Monday, November 25, 2013

Sociology essay

Herron, Nancy L. The Social Sciences: A Cross Disciplinary Guide to Selected Sources, 3rd ed. Greenwood Village, Colo. : Libraries Unlimited, 2002. Z7161 S648 2002 pp. 259-261

Sociology essay
Diane Zabel and Christine Avery

As its name clearly implies, the social nature of the human animal is the focus of sociology. Although such an interest has been a subject of philosophical contemplation since ancient times, the modern discipline of sociology emerged in the nineteenth century. The origin of the term is attributed to the nineteenth-century French philosopher Auguste Comte. Comte is generally regarded as the founder of modern sociology. Lee Braude’s 1994 bibliographic essay on the emergence of sociology is a good choice for those who wish to know more about the development of sociology as a discipline. 1 This essay discusses some of the major developments in sociology from the mid-nineteenth century to 1930, with an emphasis on the development of American sociology. More than eighty works are cited in this essay, making it a valuable tool for any librarian needing a summary of the most seminal publications in the field. Braude’s coverage concludes with 1930, because by that date American sociology had firmly established itself as a discipline. A symbol of this, according to Braude, was the 1929 construction of the Social Science Research Building at the University of Chicago. In 1999, Braude published a follow-up bibliographic essay in Choice, tracing developments in sociology since 1930. 2 The phenomenal growth in sociology since 1930 is evidenced by the increase in the number of works that Braude cites in his analysis of the discipline’s progress. Braude’s critical evaluation of key contemporary works is useful to librarians, graduate students, and others needing to become conversant with the core literature in sociology. Choice also publishes bibliographic essays on subfields of major disciplines. One example is Harry Gold’s article on the development of political sociology, a subspeciality that emerged in the post-World War II era. 3 It is particularly important for academic librarians to browse this feature of Choice because these bibliographic essays are outstanding and provide an easy means of gaining familiarity with the literature of a discipline or subdisclipine.  
Sociology is a social science, using empirical methods to study human group behaviour. It is the broadest of the social sciences, overlapping with psychology, anthropology, education, political science, business, history, communication, statistics, law, and economics. Some subfields of sociology, notably the sociology of work, the sociology of law, political sociology, the sociology of welfare, the sociology of the environment, and the sociology of work conflict, illustrate this overlap. Sociology has distinguished itself from these related fields by developing a unique perspective. Both psychology and sociology study behaviour, but whereas psychology concentrates on individual behaviour, sociology is concerned with collective behaviour and how groups influence individual behaviour. Historically, anthropologists have primarily studied tribal peoples and pre-industrialized societies. Consequently, anthropological methodologies were developed primarily for the study of non-Western societies. However, since World War II, anthropologists have increasingly studied urban societies in Western countries and in the Third World. Like sociologists, many anthropologists have researched many relevant contemporary topics ranging from drug abuse to unemployment. In contrast, sociological methodologies were developed primarily for the study of modern Western societies. 
Sociology has affected other disciplines. For example, history traditionally studies prominent people and important events in the past. Historians have adopted a sociological perspective with their increased interest in the daily life of average people, the family, and work. Sociology has also had an impact on librarianship. Leigh Estabrook’s 1984 study using citation analysis to measure library researchers’ use of sociological materials found that 8 percent of library citations were sociological references. 5 She concluded that this was not insignificant and projected that in the future, library researchers would probably increase their use of sociological works, especially those publications relating to computing and technology issues. 
Sociology has been applied to the study of society’s problems. Topics under sociological investigation include alcohol and drug abuse, family violence, homelessness, crime, and racial discrimination. In 1994, Neil J. Smelser, a prominent sociologists, accurately predicted that in the future more research would focus on subjects such as step-parenting, dual-career couples, commuter marriages, telecommuting and home-based work, the economic and ethical consequences of medical technology, the social epidemiology of AIDS, and the social aspects of environmental threats. 6 These were important themes in the late 1990s and continue to be in the twenty-first century. Social work developed as a practical response to social problems and is based in sociology. Along with teaching in universities, sociologists work in industry, government, human services, and private social agencies. 
A range or research methods characterizes the discipline of sociology. Sociological conclusions are not based on common sense but are the product of systematically collected data. After developing a hypothesis, sociologists select a research method and collect data, which are interpreted, reviewed, and sometimes replicated. The most heavily used research method in sociology is survey research. Survey research uses questionnaires, interviews, or both to determine what people think, predict behaviour, or to measure public opinion. This technique uses a sample, a representative number of people from the population studied. Generalizations about large groups of people are based on the samples. 
