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Social Science: Periodicals, Databases, & Indexes

Many social science periodicals are scholarly journals with rigorous editorial standards. Peer review is a common standard across disciplines. Specifically, articles go through a process that involves evaluation by the journal editor and also a panel of experts in the field. They may be published by professional associations, scholarly societies, trade groups, nonprofits, university presses, or commercial publishers.

readRead!
Read Hicks, Diana & Wang, Jian (February 1, 2011). Coverage and overlap of the new social science and humanities journal lists. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 62(2), 284-294.

Scenario Stumper
I'm starting a graduate program in social work and I'm supposed to become familiar with the periodicals being published in the United States. Where do I start? How many are there?
Go to Ulrich's Periodical Directory and search for active, journals in the United States.
The Bottom Line... there are a over a hundred journals. However, this list can probably be narrowed to a couple dozen based on areas of interest. One nice thing about using Ulrich's Periodical Directory is that it provides a link to the IUPUI databases if the journal is available through IUPUI.

Social Sciences

The introduction of electronic materials has dramatically changed how social science scholars access information.

readRead!
Read Ellis, David (2009). Social science literatures and their users. Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences, 3rd Edition. Taylor and Francis.

Many academic, peer-reviewed journal are available online including JSTOR, Project Music, and Periodical Archives Online.

Databases

readRead!
Read Lear, Bernadette A. (May 2012). New journals in education and psychology: general trends, discoverability, and ubiquitous journals of the decade, 2000-2009. College & Research Libraries, 73(3), 233-262. Available: http://crl.acrl.org/content/73/3/233.full.pdf+html

try itTry It!
Read Larsen, Alison M. (2013). Examining housing policy: a select annotated bibliography of housing policy-focused periodicals. The Serials Librarian, 65(2), 181-201.

Notice Alison Larsen's approach to identifying and organizing journals related to a particular topic. Think about how her approach might be useful in other areas.

try itTry It!
Locate a journal in a humanities area such as area and ethic studies, education, history, women’s studies, or other social sciences using Project Muse. journals and the access option that shows only full access periodicals. Examine the cover and first few pages as well as the last few pages. Also, look at the table of contents to see how the articles and other information are organized within the journal. What information is provided that might be useful in matching the journal with readers? What type of reader might be interested in this journal. List the title of the journal and share your findings in a few sentences.

Many public libraries are now offering electronic versions of journals through companies like Zinio. Some examples of popular magazines in the social sciences offered by Zinio include:

Scenario Stumper
I commute to work on the subway. I'd really like something that I can read on my iPhone or iPad. I don't want anything too heavy, but I would like something related to social sciences.
Try a magazine such as National Geographic or Smithsonian Magazine. Both of these magazines are available at many public libraries through Zinio.
The Bottom Line... rather than a book or journal, consider magazines for short, informational articles on popular topics.

Anthropology and Archaeology

 

Journals

Magazines

Databases

try itTry It!
Go to AnthroSource from AAA. Browse the Journals section. This source provides excellent breadth and depth. Check out the Virtual Issues section. Select one issue to explore. Think about how it might help a library user jumpstart an investigation. List the Virtual Issue topic and how you think it might help a library user.

Area, Cultural and Ethnicity Studies


Journals

For a core list of African American studies journals, go to ACRL’s African-American Studies Librarians Interest Group.

Databases

Alexander Street Press

Chadwyck-Healey

EBSCO

Gale

ProQuest

Other

General Sources

try itTry It!
Browse Phillips, Jason D. & Price, Amanda N. (2012). Selected list of GLBT academic publications. The Serials Librarian, 63(1), 55-81.

Think about some of the obstacles to accessing GLBT information sources using periodicals

try itTry It!
The resources in area and cultural studies seem to be scattered. Think about how you might organize these resources in a meaningful way for library users.

