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Social Work Research Guide

A research guide for students in social work.

Core Social Work Databases

Other Relevant Databases

Social Work Abstracts Database Tutorial (8 minutes)

Click on the CC button in in the video to see the closed captions.

Search Strategies

Basic keyword searches are a good place to start:

  • Single words that express your topic.
  • Include all parts of your research topic in your search by connecting different concepts with the word "and", i.e., resilience and caregivers.
  • Identify similar terms or synonyms for each part of concept of your topic. Connect them with the word "or" i.e., female or woman
  • Put search concepts with more than one word inside quotation marks so they're searched together, i.e., "domestic violence".
  • Truncation symbols (usually *) help search for words with multiple endings, such as immigrant* for immigrant, immigrants or immigration.
  • Keep a list of useful keywords and search terms to use in other searches and/or databases.

The Anatomy of a Scholarly Journal Article

The anatomy of a journal article : Title Author Abstract : A summary of the study and findings written by the author. Introduction : A statement of what is currently know about the study subject that articulates the questions being investigated. It cites other scholarly works, lays the foundations for the study, and sometimes states a hypothesis to be tested. Results : A description fo the research conducted and the results obtained. Results are presented as tables, large datasets, and figures, which can include graphs, videos, diagrams and photographs. Some papers include additional supporting data as a supplement. Discussion : An analysis and interpretation of the data presented that integrates the new information with prior findings, states the implications of the work and sometimes generates new hypotheses to be tested. Methods : A description of how the studies were conducted with sufficient detail so that others can repeat them exactly. References : The list of articles cited in the paper that provide information on the research topic and the methods used.

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