Sociology shares the tradition of fieldwork with anthropology. Fieldwork uses direct observation to collect data. Some sociological studies involve the participation of the observer, who becomes part of the group studied. Case studies analyze a community, a family, or an occupation. The collection and analysis of statistical data are important in sociology. Sociologists require statistics on the demographic and social characteristics of special groups. Instead of generating their own data, they may rely on statistics already collected. Sociologists in the United States make heavy use of data collection by the Census Bureau and other government agencies. 
Many sociologists make use of machine-readable data files. There are several repositories of machine-readable social science data. The most well-known archive in this country is the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), which is centred at the University of Michigan The Consortium receives, processes, distributes, and archives large datasets. It also sponsors workshops and training sessions that are useful to data users and data librarians. 
A large number of scholarly books are published annually in the area of sociology. Approximately 41,000 academic titles in sociology were published or distributed in the United States or Canada in 1997 alone. 7 Only two other subject categories in the social sciences surpassed this publishing output: history and business/economics. However, this figure from The Bowker Annual excludes the number of popular titles published in sociology. Herbert Gans authored a fascinating study on fifty-six best-sellers written by American sociologists during the period 1950 through 1995. 8 Each of these titles sold more than 50,000 copies; included were the 1950 classic The Lonely Crowd (which topped 1 million in sales), Artie Hochschild’s groundbreaking study, The Second Shift (documenting the chore wars between men and women); and three works by Lillian Rubin (World of Pain, Intimate Strangers, and Just Friends). Gans’s insights about these best-sellers suggest the impact that sociology has had on the public. These best-sellers have addressed issues such as loneliness, poverty, racism, social injustice and gender inequality, topics that obviously struck a chord with many Americans. 
Collection development in sociology can be a challenge given the large volume of monographic output. Fortunately, there are selection tools that can help librarians evaluate new titles in sociology. Although it dates from the 1980s, Sharon Quist’s article on the value of book reviews in sociology is still relevant reading for beginning sociology librarians. 9 Quist outlines the importance of reviews and lists journals in sociology where book reviews can be found. Another article that should be required reading for sociology selectors is Judith Fox’s critical comparison of Choice and Contemporary Sociology as book selection tools. 10 This evaluative article reiterates the importance of not using Choice exclusively for collection development decisions given only moderate overlap between Choice and Contemporary Sociology, a premier scholarly review journal in sociology. 
Citation analysis has been employed as a tool to study the literature of sociology. James Baughman conducted one of the earliest studies in 1974 11. Baughman’s research resulted in a list of most frequently cited sociology journals. A few years later, William Satarino conducted a readership analysis, examining journals that socialists reported reading. 12 Both of these early studies laid the foundation for subsequent studies of sociology literature by establishing core lists of journals relevant to sociologists. In 1984, Beth Shapiro examined several citation and readership studies in the social sciences in order to profile sociologists’ use of book and journal material. Her reviews of the research found that sociologists make greater use of monographic literature than many other social scientists, and there is an emphasis on recent English-language material. Her reviews of the research found that sociologists make greater use of monographic literature than many other social scientists, and there is an emphasis on recent English-language material. A synthesis of Shapiro’s findings indicates that 
  1. 50 to 62 percent of all citations from scholarly research in sociology are from nonserial publications (e.g., monographs, documents, reports);
  2. 90 to 93 percent of all citations are from English-language sources; and
  3. 50 to 70 percent of all citations are from sources less than ten years old. 13 
Blaise Cronin, Herbert Snyder, and Helen Atkins have conducted the most recent citation analysis in sociology. These authors analyzed tens of thousands of references from scholarly monographs and academic journals for a nine-year period (1985-1993). Their findings suggest that there may be two distinct populations of highly cited authors: one in monographs and the other in journals. 
The literature of sociology is widely dispersed across related disciplines and the numerous subfields of sociology. Major subfields include criminology, social work, marriage and the family, demography, gerontology, ethnicity, women’s studies, and urban studies. Sociological Abstracts, the major database in the discipline, identifies approximately thirty broad subfields, ranging from group interactions to feminist/gender studies. Sociological research is highly interdisciplinary. There is only a small core of reference literature relating to general sociology. However, there are many specialized works relating to the numerous subfields of the disciplines.

