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Social Ecology 195 - Field Studies (Torres Section) - Fall 2019: Conducting Research

Finding Journal Articles and Using Databases


There are many ways to find information - but first you will want to be able to state your goals and information directives.  One point of departure may be the Social Ecology Subject Guides (one corresponding to each academic department) or to other relevant Subject Guides.  Additional guides that may be helpful may be Environmental Sciences, Education, Medicine, Sociology, News and Newspapers, Government Information (for US, CA, Orange County, or International), etc.


It is critical that you establish criteria to help evaluate the sources of information.  The following criteria are helpful in doing that:

    1.   Audience

    2.   Purpose

    3.   Objectivity

    4.   Currency

    5.   Coverage

    6.   Accuracy

    7.   Authority

    8.   Relevancy

    9.  Ease of use

FINDING JOURNAL ARTICLES AND USING DATABASES - you may want to consider using some of the interdisciplinary and general databases identified on the Databases to Get You Started list.  To determine whether you can expect full text content or if the UCI Libraries have the articles, use the UC eLinks icon, which will take you to the holdings in Library Search.

SPECIALIZED DATABASES - the following databases cover scholarly journals, but also some of them index and abstract books, book chapters, dissertations and theses, government information and occasionally include some websites.  Take advantage of searching those on a common platform together when appropriate or the specialized features to make your search more refined and relevant.  Selective databases that may be appropriate may include: (* all on Proquest/CSA platform & can be searched either independently or together: ** all on Ebsco platform & can be searched togehter)

  1. PsycINFO*
  2. Education Full Text**
  3. ERIC* - another Education database - good for after school programs - access to the EDs currently restricted
  4. Sociological Abstracts*
  5. Social Services Abstracts*
  6. Criminal Justice Abstracts Full Text
  7.  Criminology: A Sage Fulltext Collection
  8. PAIS International*
  9. Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Database
    1. Sustainability Sciences Abstracts
  10. PubMed
  11. Academic Search Complete
  12. Urban Studies Abstracts
  13. Web of Science - 3 parts of the database correspond to citation indexes for the Sciences (1900+), Social Sciences (1900+) and Arts/Humanities (1976+) - you can deselect which parts are not relevant and determine the dates that are most relevant
  14. NexisUni (for News and Legal content)
  15. Opposing Viewpoints - Collection of topic overviews, viewpoints, full-text news and academic journal articles, primary sources, and other multimodal resources such as statistics, images, media files, etc.
  16. Global Information in Context - Global Issues in Context focuses on broad issues, such as war, genocide, terrorism, human rights, poverty, famine, globalization, world trade, nuclear proliferation, and global warming, as well as more specific events and topics in the news that are related to these broader issues.
  17. SSRN - technical report literature from many social science outlets
  18. Google Scholar
  19. CQ Researcher - Each report analyzes a current social, political, and/or economic issue. Includes a pro/con section which presents different perspectives on the same topic.
  20. many other specialized databases, including news/media coverage, business sources

SELECTIVE REFERENCE SOURCES - there are many reference sources that will assist you with background information, some basic bibliographic references and factual information.  It is suggested that you use these resources to verify dates, data, information about individuals, etc.  Also ask at the Langson Library Reference Desk or use any of the Ask a Librarian resources if you need additional information.

  1. Gale Virtual Reference - the largest online package of references - particularly strong in the humanities and social sciences - contains nearly 500 resources
  2. Sage e-Reference - many handbooks, encyclopedias, directories that are strong in the social & behavioral sciences


 Demographic & Census Data - in order to see what the census is for various population centers or targets, consult these sources:

  1. California Statistical Abstract
  2. Digest of Educational Statistics
  3. Condition of Education
  4. American Factfinder

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