This guide is to support research in Sociology.

Start by consulting reference resources, particularly dictionaries and encyclopedias.  These will provide you with the concepts--the right words to use when searching the databases and the catalogue, and you will understand better whether the search results meet your needs!  Don't forget to consult the tabs above for resources in other formats.

Reference Materials: 

Here is a sample of different types of reference resources.  You can find more in the catalogue by following these and other subject headings:

Also try a keyword search, restricting the Location to Reference Collection.


Bibliographies and Guides to the Literature


Biographical Dictionaries

Try the subject heading:

Sociologists -- Biography


Book Reviews

Many Sociology journals publish book reviews.  Search for book reviews in Sociological Abstracts by selecting the publication type book reviews and in Social Sciences Full Text by selecting the document type book review.


Current Research








Indexes and Abstracts

See the Journal articles tab for relevant databases of citations and abstracts.


These databases can be helpful if you are looking for primary sources:

Also consider:


Select Journals: 

If you know the name of a journal, look it up by its journal title in the catalogue. If you don't know journal names, you can search for journals in the catalogue. Try the subject headings

or a keyword search for your topic, either specifying the Journal Title scope or limiting the location to Journals (in SER).

If you are interested in journal articles regardless of the journal in which they appear, search a journal articles database (choose the databases tab) such as Sociological Abstracts.

Archives & Primary Sources


Maps & GIS


Try subject headings searches in the catalogue, adding -- Maps to your topic; for instance,

Here are some examples of how maps can provide a different way of viewing social issues:

Please see the specialists in the Maps, Data and Government Information Centre (MADGIC) for more information.



To find music about social issues, try a keyword search in the catalogue, restricting the Material Type to Musical Scores.

Try these subject headings in the catalogue:

Also consult the subject guide for Music for audio databases as well as for journal articles on the sociology of music.


General Sociology Links and Search Engines


Academic Departments

Catalogues and Libraries with Sociology Collections

Special Topics:


Cultural Studies




TRAILS, the ASA Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology

Ethnic and Race Studies



Gender Studies


Information Technology


Migration and Refugee Studies

Policy Studies


Science and Technology Studies

  • Resources (Committee on Science and Technology Studies, Brown University)

Sexuality Studies


Social Justice

Connexions Library [subject index]


Time and Space

Work and Labour

Writing & Citing

  1. Learn how to use RefWorks or other citation management systems.
  2. Consult the Writing Tutorial Service.
  3. Find out about other academic skills workshops offered by Learning Support Services.

Style Guide for the Preparation of Essays (Carleton University Department of Sociology)