Monday, November 18, 2013


The study of social life, and social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behaviour. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts.
American Sociological Association. “What is Sociology?”

For general overview see Encarta Encyclopedia article: Sociology.
  • One of the broadest social sciences
  • Originated in Europe but primarily an American subject up to the 1960s
    • From 1800s what we associated, focus on Chicago – different ethnic groups, crime, deviants, social activism; make things better, become involved to do so
  • Auguste Comte generally considered to be the founder of modern sociology
  • History of interest in solving problems associated with urbanization and industrialization, e.g. poverty, inequality, family breakdown, crime/deviance, racial/ethnic minorities, and other topics socialists would be interested in
  • Methodologies developed primarily for study of modern Western societies
    • Questionnaires
    • Surveys
  • Research methods include
    • Fieldwork: direct observation
    • Quantitative methods
      • Statistics; look at numbers related to groups
    • Survey research
      • Questionnaires, interviews, polls, focus groups
    • Heavy reliance on primary statistical information
      • Census, vital statistics, employment statistics, immigration statistics, crime stats …
  • Numerous areas of specialization
    • 50+
  • Sections of the American Sociological Association
  • Sociological Specialities
Topical areas
(featured areas of both non-public and public interest)
  • Crime and deviance (Criminology as a separate discipline/profession)
  • Demography
    • population study using government statistics
  • Ethnic and racial relations
  • Gerontology
  • Marriage and the family
  • Women’s studies
  • Men’s studies
  • Urban studies
  • Rural studies
  • Closest relationship with anthropology
  • Traditional division based on pre-industrial (anthropology) and industrial societies (sociology) breaking down – anthropologists looking more at urban, industrialized societies
  • Traditionally, sociology was anthropology in an urban, industrial setting
  • Sociology the social science discipline most likely to lend to other social science disciplines 
  • Sociologists often concerned with reform and are frequently critical of the status quo
  • Has led to reputation of “pusher of unpopular causes,” sociology department may be seen as a “centre of radicalism”
  • Sociological literature jargon filled (Sociologese) see Jargon Free Sociology
Structure of sociological literature
  • 50 – 62% of all citations from scholarly research are from nonserial publications
    • Sociologists use monographs more than many other social scientists
  • 90 – 93% of all citations English language
  • 50 – 70% of all citations from sources less than 10 years old
User needs
  • Academics: interest in “hot” problem areas, topics, issues, statistical sources
  • Postsecondary students: popular works summarizing state of the art, subject dictionaries, encyclopaedias, handbooks
  • Social workers: “how to do it good”, info on types of clients, regulations, laws, licensure
    • Few practitioners read research periodicals or use research findings
  • Lay persons: interest in problem solving literature with step by step format; local sensational social problems (careful selection of popular material required)

