UCB: Use OskiCat to find books related to your topic at UC Berkeley. Oskicat will show you where it's located, and will also show you the Library of Congress Subject Heading -- which can help you find material other relevant books.
UC: Not enough books at Berkeley? Use Melvyl to find more books at other campuses in the UC system. Clickon the REQUEST button (in the detailed view of a catalog record) to request the item through Interlibrary Loan.
Google Books: Library catalogs don't search inside of books. Google Books can help you identify the book you need, then click on "Find in a Library" to see if we have it.
UC eLinks and Citation Linker
Sometimes the database you search doesn't link to the fulltext -- it only gives the citation. Click the button to see if Berkeley has it online, and if not, it will check for a print version. And if we don't have it at all, it lets you request it through Interlibrary Loan.
What if there isn't a button??? Sometimes you find an article in a bibliography, a book or a footnote -- and you want to see if we have it. The Citation Linker searches through our online databases to see if it's available fulltext. If not, it sets up a search for the paper journal in Melvyl. And if we don't have it at Berkeley, it lets you request it through Interlibrary Loan.
- Use synonyms -- there are many ways to express a concept (teenager or teenagers or adolescent)
- Use truncation to get different forms of the word, for example teenage* will retrieve teenagers, teenager, teenaged, etc.
- Use quotation marks when you want an "exact phrase"
- Restrict by date -- most will let you find only the most current five years if you chose that limit.
- Use "controlled vocabulary" (also called descriptors or subject headings) if the database has them. The PsycInfo Thesaurus is a very powerful tool. It helps you identify articles that are about a topic, not just that have the word in the abstract. For example, if you are looking for the cause of a certain psychological problem, the descriptor "etiology" finds material that looks at causality.
- Use the special "limits" or "fields" that the database offers. They really do help you make a more focused and powerful search. PsycInfo lets you use many helpful limits including:
- Methodology-- are you interested in literature reviews? Empirical studies? Clinical trials? Quantitative or qualitative studies?
- Population -- do you want research based on humans? Males vs. females?
- Age of subjects -- adolescents? children? old people?
- Publication type -- do you want articles? dissertations? books?
This guide has been archived
Please note: this course guide was created during a previous semester, and is no longer being actively maintained. For a list of current course guides, please see http://lib.berkeley.edu/alacarte/course-guides.
We have hundreds of research databases which help you find articles (and more) on a wide variety of topics. They are organized according to academic discipline, by name, or by type of database (dissertations, e-books, etc.)
Core resources for Social Welfare:
Social Services Abstracts
Indexes journals in social work, human services, and social policy.
Core database in psychology, also includes social work.
Social Work Abstracts
Indexes hundreds of journals related to social work on a wide range of topics.
Core database in sociology, many overlaps with social welfare.
Access to citations from MEDLINE and other journals in the field of medicine -- includes psychiatry, geriatrics, public health,etc.
Interested in Social Work in the schools, or the overlap with Education? ERIC is a key source for education research and practice.
Academic Search Complete
Social Work research is often interdisciplinary, and this can be a good place to search. Includes many fulltext articles.
Family and Society Studies Worldwide
International social science research about the family and society.
Indexes all literature on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental-health sequelae of traumatic events. From the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Sometimes it's helpful to get an overview of a topic or field.
- Annual Reviews can be a good place to start. While there isn't one specifically on Social Work/Social Welfare, there are reviews in Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Public Health, and Sociology which can provide a great starting place.
- International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences is another really good starting place. Take a look at Aging, for example.
Full-text Access: Some fulltext UC dissertations (after 1996) can be found online by searching Dissertations & Theses @ University of California which also finds citations and abstracts for some UC dissertations prior to 1996. Berkeley dissertations prior to 1996 (in print) may be found by searching the Library catalogs. Dissertations done at other UC campuses prior to 1996 or ouside the UC system must be obtained through Interlibrary Loan or using the "Request" option in Melvyl. (NOTE: most dissertations can't be borrowed. If there is one you must have, contact your librarian about whether it's possible to buy a copy for our library.)