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Michigan State University

Social Work Resources: Scholarly Journal Articles

Article Databases: Top Picks

Top Picks

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

Article Databases: Supplemental Resources

Supplemental Databases

Topics in social work 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 social work topics. 

Multidisciplinary databases

General Social Sciences

Business and Labor

Criminal Justice


Family Studies & Human Ecology

Gender Studies



Medicine & Nursing

Political Science

Public Policy



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.  It includes legal journals and also picks up "gray literature" (documents that are not formally published such as conference posters, white papers, manuscripts posted on faculty websites, etc.).


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.