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Professor Ussery Social Work Class Resources: Databases

Search Tips

A good starting point is performing a keyword search. Keyword searches work best if you use short phrases and connect them with Boolean operators such as 'and', 'or', and 'not'. For example, instead of "community development among African Americans in the Bay Area" you could try "community development and African Americans and Bay Area". Removing prepositions and other connecting words from your phrase avoids search results full of those common words but lacking important keywords. Placing quotation marks around multi-word phrases will return results with those phrases in that exact order. For example, "community development" and "African Americans" and "Bay Area".

Most databases allow you to select 'peer-reviewed' and 'full-text' limiters when you search which will return results from scholarly journals that we have full access to. But do not fear if you can only find the abstract or summary of a promising article; we can retrieve just about any article through our interlibrary loan program (see description below).

Another handy tool in most databases is the thesaurus. In some databases this is a subject-specific thesaurus created by a major research association in the field. If your search terms aren't returning relevant results try putting them into the thesaurus, the database may be using slightly different terms to describe your concept. For example, the PsycArticles database uses the term business organizations instead of companies.

Subject Specific Databases

Online Journals

General Databases

Interlibrary Loan

What is InterLibrary Loan?

Any article or book that the PUC library does not own or have a subscription to, we can usually borrow or get a copy from another library on your behalf. Libraries will not loan materials to non-members but they will loan to another library which is then an InterLibrary Loan (ILL). Just click on one of the links below to get started filling out the request form.

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