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Sociology Resources: Journal Articles

Article Database: Top Pick

Use a library database to find journal articles on your research topic.

If you are new to using indexes, this guide on Tips for Finding Articles will be useful.  If you need a refresher on how to identify scholarly journal articles, refer to the Scholarly vs. Popular articles chart

Top Pick!

More Article Indexes

Topics in sociology often overlap with complementary areas of inquiry.  To that end, it may be useful to search within a multidisiplinary index, or other subject specific indexes.  The list below is NOT COMPREHENSIVE and is intended as a starting point to direct you towards indexes that are often relevant to sociology topics.  Be sure to browse in the e-resources for a complete listing of all MSU article databases.

Multidisciplinary Indexes

General Social Sciences

Additional Subject Specific Databases


Criminal Justice


Environmental Studies

Family Studies & Human Ecology

Gender Studies



Political Science

Public Policy


Social Work/Social Services

Urban Studies

Google Scholar

Google Scholar


Google Scholar is a free and popular database that provides a broad coverage of the scholarly literature across many different disciplines and sources.


Google Scholar is not always the best database to choose when searching for journal articles and it should never be the only database that use for your research project.  It does not index all available resources and lacks many advanced search options found in library databases.  Be sure to use library indexes specifically built for your subject area in addition to searching Google Scholar.

Connect to MSU subscription resources in Google Scholar

 To ensure seamless access to MSU subscription resources, e.g. journal articles, from your home computer, do the following:

  • Go to
  • Before searching, click on "Settings" in the upper-right corner
  • Click on "Library Links"
  • Search for Michigan State University
  • Select "Michigan State University – MSU Access" by checking the box
  • Click "Save"
  • Do your search in Google Scholar
  • Click on the link for "MSU Access" that will appear to the right of the title of the resource
  • You will then be prompted for your MSU NetID and password to access that resource

Please note: if you click on the title and not the "MSU Access" link you will not be recognized as an MSU subscriber.
Remember that in most cases you should not have to pay for access to a journal article.  Please ask a librarian if you are not able to get access to a desired resource.

Article FAQs

How can I access the full text of an article I see listed in an database (e.g. Sociological Abstracts)?

If the full-text of the article is not available in the index you used to locate the citation, use the "Find Text @ MSU" link to automatically search for the full-text.

If Find Text @ MSU does not automatically connect you to the full-text, do a journal/periodical title search in the library catalog to double-check our holdings.

If MSU does not subscribe to the journal in print or electronic, use Inter-Library Loan to request a copy of the article.

Distance students: If you see that MSU has the journal in print, use ILLiad to request a copy.


How do I find the full text if I just have an article citation?

Look up the title of the journal where the article is published in the library catalog.  Then, access the article via our print or electronic journal holdings.

For a complete step-by-step through the process go to the full tutorial on Locating a Known Journal Article from a Citation.


I'm not finding any good articles on my topic...what should I do?

Ask a Librarian, or consult this brief tutorial on how to search with a purpose.


What kind of advanced search commands can I use in the library databases?

View this document on Advanced Searches for an explanation of various advanced search commands.

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