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Library Research Guides

SW 522 - Basic Social Work Research

Social Work Databases

For additional information on some of the best article indexes and databases to search see the following:


Step 4 - Find the Past & Current Research - Articles

The next step in the research process is to find scholarly journal articles appropriate to your topic. The library subscribes to hundreds of databases which make it easy for you to find the latest research available in social work as well as other disciplines. Social work is an interdisciplinary area of research so you will likely want to use a number of different article index databases to make sure you have found the most already written regarding the problem or question you are trying to answer.

One quick way to discover the best article index databases in your research area is to use the browse feature on the library page.

Use the arrow in the Browse box to select a specific discipline or subject area. For example if you are looking for article index databases in the area of  law or public policy select Government, Politics & Law as a subject area and then narrow your browse to either Law & Legal Studies or Public Policy to see a list of article indexes in these areas.


ArticlesPlus is a way to search across multiple library databases, e-books and newspapers from one interface. Over 6,800 publishers are represented and over one half-billion articles.  It is an excellent resource for cross-disciplinary/interdisciplinary fields, like social work. To access ArticlesPlus select the ArticlesPlus tab, over the search box on banner located on any library page. More information on ArticlesPlus...




 Back to the main page on the 7 steps of the research process

How do you know if a journal has a good reputation?

Journal Citation Reports (JCR) is a database provided by the library which ranks many of the best journals by specific fields and disciplines. Under Select Categories, check the box next to Social Work, close the box and submit this search to see a list of  what JCR considers the top 40 journals for social work internationally. 

You can also see a similar ranking in Google Scholar. On the Google Scholar homepage click on Metrics at the very top of the screen. To find ranked social work journals  click on the link labeled Social Sciences at the left then immediately below that link click on Subcategories...Find Social Work from the list of subcategories and click to see a ranking for the top social work journals.