Course resource help for Sociology

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Need help? Contact your librarian

Please get in touch if you have any queries about:

  • finding information and resources for assignments
  • finding online resources
  • referencing your sources

Joanna Cooksey

I'm hybrid working this semester, so will sometimes be on Headington campus and sometimes working from home. Please email in the first instance. If you need a 1-to-1 appointment we can then arrange one either face-to-face or via Zoom or Google Meet. My usual working hours are 8.00 - 16.00, Monday - Friday.


Citing your sources (also called referencing) is an essential part of your academic work and is explained fully on our page Reference and avoid plagiarism.

Check Cite Them Right

Use Cite Them Right to check how to reference a wide range of sources (books, journal articles, web sites) in exactly the same Harvard style used at Brookes.

Cite Them Right has a Sample text and reference list using the Harvard style. This will help you understand what referencing looks like in written work.

The Library also has a printed guide to Brookes Harvard based on Cite Them Right that you can download (Word and PDF versions available).

Further help with referencing

Don't forget you can contact your Librarian for help with referencing. The Centre for Academic Development can also provide advice.

Referencing tools

It's a good idea to keep track of your sources as you find them, so that it's easier to reference them later. Check this guide How to save and cite sources in LibrarySearch (Google slides)

Endnote is a tool for storing and organising your references, and it will also work with Word or Pages to create a fully formatted bibliography from your reference library.

NB Other referencing guides and apps are widely available but be aware that not all Harvard styles are the same as ours. Make sure you check your references against Cite Them Right.

Use the Library as a new student

Use LibrarySearch to find books and articles

LibrarySearch is our main search system. You can connect to it through the link below or use the search box on the Library home page.

Find resources for your assignments

Check the Google slides (right) for advice on where to search for sources for different assignments. They cover:

  • Module reading lists - where to find them, how to understand them
  • LibrarySearch - exploring beyond your reading lists
  • Library databases - recommended for finding additional resources that aren't on LibrarySearch
  • Google & Google Scholar - how to use them effectively

Dissertation and Independent Studies

Photo of female student with laptop in JHBB Library

How to search Sociology databases

Databases are specialist search engines that can help you find high quality sources like journal articles. Many databases focus on journal articles which are key resources for Sociology research, so we recommend you use them when you are researching a topic to find academic sources. 

In this section you'll find links to some key databases plus video guides. Further databases are listed in the Resources section above.

Think about your keywords

If you're researching a topic, think about the keywords you could use on LibrarySearch and databases:

  • Check this video Choosing words to put in a search box made by Charlie Brampton, the Librarian for Geography
  • This Search Plan for Sociology (Google doc) can help you develop a list of keywords to use when searching online.
    Click on File - Make a copy - to save your own copy and then add your own notes to it.
  • The guide Database search tips for Sociology Word file and PDF gives tips on using keywords to search databases.
laptop surrounded by papers and pens

How to use Sociological Abstracts and other ProQuest databases

You can use databases to find journal articles on Sociology topics you are researching. Two key databases are Sociological Abstracts and IBSS (International Bibliography of the Social Sciences). The databases are on the same web platform called ProQuest, they work in the same way and you can search them individually or in combination.

Follow the links below to connect to the databases, or check the video guides for tips on how to search them.

How to use Academic Search Complete and other EBSCO databases

In addition to the ProQuest databases mentioned above - Sociological Abstracts and IBSS - there are also several useful databases on the EBSCO platform that may be useful for Sociology research. 

They work in a similar way to the ProQuest databases and the video guide (right) shows you how to search them individually or in combination.