Monday, November 11, 2013


Herron, Nancy L. (ed) The Social Sciences: A Cross-Disciplinary Guide to Selected Sources. 3rd ed. Greenwood Village, Colo.: Libraries Unlimited, 2002.
Joyce L. Ogburn
Nature of the Discipline 
Anthropology holds a fascination for many people, and with good reason. It explores the entire spectrum of human experience: its past and present physical and cultural makeup, its history and evolution. As the study of humans, it encompasses the social, cultural, historical, and physical aspects of human life. This broad scope allows anthropologists to investigate the human experience from the perspective of the humanist, the social/behavioral scientist, and the natural scientist. 
The field is usually considered a social science because of its unifying concern for human culture and life, and the dominance of cultural anthropology in the history of the discipline. Anthropologists conduct their studies as they relate to culture, for culture does not function separately from biology, behavior, language, social structure, and history. Anthropologists employ the comparative method, which allows them to study behavior and biology across a wide array of traits and conditions. Anthropologists consider all peoples and cultures valuable to study and do not pass judgment on what they find. Anthropology is a holistic discipline, governed by the idea that all human groups are of one species, have a common history, and have culture and language. To obtain a full understanding of the human species, anthropologists study humans from all perspectives, often utilizing a cross-disciplinary approach. 
As a social science, anthropology shares methodology and theory primarily with sociology, psychology, history, and geography. These disciplines emphasize fieldwork, surveys, behavior, and the social life of humans. But anthropology also has strong ties to the natural sciences, such as medicine, biology, and geology. These disciplines focus on fieldwork, laboratory studies, and measurement of natural phenomena. In addition, anthropologists who are interested in the arts, and the literary and oral traditions of societies study the humanistic discipline. 
From its very beginnings anthropology has been associated with museums, academia, institutes, scientific associations, and governmental bodies. Many museums, such as the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology (Harvard University), the American Museum of Natural History (New York), and the Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago), have departments of anthropology. A few libraries have significant collections of anthropological literature, with the Tozzer Library at Harvard University housing the premier anthropological collection since the nineteenth century in such institutions as the Smithsonian, the Bureau of American Ethnology, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. There are institutions and organizations devoted solely to anthropology (the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Archaeological Institute of America) and laboratories for anthropology (the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology at Indiana University). All major American academic institutions have a department of anthropology, some founded as early as the late nineteenth century. Anthropologists enjoy membership in large scientific associations (section H of the American Association for the Advancement of Science) and have had their own association since Anthropology’s inception (the American Ethnological Society, the American Anthropological Association, the American Association of Physical Anthropologists). Anthropologists are also eligible for membership in the National Academy of Sciences. 
Anthropology in the United States traditionally has comprised four subdisciplines: sociocultural anthropology, archaeology, physical anthropology, and linguistic anthropology. Each has its own distinct theory and methodology, but they overlap in many areas of study, such as mortuary studies (physical conditions of the remains of the dead and funereal rituals and artifacts), medical anthropology (the place of medicine within a culture and biological aspects of health, disease, and nutrition), sociobiology and ethology (the convergence of studies of behavior and biology), and culture change (how and why cultures, societies, material remains, and peoples have changed in historic and prehistoric times). 
The emphasis on four subdisciplines in anthropology has a very long history. In recent years, however, a great amount of tension has arisen between the subdisciplines, leading to an extended discussion among anthropologists as to whether there are still four subfields. The perceived rift is primarily between sociocultural and physical anthropology. Some anthropologists argue that there are no longer any common elements in theory, method, or study between the two disciplines. Moreover, it has been suggested that since an increasing number of physical anthropologists are now working within biological or medical organizations and departments, they may indeed have more in common with natural scientists than with other anthropologists. Many anthropologists, however, still prefer to think of anthropology as a unified field and argue that the discipline is strengthened by its diversity. 
The subdisciplines have developed their own literatures, based on their own specific data and research needs. 
Sociocultural anthropology
This subdiscipline maintains the closest relationship to other social sciences. Sociocultural anthropologists study social relationships, the structure of society, and the function of individuals and cultural variables within a society. Sociocultural anthropologists are concerned with such things as social organization, culture change, and acculturation. 
The major methodologies of sociocultural anthropologists are ethnography, survey, and oral history. Key concepts and components of sociocultural anthropology include kinship studies, ethnology, ethnography, folklore, ethnomusicology, ethnohistory, comparative religion, area studies, ethnic studies, economic anthropology, cultural ethnology, and educational anthropology. 
