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SOCY 122: Introduction to Academic Library Research

Course guide library research tutorial

Multidisciplinary databases and search engines cover a range of subject areas.  If your topic does not fall neatly into one subject area, or if you would like different perspectives on your topic, these general databases can be a good place to start your research. 

The Articles section of the Sociology Subject Guide lists the best multidisciplinary social science indexes and the best broad multidisciplinary indexes. 

Academic Search Complete is a multidisciplinary index (with abstracts) to more than 10,900 publications including peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings, monographs and reports. Approximately 50% of the journal titles also contain the full-text of articles. If the full text of the article is not available in the database itself, click the "Get it at Queen's" icon to search for the article's availability through Queen's Library subscriptions.

Although it is on a different platform from Sociological Abstracts, the search principles remain the same. Related topic words are entered in each search box, separated by default with the Boolean operator AND. Using the dropdown arrows, you can switch the default AND to OR or NOT. AND is usually the preferred setting.

google scholarGoogle Scholar is Google's scholarly search engine.  Google Scholar searches for scholarly materials including journal articles, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from a variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web. Because of the variety of sources that Google Scholar uses, not every result you’ll see is necessarily peer-reviewed. It is still important to evaluate the sources for credibility. 

Enabling the Get it @ Queen's links

On campus: access to Queen's resources is available via Google Scholar.
Off-campus: access Google Scholar through the Queen's library link where you will have to enter your NetID and password or if you go to Google Scholar directly (https://scholar.google.ca) you will need to configure your Google Scholar preferences to allow automatic access to our Library subscriptions to journals and databases.

Scholar Preferences

settings gearClick on the Settings "gear" located in the upper right hand corner of the Google Scholar search page to view Scholar Preferences (choose Library Links and add Queen's University, Kingston - Get it at Queen's). Click save.

 

Summon

As already mentioned, Summon is the library’s search engine, which enables a simultaneous search of QCAT and many of the library’s online collections from a single search box. Summon contains everything found in QCAT, plus much online full-text content available from the Library including articles, journals, conference proceedings, digital primary source material, electronic books and newspapers, theses and dissertations, multimedia and more. 

When searching Summon use the facets located along the left hand side of the search screen to refine your results:

facets