Journal articles and databases for Sociology

  • Additional Library resources available during the COVID-19 pandemic

    In addition to the e-content provided through the Library web site, many academic publishers are making additional e-resources available. Check this list  Library resources during COVID-19 pandemic for details. The list is being updated as more resources become available, so do check back regularly.

  • Academic journals are key sources in the Sociology discipline. They publish articles which are written by specialists in the field and provide an insight into current thinking, debate and research. They can also cover a specific topic in depth, e.g. reporting a study done using specific research methods (quantitative/qualitative/mixed).

    This guide from the Open University (PDF) explains clearly what a journal is, and how they differ from books.

    Peer review provides feedback so that researchers can revise and improve their papers before publication. It also acts as a quality check, ensuring that articles meet high standards expected in the discipline and required to maintain the reputation of the journal. Find out more about the purpose of peer review and how it works in this Explainer: what is peer review?

    If you have the details of a specific article you may be able to use LibrarySearch to find it. Try typing the article title and author in the LibrarySearch and see if it comes up.

    Alternatively you can look up a specific journal title and browse or search through back issues:

    • Go to the Library home page and select the 'Journal titles' tab. Type in the journal title. Find the journal on LibrarySearch and click on the title. Click on the 'Access journal' link to connect to the journal home page.
    • If you're looking for a specific article, start by browsing for the YEAR on the journal home page 
    • Use the VOLUME and ISSUE numbers to find the correct journal issue.
    • Articles in each issue will be listed in page order, so use the PAGE NUMBERS to find the specific article.
    Check Cite Them Right Online for guidance on how to reference journal articles in the Harvard style used at Brookes.
  • How do I find journal articles on a topic?

    LibrarySearch » is a good place to start searching for journal articles on a topic. Just type keywords or a phrase in the search box. At the results screen, use the filter options on the left to limit your search to articles. 
    Note that LibrarySearch doesn’t cover all of our e-resources. We recommend using a database for more in-depth research.

    Key databases for finding Sociology articles 

    Further help  

    Finding journal articles guide (PDF) » Includes tips on how to search databases effectively.

    Literature search plan (Word) » Designed to help you plan your search - download a copy and add your own notes.

    You are welcome to contact the Academic Liaison Librarian for Sociology for 1-to-1 help. 

  • Education:

    Media Studies:
    Communication & Mass Media Complete - very good for topics relating to media and society. Many articles are full-text.

    Health and Psychology:

    Multi-disciplinary - databases covering all subject areas:

    • Academic Search Complete  - a multi-disciplinary database which includes sociology journals, many articles are full text
    • Google Scholar is freely available and simple to use but it can be difficult to refine your search.
      How to set up Google Scholar to link more effectively to Oxford Brookes University Library subscriptions:
      In Google Scholar, click on the 3 lines at the top left of the screen. From the menu choose 'Settings'. Choose 'Library links' from the left hand menu. This allows you to link Google Scholar to a specific library catalogue. To choose our LibrarySearch system, run a search for WorldCat and choose this option: 'Open WorldCat - LibrarySearch.' Click on 'Save'.
    • Box of Broadcasts (BoB) This service gives you access to thousands of recorded radio and TV programmes including films from an online archive.  It allows users to record programmes which will then be stored on the database. First-time users will be prompted to register. You can search for programmes already recorded, view the programme guide and also search for playlists and create your own.
    • JSTOR This database provides an archive of full-text articles from a range of academic journals. Note that most journals covered do not give access to issues which are less than 3-5 years old. Try JSTOR's Text Analyser - upload a document e.g. an article. The tool will analyse the text and then find similar content in JSTOR.
    • Web of Science - covers all subject areas. This is particularly useful for tracking citations to key articles. On Web of Science you can view an article and see a list of the author’s 'Cited References' - those sources that influenced the author. You can also see the article's influence on subsequent publications via the 'Times Cited' option.  Find out more (PDF guide).
    • ZETOC - British Library's electronic table of contents. Covers about 20,000 current journals and conference proceedingsYou can also join the ZETOC Alert service to receive details of when journal details in your subject area are added to the database.

    Collections of journals from specific publishers: 

    NB We do not have access to all the journals in these collections. To check our holdings of a specific journal, go to the  Library home page and select Journal titles, then type in the title of the journal.

    News sources

    • Factiva is an international news database providing an archive of 10000 sources from 152 countries in 22 languages. Leading national newspapers, local newspapers, trade and professional journals, the BBC Monitoring Service (transcripts of world radio broadcasts) are all included.  
    • LexisLibrary This is a legal database which also includes articles from UK national and regional news sources. To search the database for news articles, click on News in the top menu bar on the initial screen. At the news search screen you can use the Select Sources drop-down menu to search all UK newspapers or just broadsheets, for example.

    Historical news sources:

    • The Guardian and The Observer 1791 - 2003 (via ProQuest). The complete digital edition of the Guardian (1821 - 2003) and the Observer (1791 - 2003) with all articles, advertisements and illustrations. Use the 'Publications' option to browse the different versions of these newspapers published over the years.
    • Times Digital Archive 1785-2007 (via Gale Databases). The complete digital edition of The Times (London), with all articles, advertisements and illustrations.

    For further help with tracking down news sources, see our News and current affairs guide.
    Check Cite Them Right Online for guidance on how to reference online news sources in the Harvard style used at Brookes.

    TV and radio programmes

    • BoB (Box of Broadcasts) gives you access to thousands of recorded radio and TV programmes including news programmes and documentaries from an online archive. It allows users to record programmes which will then be stored on the database.   
      Log in when prompted with your Brookes username and password. First-time users will be prompted to register. You can search for programmes already recorded, view the programme guide and also search for playlists and create your own.
    • Check Cite Them Right Online for guidance on how to reference BoB programmes in the Harvard style used at Brookes.


    Primary sources

    • Mass Observation Online Original manuscript and typescript papers created and collected by the Mass Observation organisation, as well as printed publications, photographs and interactive features. This resource covers the original Mass Observation project, the bulk of which was carried out from 1937 until the mid-1950s, offering an unparalleled insight into everyday life in Britain during these transformative years.


    • OED online version of the Oxford English Dictionary.
    • Oxford Reference Online This is a collection of Oxford University Press reference books on a variety of subjects including Sociology