Archaeologists investigate the history and development of an entire culture or groups of peoples over time and space. Archaeology can be perceived as a bridge between physical anthropology and sociocultural anthropology, as a link between physical characteristics, human behaviour, and culture. Archaeologists seek an understanding of cultures based on their material and physical remains. To achieve this end, archaeologists describe and classify artifacts, study the relationships among sites, and build cultural chronologies. Archaeologists reconstruct the history of cultures, how they lived, and how or why they changed. 
Archaeology relies primarily on the methods of excavation, survey, sampling, collection, and relative and chronometric dating. The field encompasses aspects such as historical archaeology, classical archaeology, ethnoarcheology, archaeoastronomy, archaeozoology, prehistory, salvage archaeology, conservation and resource management, underwater archaeology, biblical archaeology, and amateur archaeology. 
Physical anthropology
Physical anthropology (sometimes called bioanthropology or biological anthropology) has the closest ties to the natural sciences, especially to primatology, human biology, and branches of medicine. Physical anthropology investigates the relationship of the human physical condition to human culture over time and space. Physical anthropologists analyze skeletal material collected from archaeological sites for age at death, cause of death, general health and nutrition, ethnic affiliation, and sex. Physical anthropologists also study other primates, the genetic relationships of human groups, health of historic and prehistoric populations, and change in human anatomy and behavior over time. Many physical anthropologists serve as advisors in forensic matters by determining the identification of human remains. They generally work most closely with archaeologists; indeed, often anthropologists specialize in both archaeology and physical anthropology. 
Physical anthropologists use such methodologies as laboratory work, anthropometry, biochemical analysis, comparative anatomy, trace analysis, and taxonomy. Biological anthropology, medical anthropology, skeletal biology, paleopathology, forensic anthropology, dental anthropology, primatology, human variation, human adaptation, human evolution, and human ecology are fields of speciality within physical anthropology. 
Linguistic anthropology
This may be considered the more humanistic of the branches of anthropology. Linguistic anthropologists study the origins, evolutions, and nature of language; relationships among human languages; and the history, development, and structure of languages. As it relates to anthropology, linguistics functions as a social science: the function of language within a society, culture as revealed through language, and the relationship of cultures through language. Fairly recent applications of linguistics involve the investigation of the capacity for language in other animals, particularly nonhuman primates. 
The standard methodologies of linguistics are phonetics, phonemics, structural analysis, semantics, morphology, syntactics. Linguistic anthropology includes philology, psycholingustics, sociolingustics, lexicography, paralingustics, cognitive anthropology, semiotics, symbolism, dialectology, and bilingualism. 
Structure and the use of literature
Anthropology has a body of literature that includes scholarly and popular material. Scholarly literature includes all branches of anthropology, while most of the popular literature is written about archaeology, human evolution, and human cultures. In addition, anthropologists communicate their research through government reports, applied literature, and more recently, advocacy literature. Advocacy literature embraces the concept of working for the survival of cultures or nonhuman primates, not merely studying them. 
The greatest sources of raw data for anthropologists are field notes and material collections. For cultural anthropologists, field notes include ethnographic observations, films, photographs, and drawings. Physical anthropologists rely on skeletal material, medical records, genetic data, and fossils. Linguists employ field notes, tape recordings, written historical records, and sound spectrograms and synthesis. Increasingly, anthropological data are being encoded in electronic format and databases for analysis and synthesis. Some of these databases have been made available to other researchers.  
Dissertations are primary sources of data that often do not get published elsewhere. Anthropological collections, usually housed in museums and laboratories, constitute a valuable resource for research. Descriptions or catalogs of some of these collections are accessible over the Internet, for example the Collections at the Peabody Museum of the Yale University Peabody Museum of Natural History ( 
The secondary literature, or the results of anthropological investigation, exists in several published forms. Although dissertations include valuable raw and synthesized data, the primary reporting of research results occurs in journal articles and reports issued by laboratories, museums, and departments of anthropology. Monographs are major vehicles for publishing syntheses of anthropological research and concepts; however the journal literature is increasing dominating the dissemination of anthropology research. 
Some of the major journals for communicating research results are American Anthropologist, Current Anthropology, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Man, Anthropological Lingustics, American Antiquity, American Journal of Archaeology, American Ethnologist, and Anthropos. Many more specialized journals exist. To understand current developments in their fields, anthropologists can turn to several sources, including newsletters such as Anthropology Newsletter, Science News, History of Anthropology Newsletter, Physical Anthropology News, and also major journals such as Current Anthropology, Science and Nature. One online source, Anthropology in the News, follows news stories about anthropology and stays current (  
Anthropologists tend to rely on both current and older literature. Sometimes older literature offers the only source of data on cultures, collections, languages, and sites that have disappeared or changed over time. Early, seminal works still have much to offer researchers in terms of data, synthesis, and theoretical approach.
