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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Sociology Research

A guide to research in Sociology

Sociology Librarian

Social Sciences Research Librarian 

I'm the subject specialist librarian for Sociology, Geography & GIS, and Anthropology. I also specialize in qualitative research tools and strategies. I work in the Social Sciences, Health & Education Library, on the first floor of the Main Library. 

Social Sciences, Health, & Education Library

When you want to search by topic area

Database searching lets you search for articles by topic, method, author or whatever other keyword makes sense for you. Much of the content you'd find in these databases is peer reviewed (but not all).

Peer review is the process through which journals decide what to publish. Before a work is published, it's reviewed by experts in that same field who decide whether the research moves forward our understanding of that area of work and whether the methodology, results and conclusions are appropriate for the study. Some journals have very low acceptance rates. Learn more about peer review with this guide from the Undergraduate Library. 

If you just want to locate research in sociology-related journals, try these databases: 

Reading the Full Text of Articles

HTML and PDF Full Text

Full Text is a phrase we use to indicate the entire article. Usually, this means a PDF file (PDF full text) you can download, but the article can also appear as a website, described as HTML full text. When you search library databases like SocINDEX and Sociological Abstracts, you'll see full-text links for many articles. 

Image of the results of a socINDEX search with the HTML full text and PDF full text link underlined in red


Discover Full Text

If you don't see the full-text option for an article, look for a link that says Discover Full Text. This is a tool that will look for the full text of an article somewhere else in the library's online resources. 

Image of an article in socindex and the discover full text link is being pointed at by a red arrow

Click on the discover full text link and it will take you to this page:

The image is the discover full text page an the online full text result is being pointed to by a red arrow

Here you see that there is an online full text option for this article. This page also lets you search the catalog and web search for your article. 

Finding Articles by Title

If you have a citation for an article you can go to the Library's main page, click "Journal & Article Locator" and plug in the information. For example, let's say we have this citation: 

Gloria Ladson-Billings. (1995) Towards a Theory of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy. American Educational Research Journal, 32:3, 465-491.

This is how it will look when you put in the information provided

When you then click "Look for journal article or journal title" it should take you directly to the article.

Say you only have the title  and not all of the other information, then it will take you to this screen:

If you click "article matches" you will then be taken to the database your search was found in and then you can view your article.