles

Database Searching: A few suggestions

Example of a standard three box search engine

Standard three-box search engine:
This example comes from Sociological Abstracts.  Most article databases will have similar three-box search. This example illustrates a search on "college student's attitudes toward alcoholism"  In this case, the database only display 2 boxes but additional lines can easily be added by clicking on... add a row.

  • 1st line: alcoholism or alcohol abuse illustrates searching a number of synonyms
    It is possible to search many synonyms at the same time, use or between each word
    Such as alcoholism or alcohol abuse or binge or drug abuse
  • 2nd line:college students illustrates searching by a standardized search term.
    The user found the standardized search term in a pervious search.
  • 3rd line: attitude* or perspective* illustrates using the truncation symbol *
    Attitude* will search for attitude, attitudes, or attitudinal
  • 4th line: It is possible to click Add Row to add a line to your search
    Such as:change the dropdown box from AND to NOT and eliminate terms.

Using Boolean Operators

And used to limit a searchBoolean operation example
AND produces results that include both terms
Example: treatment and recovery

Or used to broaden a search
OR Includes in the search each of the terms
Example: alcoholism or alcoholics

Not used to exclude terms
NOT will produce results that exclude a term
Example: NOT college students
produces results that do not include college students