More anthropology resources are appearing online, some freely available and some for fee only. The discipline has not made as many significant and innovative advances in the use of the Internet in delivering resources as it might. This said, the reference resources listed below demonstrate that a lot has happened in the past five years in terms of converting, duplicating, or presenting new information in electronic formats. Online full text of the journal literature lags behind other disciplines, but fortunately some key journals are available in various aggregator packages and in JSTOR (E-60). Some seminal monographic works are being reproduced online, but the growth in this area is slow. Online, digital exhibits are increasing in number, and intellectual access to special collections is growing through the conversion of finding aids to digital format. 
The reference environment
Although the body of reference literature for anthropology has grown far richer in recent years, the eclectic nature of anthropology compels anthropologists to use the literature and reference sources from many other fields. Cultural and general anthropology has the greatest number of resources, however, relevant literature for the other subdisciplines of anthropology has improved and is also supported by reference sources for other disciplines. For example, physical anthropologists can use the medical and biological literatures, which have extremely good reference bases. Numerous bibliographies exist, primarily covering particular geographic areas; however, they are less useful in the general reference environment than other reference works. Because of the international scope of anthropology, researchers use published literature from all over the world. Finding or accessing this literature can be challenging because indexing of that material may not exist, may not be widely available, or may not be current. 
Depending on the focus of an anthropologist’s study, reference service must be prepared to cover the full spectrum of reference literature. Several indexes and abstracts are devoted to anthropology, but other subject literature should be consulted to cover all the relevant sources. Although Anthropology Literature … and Anthropological Index … are now available online, researchers may still need to consult other non-anthropology databases to be thorough. The reference librarian who serves anthropologists must be familiar with a wide range of reference tools. 
The classification of anthropology in the Dewey Decimal System or Library of Congress schedules presents access challenges. In Dewey, anthropological material can be classed in the 300s (sociocultural anthropology), the 500s (physical anthropology), the 600s (medical anthropology, paleopathology), the 800s (linguistic anthropology), or the 900s (archaeology). The Library of Congress classification presents equal difficulty. Although primarily assigned to the GN classification, a great number of anthropological materials are also classed in CC (archaeology), D (cultures as part of world history), E/F (history of the Americas, Native Americans), GR (folklore), P (linguistic anthropology), Q (human evolution and biology, primatology), and R (medical anthropology, paleopathology). Clearly this great spread of anthropology among so many classifications demonstrates both the breadth of anthropology and problems of access, reference, and bibliography. 
Anthropology bibliography
The subject of anthropology bibliography and reference tools dominated the library literature in the late 1970s and 1980s, and reference publishing increased markedly in the 1990s. The anthropology bibliography literature addresses problems of information and access as well as the value of specific printed and online sources to some of the subdisciplines of anthropology. A review of these articles reveals that access to anthropological literature has improved in the last several decades. Several groups are trying to address the problems of anthropology bibliography and reference. Anthropologists and librarians concerned with the state of anthropology bibliography and reference sources founded the Library-Anthropology Resource Group in Chicago in 1971 and has published several important reference works. The Anthropology and Sociology Section (ANSS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries has a Bibliography Committee that works on problems of bibliography and gathers information on sources and developments in subject bibliography. ANSS (G-5) publishes a newsletter called ANSS Currents, manages an informational Web site called ANSSWeb (, and sponsors a list service called ANSS-L ( that supports the exchange of information among its members and other interested parties. The Internet now supports numerous anthropology-related list services and a growing number of sophisticated World Wide Web sites that point to a variety of information sources. 
Reference sources
Sources included in this chapter represent the best reference literature available in anthropology. The list is slanted toward more recent titles, and in general bibliographies have been included only when they present the lone or main access to a body of literature. Electronic and CD-ROM databases are included among the titles. Older resources that have been superseded or are terribly dated have been excluded. 
As mentioned previously, the reference literature for anthropology is not nearly as extensive as that for the other social sciences, although the reference base has improved tremendously since this chapter was first published in 1989. Several new and comprehensive encyclopaedias have been published, and more guides, dictionaries, and biographical sources have appeared. The conversion of Anthropological Literature (G-46, G-47, G-48), Anthropological Index (G-45), and the Human Relations Area Files (see G-97n) to electronic formats signaled a major step forward in providing electronic access to anthropological research. Despite these advances, anthropologists will still want to consult the reference publications available in allied subjects.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Social sciences-General sources of information: representative titles

