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**Sociology: Subject Guide to Graduate Research: Finding
Scholarly Articles

Getting to Articles from Databases

1: Look for a "Full-Text" or "PDF" link that will take you directly to the article. If yes, great. If not, go to #2.

2: Look for the FINDIT @ GSU button. Click on it. If the journal title shows up, click the link to see what the online availability is. If not, go to #3.

3: If you see the "Sorry, no electronic full text is available" message, click the link below it that says "We may have a copy in print."  If yes, go to the library to copy the article.  If we do not have it in print, go to #4.

4: Request the article you need through interlibrary loan - typically arrive within 1 day, so definitely worth trying!

Seamless Journals/Articles Access from Off Campus

If you are off campus and using Google Scholar to search for journals/articles, it’s easiest if you install and login to the Cisco AnyConnect VPN (Virtual Private Network) on your computer so that you are logged into the GSU network and will be automatically routed to GSU-subscribed journals. It’s available for download from the GSU software download page

BrowZine - browse online journals

BrowZine works by consolidating academic journals from multiple publishers in the GSU Library collection into an easily browsable newsstand format for your mobile device or web browser.

  • Customize your personal My Bookshelf with journals you want to track, or save articles for later reading in your My Articles space.
  • Browse tables of contents and be alerted to new issues.
  • Easily read recent articles or full journal issues.
  • Sync settings/journals between your tablet and phone.
  • Download and save articles for offline reading.
  • Export to ZoteroMendeleyDropbox and other services.

As its name suggests, BrowZine is designed for browsing recent scholarship in journals you read regularly or in tracking specific subject areas.  Older backfiles (pre-2005) are not generally available within this service. For more in-depth research or to find articles on a specific topic, we recommend subject specific databases or Discover search. For access to the library's full range of back issues, please search our Journal List.

Cited Reference Searching

Found an incredibly relevant source for your topic?  Do cited reference searches to find researchers who are citing that relevant source - their research might be relevant to you as well, and even more current.

Mining References

Found an incredibly relevant source for your topic?  Mine its references for previously-published sources the authors are citing that might also be relevant to your research.

Annual Reviews

Annual Reviews are comprehensive literature reviews on topics; they are not empirical articles, but summaries of other empirical studies.  Use them to familiarize yourself with the research in an area and to mine the references for original empirical research studies.   You can browse them or use the Advanced Search to search within specific ones.

LIBRARY DATABASES to search for scholarly articles


**SOCIOLOGICAL ABSTRACTS** - abstracts and indexes the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences.


Some additional databases that might be useful - must search separately.

  • Google Scholar - To see the fulltext links for GSU: On Google Scholar main page, click More and then Settings in top center of screen, then at next screen click Library Links, search for Georgia State University, checkbox Georgia State University - FullText @ GSU.

The below databases can be searched simultaneously - Click on Academic Search Complete, then, before doing your search, click the Choose Databases link, select the relevant databases for your research topic, and click OK. **


The below databases can be searched simultaneously with Sociological Abstracts - Click into Sociological Abstracts, click the Change Databases option, select the relevant databases for your research topic, and click Use Selected Databases button.

^^^^^We have many more databases than these!

To find other databases to search, check out our A-Z list, other research guides related to your topic, or consult with me (aswygarthobaugh@gsu.edu) about what might be best to search for your topic.

Creating Alerts for Newly-Published Research

In EBSCOhost databases (e.g. Academic Search Complete, CINAHL Plus with Full Text, LGBT Life with Full Text, etc.):

  1. Login to your MyEBSCOhost account by clicking Sign In in top right corner of screen (if you need to make a MyEBSCOhost account, click Sign In and then click Create a new Account on sign-in screen).
  2. Choose all the EBSCOhost databases you want to search, enter your search strategy in the search field, and click Search button.
  3. On Results screen, click the Share button at top right of results list, then under Create an alert: click your desired mode of receiving alerts (E-mail Alert or RSS Feed).
  4. Set your preferences for frequency of receiving alerts, etc. (click Advanced Settings for more options if desired), then click Save Alert button.*

*You can also do the above in the EBSCOhost Discover search, if you'd like to search across all the EBSCOhost databases plus many others.

In Google Scholar:

  1. Sign in to your Google account (create one if you haven't already).
  2. After honing your search strategy, look to the left and click the Create alert link.

In Web of Science:

  1. Sign in to your Web of Science account ("Register" to create one if you haven't already).
  2. After honing your search strategy, look to the left and click the Create Alert link.
  3. You can also click the Searches and alerts dropdown menu toward the top right to create (1) saved searches and alerts, (2) citation alerts that alert you when selected articles have been newly cited, and (3) journal alerts to alert you when selected journals have been newly entered/indexed in WoS.

In ProQuest Databases (e.g. Sociological Abstracts):

  1. Sign in to your My Research Account (or create one if you haven't already).
  2. Follow steps on online help re: Creating a Search Alert.

Empirical/Original Research Articles

Tutorial on strategies for discerning whether a scholarly article is EMPIRICAL or not: