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Social Ecology 195W - Field Studies (Kim Section) - Spring 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 Research Guides (one corresponding to each academic department: CLS, Psychological Sciences, Urban Planning & Public Policy) 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

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 seached either independently or together)

  1. PsycINFO*
  2. ERIC* - Education database - good for after school programs
  3. Sociological Abstracts*
  4. Social Services Abstracts*
  5. Criminal Justice Abstracts
  6. LegalTrac
  7. PAIS International*
  8. Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Database
  9. PubMed
  10. Academic Search Complete
  11. Urban Studies Abstracts
  12. PolicyMap
  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. Scopus
  15. Nexi Uni (for News and Legal content)
  16. Google Scholar
  17. Opposing Viewpoints & Global Issues in Context
  18. many other specialized databases

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. Criminal Justice Data - for different purposes

Liaison Librarian

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Julia Gelfand
Office: Science Library 228

Phone: 949-824-4971