Communications

 

Journals

Databases

Demography

 

Journals

Databases

Gale

ProQuest

Others

Scenario Stumper
I work in defense contracting and I want to track public option related to government spending on the military. I'm interested to see if there have been any recent shifts in option. What tools do you suggest?
iPOLL Databank (Roper Center for Public Opinion Research) provides access to popular polls such as Gallup and others.
The Bottom Line... Gallup Polls were conducted in February of 2014 and February 2015. The same question was asked regarding what should be spent by the government for defense and military purposes. These two polls could be compared to examine trends.

Economics

 

Journals

Databases

Education

 

Journals

Databases

EBSCO

ProQuest

SAGE

Others

Of particular interest to school and public librarians are resources related to college education.

General Sources

Scenario Stumper
My son has narrowed down his college search to a dozen universities. Is there a quick way to examine college catalogs without having to visit each university website?
CollegeSource contains the full-text of nearly 85 thousand college catalogs.
The Bottom Line... you can waste lots of time searching the web for college catalogs, CollegeSource is a quick way to locate this information.

Geography

 

Journals

Databases

Scenario Stumper
I'm concerned about the loss of Arctic sea ice. Where can I find the latest research on this topic?
Geography from Ovid and Elsevier Science is an excellent place to search for journals along with many other types of recent documents.
The Bottom Line... a search for Arctic sea ice using the "latest update" option yielded 26 high quality articles from journals including Journal of Climate, Cryosphere Discussions, Geophysical Research Letters, and Nature Geoscience all published within the past couple months. The Find It tool is linked through IUPUI to provide access to these information sources.

History

 

Journals

Magazines

Databases

Alexander Street Press

Chadwyck-Healey

EBSCO

Gale

Other Subscription-based Databases

Historical publications are also available online. For instance, Making of America Digital Journal Collection contains journals from the antebellum period through Reconstruction.

General Sources

Scenario Stumper
During summer vacation our family visited some National Historic Parks. My 10-year old son is showing an interest in history. What information sources might expand his enthusiasm?
Try Cobblestone. It's designed for grades 5-9. There's both a paper and digital version of the magazine. The magazine focuses on all aspects of American history.
The Bottom Line... the key to getting children to read informational magazines is a real world connection. Traveling to historic sites and museum is a great way to spark this interest.

Informatics and Computer Science

 

Journals

Law, Military, Diplomacy, Security, & Political Science

 

Journals

Magazines

Databases

EBSCO

Gale

Heinonline

ProQuest

SAGE

SIRS

Other Sources

try itTry It!
There are many resources related to law, military, and political science. Many of them overlap. Spend a few minutes thinking about the audience for these materials and a way they might be organized to reach this audience.

Library Science

 

Journals

Databases

EBSCO

ProQuest

Others

General Sources

Psychology

 

Journals

Magazines

Databases

Look for the psychology section in EBSCO, Gale, ProQuest.

EBSCO

Others

Scenario Stumpers
I'm starting a volunteer job working with veterans with PTSD. I've already read the basics and I'm ready for some more detailed research and information.
The PILOTS database provides abstracts and citations related to PTSD.
The Bottom Line... there's been lots of research recently. Use the PILOTS database to identify areas of interest. You may need to use other databases to help you find the article themselves.

Sociology

 

Journals

Databases

EBSCO

Gale

ProQuest

Others

Scenario Stumper
I'm supposed to write a paper on a social issue. I need to look at all the different perspectives. I don't know where to start.
Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context will help you generate ideas. You can browse from dozens of popular topics.
The Bottom Line... the toughest part of a research project for many students is picking a topic and getting started with research. Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context provides topic ideas and resource starters to kickstart any type of issues project.

try itTry It!
Go to Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Browse the topics. Think about the many different ways this database could be used to assist library users. List three different categories of people who might use this database and an example of a topic he or she might investigate.

Resources

The descriptions for many of the databases are excerpt or adapted from the IUPUI A to Z Database page.

Journals selected based on Web of Knowledge Journal Citation Reports.


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