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Sociology Research Guide: Finding Journal Articles & Databases

An introductory guide to research in Sociology at Sacred Heart University Library

How to Find Journal Articles

For our example search, we want to search for journal articles that discuss gender equality in Saudi Arabia for a paper assigned in a Sociology class. To begin, we will start at the Sacred Heart University Library homepage at http://library.sacredheart.edu/.


To start our example search, we will select one of the “Key Databases” from our list to the right. For this search, we’ll use JSTOR. To access the database, we need to hover over the “Search” tab on the menu bar at the top of the library homepage and select “Databases A-Z” to take us to an alphabetical list of databases from the library.

From the "A-Z Databases" list, click on the letter "J."


From the menu below, we will select the link for JSTOR at the top of the list of databases


The JSTOR main page presents a one-box basic search. For our search, we want to use the advanced search option. Click on the link for “Advanced Search” and then click on “Advanced Search” again from the pull-down menu.

The “Advanced Search” page allows us to search with multiple keywords linked by what are called Boolean operators. Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT are used to combine or exclude items in an advanced search. Using Boolean operators can yield more focused results from your search query. When using AND, you are searching for only results that include both keywords inserted into the separate search boxes. OR will yield results that include at least one of the keywords in the search boxes. NOT allows you to exclude a particular term from the search, like having a search for cats that excludes dogs (cats NOT dogs). For our purposes, we want a search that yields results combining “gender equality” AND “Saudi Arabia,” so we can retrieve results that only include both keywords.

Additionally, we can select things like item type (Articles) and language (English) .

Finally, we can use the "Journal Filter" toward the bottom of the page to narrow our results to specific disciplines. For our research, selecting "Sociology" will give us results that are specific to journals that specialize in publishing sociological research.

This search yields a manageable 59 results.

From here you can sift through the results, read and download articles, and generate pre-formatted citations for your bibliography. Click "Cite this item" and a window pops up that presents copyable, formatted citations in MLA, APA, and Chicago style for the selected article, as shown below.

Additionally, after clicking on the title on the results page, you can send an article permalink to your own email, as seen in the steps below.

Step 1.    

Step 2.

Key Databases

  • Academic Search Premier   
  • Multi-disciplinary resource with full-text articles from nearly 4,500 journals including 3,600 peer-reviewed titles, many from 1975 forward. Searchable cited references for 1,000 titles, including titles relevant to Sociology. For assistance searching Academic Search Premier, see the video below.

  • JSTOR  
  • Multidisciplinary resource, which houses a significant number of resources of interest to Sociology, with full-text articles from thousands of scholarly & peer-reviewed journals. For help with searching JSTOR, click on the icon below

  • Project Muse
  • A leading provider of digital humanities and social sciences content; since 1995, its electronic journal collections have supported a wide array of research needs at academic libraries worldwide. MUSE books and journals are from leading university presses and scholarly societies.

    For assistance using the advanced-search functions in Project Muse, see the video below.

Locating Databases

If you need help locating further general and subject-specific databases from Sacred Heart University Library, view the video below:

SHU Library Minute: How to Find Databases from Sacred Heart U Library on Vimeo.