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guide is designed for Sociology, Politics and International Relations
students to help you find resources and support covering social research methods. It may also be useful for students of other subjects but note that social
research methods are often discipline-specific. Always check your module reading list and Moodle course for guidance on recommended resources and contact the relevant Module Leader or tutor for further advice.
The Library holds a wide range of books on social research methods and some
selected key titles are listed here. In the JHB Library you’ll find these and other books on social research methods on
Level 2. Check
for full details of what’s available. In many cases earlier editions of these key textbooks are also available and there may also be e-book versions.
Check your module reading lists for titles recommended by your tutors. The module’s online reading list should be available via Moodle or search for it through the Library's
Reading lists search
See this list of books on social research methods which includes titles on ethics in social research. Check your reading list for other recommended titles.
Examples of ethics guidelines:
Oxford Brookes University Research ethics
ESRC ESRC guidance on research ethics
Social Research Association Ethics guidance
British Sociological Association (BSA) Guidelines on Ethical Research (2017)
The following journals publish articles which discuss and debate specific social research methods. They may be particularly useful if you need to do a critical review of the research methods used in a particular study.
Statistics and data
Survey Question Bank (SQB): UK Data Service Discover
provides access to the questionnaires, in PDF format, from a range of major UK social surveys conducted, for the most part, since the mid-1990s. These questionnaires - which are fully searchable - are displayed in their original context, allowing
users to better understand the context in which a particular question was asked. Other content includes expert commentary on studies and key variables, bibliographies and web links. Actual data files are not available.
Finding secondary sources
The Library’s Subject Help pages give you guidance on researching secondary sources in specific subjects, plus links to relevant resources.
You’ll also find contact details for your Academic Liaison Librarian who will be happy to give you further advice. Contact your Librarian for help with:
For general help, tips and videos on finding information, check the Library’s
Teach Yourself pages
Evaluating web sources
There’s a huge amount of information freely available on the Internet, but you need to be careful when selecting web sources for your academic work. To help you decide what web sources are appropriate at university level, take a look at our guide to
Evaluating Web sources
is the University's study advice service offering help to student on statistics, maths and study skills. They offer: