Social Work: PhD & Masters Help

Getting Started

Herzog, F. (1968). Main barber [Archival pigment print]. Retrieved from

How on earth did I cite this!?  look in the next
column over for "Citation Help" -->

Actively participating in your education is a strong way to endure and make it to the finish line.  The goal of this guide is to give you some of the tools that can mitigate anxiety and confirm & validate your place in the academic world.  

The academic library has many services and resources not listed herein.  Please do contact me for an appointment or just e-mail questions.  it is my work to help you with yours!- at

Validating Keywords and Concepts with Text Mining and Background Info
Finding just the main ideas and context helps frame your own reasearch ideas -make a point of recording jargon, technical terms, names, populations, etc.  

Library Catalog (look in books -and sort by date-newest -how do they organize the topics in the table of contents?)

CQ Researcher (What is important to U.S. voters right now: Brief)
CQ Magazine (What is important to U.S. voters right now: Long Form)

Nexis Uni (news, law, business, people)
US Newsstream (newspapers all across the U.S. -lots of local info, opinion, policy commentary)

google contextual searching:

salt lake city law:opioid addiction
recipe:pizza dough

How to Stay Current & Discipline-Specific Research
(note: these are a mix of scholarly and non-scholarly -take care)

Use these to discover articles in specific social science disciplines that work well for your topic (or aspects of the problem or solutions presented).  These can contribute to your literature review, so document your searches and download good results.  Note: my favorites are bigger :-)

Sociological Abstracts (sociology & social work -one of my favorites)
Social Science Premium Collection (new!)

Social Work Abstracts (social work)
Social Services Abstracts (social services)
PsycINFO (psychology, but with many applications in social sciences)
Education Full Text & ERIC (education, family development)
Business Source Premier (business)
PAIS (public policy and analysis)

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts (politics)
CINAHL (nursing -medical policy, procedure, intervention)
MEDLINE (fields of medicine and their practice)

Good mix of disciplines (generic)
Academic Search Premier (big mash of everything)
Library Catalog: USearch (everything -highly recommended)
JSTOR (classic and mostly scholarly)

High Level Systematic Search Tools
(note: these are typically the high-end of academic scholarship)

Scopus  AND Web of Science -Amazing/Awesome databases, all scholarly:
            tip 1: select "social sciences & humanities" at the search page (unchecking the others).
            tip 2: Do a search and in the results, click "cited by" as the sorting option (right-hand side).  The most cited, most influential articles will now appear at the top.

Google Scholar (fun discovery too, not always complete, but a worthwhile additional place to use)
Dataset Search (google 'beta' search, also try:  dataset:topic in google search)
See a dedicated data librarian!...
Rebekah Cummings' guide to data is here, highly recommended!

Scholarly Publishing Resources

Proquest Dissertations & Theses Global  That's a mouthful of a title for the place to see the past 20 years of dissertations on topics ranging from Social Isolation to Radiohead.  Test out your ideas here -have they been written extensively, are there formatting ideas you hadn't considered, do you want to see successful research models? 

UlrichsWeb Global Serials Directory  Find publications you want more information about, like competitors, author guidelines and all that good stuff.

Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

At the end of the library class, students should be able to:

1. Use library resources to validate research they have already done

2. Use library resources to stay current and perform discipline-specific research

3. Know systematic search strategies with advanced library databases Scopus and Web of Science
4. Effectively use library resources for creating and publishing their own research

Mind Mapping :-)

Dale's starter kit for engaging with complicated literature:

First Stop: Library Research:
As you find articles that you think are relevant, 
   download the article (get that full text and save it)
   get a small amount of citation information (title, journal, etc.)
   read the first page or so and write a sentence about what the article is saying
   find a quote that agrees with the sentence you wrote

Second Stop: Synthesis
After you have a list of articles, try to put them into a cohesive order where each article contributes to a greater narrative or point.  This can be helped greatly by a chaotic mind map where you try to tie concepts to each other into a greater whole

(Dale's sample is not the only way to do it, but it is one way that works for me :-)

Citation Help

APA Style gettin' you down?  Here's my top picks for 'Citation Management':

(how to use NoodleTools)

EndNote Basic
(how to use EndNote Basic)

(how to use Zotero)

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Dale Larsen

I love to help with your research: from just seeing the assignment, to wrapping up with citation management -drop me a line or come by 1726C on the first floor of the Marriott Library

Send me an e-mail -I'd love to hear from you!

Other Services for You

Graduate Reading Room Your own quiet paradise -get your ID access set up at the West Entrance to the Library

Graduate Student Writing Center You have your own consultants, and some are housed in the reading room mentioned above.

Statistics Help (e-mail link -just ask for an appointment, or send a question) A graduate student in statistics is ready to consult with you about churning through that pile of data

Working with Librarians can be very helpful, this is a list of many of their subject specialties -do a search for your general interest


Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library