Academic Search Premier
From EBSCOhost. Provides full text for more than 4,600 scholarly publications covering academic areas of study including social sciences, humanities, education, computer sciences, engineering, language and linguistics, arts and literature, medical sciences, and ethnic studies. This database is updated on a daily basis.

ASSIA: Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts
An indexing and abstracting tool originating in Britain, covering health, social services, psychology, sociology, economics, politics, race relations, and education. Coverage begins in 1987.

BHI: British Humanities Index
An international abstracting and indexing tool for research in the humanities, BHI indexes over 320 internationally respected humanities journals and weekly magazines, as well as quality newspapers published in the UK and the United States. Coverage begins in 1962.

CBCA: Canadian Business and Current Affairs
The electronic aggregate of the print products Canadian News Index, Canadian Business Index and the Canadian Magazine Index. In 1993, the three component print products of CBCA were merged into one product, the Canadian Index, to better reflect online product integration. Since then, the electronic product has evolved. Selective abstracts have given way to fulltext and a multitude of CBCA database formats and configurations. In 1997, electronic images of articles were added.

Ingenta Connect
A multidisciplinary database indexing topics ranging from science, technology and medicine, to the humanities and social sciences. Ingenta merges the UnCover table of contents/document request service with the U.K.-based Ingenta search-and-delivery service. Specific dates of coverage vary by journal title. Basic coverage is 1988-present.

PAIS International (available on OCLC)
Produced by the Public Affairs Information Service, PAIS International contains abstracts of journal articles, books, statistical yearbooks, directories, conference proceedings, research reports and government documents from all over the world. It covers the public and social policy literature of business, economics, finance, law, international relations, public administration, government, political science, and other social sciences – with emphasis on issues that are or might become the subjects of legislation.

Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature
From H. W. Wilson. Covers popular, general interest magazines published in the United States and Canada. Dates back to 1901.

Social Sciences Citation Index
The Social Sciences Citation Index is a multidisciplinary database, with searchable author abstracts, covering the journal literature of the social sciences. It indexes more than 1,725 journals spanning 50 disciplines, as well as covering individually selected, relevant items from over 3,300 of the world’s leading scientific and technical journals.

Social Sciences Index
From H. W. Wilson. Covers 529 English-language periodicals. Topics include anthropology, area studies, community health and medical care, criminal justice and criminology, economics, family studies, geography, gerontology, international relations, law, minority studies, planning and public administration, policy sciences, political science, psychiatry, psychology, social work and public welfare, sociology, urban studies, women’s studies, and related subjects.

Dictionaries and encyclopaedias
Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 15 vols. 1930-35.

International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 17 vols. 1968. Reference H 40 A215

The Social Science Encyclopedia. 2nd ed. Adam and Jessica Kuper, eds. 1996. H 41 S63 1996
Short, clear articles on most of the topics covered in the Social Sciences. Good bibliographies.

International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioural Sciences. 26 vols. 2001 Reference H 41 I58 2001
Available in both print and online formats. Core disciplines covered are anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology. “The mission of IESBS is to highlight the integration and interconnectedness of the social sciences with other disciplines. The editors believe the time was right for a work that would reflect ‘the growth and specialization of knowledge since the 1960s,’ the interdisciplinary nature and internationalization of research, and the increasing interconnectedness of social and behavioral with biological science during the last third of the 20th century.” (Choice)

Online Dictionary of the Social Sciences. Robert Drislane and Gary Parkinson. Athabaska University.
Has over 1,000 entries covering sociology, criminology, political science and women’s study with a commitment to Canadian examples, events and names.

Internet sources
BUBL Link: Social Sciences
Compiled by British librarians.

Cornell Theory Center Science & Arts Gateway for Education (SAGE)
For K-12 students and educators. Resources in the subject areas of language arts, foreign languages, the fine arts, social studies and history are included. aims to engage Canadians in culture life, to educate and entertain Web surfers with the stories of many peoples, and to provide access to the best of Canadian culture online.

Google Web Directory – Science > Social Sciences

H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online
An international consortium of scholars and teachers, H-Net creates and coordinates Internet networks with the common objective of advancing teaching and research in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Among H-Net’s most important activities is its sponsorship of over 100 free electronic, interactive newsletters.

Research Resources for the Social Sciences by Craig McKie.
Companion Web site to book of the same name.

Social Science Virtual Library
Organized by the University of Florida. Covers anthropology, history, political science, psychology, sociology and stress. Includes many online journals.

Intute: Social Sciences
A selective catalog of thousands of Web sites in the social sciences, hosted by the UK Resource Discovery Network. Users can browse by topic or search by keyword. Each entry has been reviewed and is annotated. The compilers, an international group, avoid including lists of links but focus instead on sites that can provide information directly. The Intute Website stopped adding new entries in July 2011, but will remain available for three years.