Most research in sociology will include journal articles, working papers, material from books, and statistics. While searching for these different components might seem confusing at first, a few simple tips can make the process a lot easier.
Articles from Journals
When searching for articles: If you have the citation, check to see if Bard subscribes to the journal the article appeared in by opening the “JOURNALS” tab on the Library Main Page. Enter the name of the journal there and you will see if you have access to the issue you need. If we do not subscribe to the journal you are looking for you can then request a scanned copy of the article you need by using ILLIAD, our rapid interlibrary loan system.
If you are searching for articles on a particular topic, the best way is to choose one of the databases on sociology we subscribe to. Try SocINDEX, or American Search Premier, first. Go to the Database tab on the Library Main Page and choose the database you want. You can search by author, by key word, by date, by topic, and more. Each database also has a “help” key within it that will offer ways to narrow or expand your search. Many of the articles that your search finds will have an automatic link to fulltext. (Some may offer a choice of HTML or PDF – choose PDF when searching in Sociology, the charts and tables are much clearer. This is true for all social sciences and hard science articles.) If you are not offered an automatic link to full text, just search for the article following the path provided above.
These are articles that have not yet gone out for peer-review. As they have not yet undergone that rewrite process they will likely be a bit less polished but be more contemporary. They are fine to use as references in papers. The Social Science Research Network (SSRN) is the best source for these. While the SSRN search engine is not as detailed as those of SocINDEX or Academic Search Premier, it is very easy to use and should give you good results.
When browsing in the Stevenson Library for books in Sociology, the main thing to remember is that the Library of Congress Classification System, which we and all major academic libraries use, puts Sociology (and all social sciences) under the letter 'H' in the main heading. Sociology in general is actually shelved as HM, Social History and Conditions is HN, Family and Marriage is HQ, and Communities, Classes, and Races is HV. These are on the Third Floor in the Library.