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SOC / CJ 323 Methods of Social Research: Journal Articles

Formulating Your Search Strategy

The first step in the search process is getting a grip on the key terms.  For an example, let's try the following hypothesis:

Women are more likely to conform than men.

First, we isolate the important phrases; in this case, "women," "men," and "conform." We can use these phrases as starting points for a list of synonymous terms, broader and narrower topics, related words, and reversed word orders. Here's a quick list:

  • women
  • females
  • femininity
  • men
  • males
  • masculinity
  • conform
  • conforming
  • conformity
  • social norms
  • social influences

Phrases are searched as keywords unless they are surrounded by quotation marks (" ").

Another helpful tool is truncation. Using an asterisk (*) at the end of a root of a word will search all endings. For example, a search with "conform*" searches the following:

  • conform
  • conformed
  • conforming
  • conformity
  • conforms

Scholarly Article Databases

Use the following database sources to search for scholarly journal articles. We may not have everything available full text, use the "Find It!" button to find articles or order them via interlibrary loan.

Academic Journals in Sociology and Criminal Justice

Here are several academic journals in the fields of sociology & criminal justice. This list is not exhaustive, but these links take you directly to the full-text journals.

Some other sources for articles

Some of these are databases, some are web-based resources. You can also use these to find news articles and some data.