Welcome. You can use this guide to begin your research or book an appointment to work on your research with Martha Attridge Bufton, your subject specialist.  She can help you find the research materials you need for your assignments and papers: see the side menu for her contact information.

Evaluating information

Beware online "filter bubbles"

CRAP test

Research process

Sherlock Holmes:  Mind Palace

Form a research topic (Loyal Marymount University)

Instructional videos

Library instruction feedback

Scholarly publishing

Reference Materials: 

See our Library Guide for Social Work for a listing of library resources including bibliographies, dictionaries and encyclopedias.

Visit GreyNet for an international directory of organizations in grey literature.

Additional library guides:

  1. Aging in the 21st Century:  An Introduction to Social Gerontology
  2. Canadian Government Policy Cycle
  3. Child Studies
  4. Health Care:  Public Policy and Statistics
  5. Homelessness
  6. Immigration
  7. Multiculturalism
  8. Poverty
  9. Sexuality Studies
  10. Sociology of Education
  11. Taxation:  Public Policy and Statistics
  12. Women's Studies



Library Guide: 


Fulltext eBook Collections: 

Journal Articles

Key Databases for Journal Articles: 

Start your search in Social Work Abstracts which is the key database for this discipline and broaden it by looking at the literature in psychology.  Both CPI-Q and CBCA Complete have Canadian content.   PAIS International has public policy-related articles.

For historical material related to Canada and the United States, search America History and Life.

For human rights publications, search HuriSearch.

Click on the Databases tab for a list of other sources to find social work journal articles.

Visit Greynet for an international directory of organizations in grey literature


You can also search PAIS International and Business Source Complete for policy-related literature and Child Development & Adolescent Studies for literature on children.

America History and LIfe contains articles related to North American history.

Abstracts of Social Gerontology covers various topics in social gerontology including: demography, economics, family relations, government policy, health, institutional care, physiology, psychiatric dysfunctions, psychology, societal attitudes, work and retirement.  Date Coverage:   2003-2005


Archives & Primary Sources


If there is an historical component to your research, you might consider sources from the following institutions:

Library and Archives Canada

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has a mandate to acquire and preserve Aborginal heritage and offers:

In addition, LAC also collects a wide assortment of materials on and by different ethno-cultural groups. This material includes: immigration records and guides, identity files, muster rolls, travel guides, passenger lists, land grants, etc.

Carleton University Archives and Research Collections

Rare books, special collections, and interlibrary loan materials are available for use within the Archives reading room in 503 MacOdrum Library.  The collection offers the following title related to social work in its rare book collection.

Testing for understanding.  A sound recording produced by the Council on Social Work Education in 1969.

Centre for Research Libraries

The Centre for Research Libraries, located in Chicago, Illinois, purchases specialized primary source materials rarely held by North American libraries. Carleton faculty and students can obtain these resources via extended interlibrary loan.  Here is sample of materials in the CRL collection that are related to social work:

Primary Sources: 

Depending upon your research, materials found in Library and Archives Canada, the Carleton University Archives and Research Collections and the Centre for Research Libraires could be used as either primary or secondary sources.

Data & Statistics


The Data Centre acquires, manages, and preserves quantitative computer-readable data files from the various disciplines of the humanities and social sciences and provides data-related services as needed to support research and instruction at Carleton.

NVivo (qualitative data analysis tool)


Workshops (library)

Sample document 1

Sample document 2

NVivo 10 Getting Started Guide


Government Information

Canada - Federal: 

To find government policies, check the following:

  1. Find government information online using the library's customized Google search.  You can sort the results by level of government (federal, provincial, municipal).  
  2. Canadian Heritage.  Click on "Funding" in the left-hand corner of the page, then "Topics".  From this list pick "Cultural diversity and rights", then "Human Rights" and then "Canada's Reports to the UN" in the middle section of the page.  These reports detail government policies and activities (federal and provincial) related to a number of important international treaties and, in particular, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
  3. Employment and Social Development Canada.  Click on publications and resources under "About us" at the bottom of the page and look for audit and evaluation reports as well as the main estimates at the Treasury Board.
  4. Office of the Auditor General of Canada.  The OAG publishes reports that evaluation government policies and programs.  You can also search the websites of the provincial offices of the auditor general.
  5. Library of Parliament of Canada.  The library produces publications on policy issues and you can search the site for your topic.
  6. Search the Canadian Government Policy Cycle subject guide.  In particular, the section on Action introduces you to the variety of ways that the Canadian government can implement policy.
  7. Search both the Canadian Research Index and the Canadian Public Policy Collection which are specialized databases.
  8. Search our catalogue:  do a keyword search and choose "government documents" for the location of the materials.
  9. Federal budget:  2013, 2012


  • Estimates are the  detailed breakdown of proposed spending by ministry and government agencies that must be debated and approved by the government (federal or provincial).  These detailed reports can continue information about revenues and expenditures are the actual monies received and spent in previous years.

In addition, the following federal government departments or organizations have responsibility for issues related to social work:

Federal responsibilities include making laws "for the peace, order and good government of Canada,” except for those assigned to the provincial governments including:

  • direct taxation in the province for provincial purposes
  • natural resources
  • prisons (except penitentiaries)
  • education
  • hospitals

For links to federal and provincial legislation, click on "Law:  Legislation and Regulations" on the Law Subject Guide.




Laws & Legislation

Canada - Federal: 

Department of Justice

Other federal legislation



Library and Archives Canada (LAC) collections include

Health Canada photo gallery


National Film Board of Canada

The National Film Board of Canada's online screening room allows you to watch hundreds of films free online documentaries, animated and alternatiave drama films.

Carleton University film collection

Our collection contains many films related to social work including:

  • Between: living in the hyphen.  This films interweaves the experiences of a group of Canadians with one parent from a European background and one from a visible minority.
  • I'm not the Indian you had in mind. I'm not the Indian you had in mind explores the stereotypical portrayal of our First Nations peoples in the media.
  • Four Feet Up.  A National Film Board of Canada documentary on child poverty in Canada.
  • Home safe.  A documentary that deals with how Canadian families with children live with the threat and the experience of homelessness.
  • The M-word records the history of various immigrant groups who are not officially recognized in the history books.
  • Polytechnique is a dramatization of the Montreal Massacre of 1989 where several female engineering students were murdered.
  • A safer sex trade explores the stigma of prostitution through the eyes of three women.


Educational website

Grey literature

Labour Unions

Social work organizations

Social research groups

Social Work Gateways

Related Carleton University websites

Special Topics

Aboriginal Canadians

Abuse and Violence



Children and Youth






Human Rights

Immigration and resettlement

 Ceris:  The Ontario Metropolis Centre


Mental Health

Restorative Justice

Sexual Orientation

Substance Abuse

Suicide Prevention



Writing & Citing

Copies of the most recent versions of the major academic style manuals (e.g., APA, Chicago, MLA, Turabian) are available at the Research Help Desk (2nd floor, MacOdrum Library).

Guides to citing online materials

Recommended websites

Diana Hacker Research and Documentation Online

Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)