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JournalsJournals are like magazines except the articles are written by researchers. Peer-reviewed journals have articles checked for accuracy and reliability by other scholars and experts in the field.

Databases provide access to articles that are unavailable on the open Internet. Some databases only include descriptions (citations) of articles (indexing database) with links to other databases or interlibrary loan forms, and other databases contain links to the full text of the article.

Strategies for finding articles:

  • Use OCtopus for a 'Google-like' experience
  • Use a specific database, such as SocINDEX, that will only contain information related to your subject area.
  • Search within a relevant journal. For example, if you want Canadian sources, searching within a journal such as, "Canadian Social Trends", would help focus a search. Also use this search when looking for an article from a citation.

Why use databases?

The open Internet only holds a small percentage of the information stored online. Using Library sources gives you access to private information, such as:

  • Book content
  • Original, primary, and historical documents
  • Subscribed content
  • Copyright protected material

Articles from academic journals, newspapers, magazines, and other publications can be found in indexes and databases. OC Library subscribes to more than 100 article databases that are not available on the free web.

Find specific electronic journals related to Sociology.

Browse sociology e-journal titles to find articles

Use information from a citation to locate a specific article (such as from a reference list)

Use article reference lists to find other similar articles

Use database limiters, such as date or resource type, to get fewer, more focused search results

Journals (Scholarly/Academic/Peer-Reviewed)

Value & Use
Reports of original research (theoretical, experimental or applied) with in-depth analysis of subject
Authorship Scholars, academics, researchers - Names, credentials, and contact information provided
All sources cited in bibliographies, footnotes etc.

Magazines (Popular)

Value & Use
General information on current topics; commentary on political & social issues; entertainment
Authorship Wide variety: specialists, journalists, staff and free-lance writers; name & credentials sometimes provided
Original sources usually obscure, no citations given

Professional, Trade & Industry Magazines

Value & Use
Current trends, theoretical & ethical issues, news & events in particular field, industry or profession - Often contain product, company & biographical information
Authorship Practioners or journalists with subject expertise
Sources often cited but not always in full


Value & Use
Local and regional focus on current events and news often with some analysis & opinion
Authorship Journalists - Name sometimes given, rarely with credentials
Sources sometimes cited but rarely in full

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