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SOCI 3246: Medical Sociology

Prof. Amy Zhou, Spring 2022

Sociology literature databases

Database search tips

  • The general search tips for CLIO also apply to the article databases.
  • If you find an article or a book that is relevant, the bibliography/works cited page can be a useful road map to other relevant literature that was previously published.  
  • If you find an article or a book that is relevant, you can use Google Scholar and some other databases to find out whether it was cited by other scholars after it was published. Search for the title of an article/monograph and search and click on "Cited by" to generate a list of publications that have referenced that source.
  • In many databases, you can narrow your results to scholarly publications only. Look for "limit to ... scholarly publications/peer-reviewed/refereed publications only" or similar language. This will help you find articles from journals that have gone through a rigorous peer review process.  

Boolean Keyword Searching

Boolean searching is based on an algebraic system of logic formulated by George Boole, a 19th century English mathematician.

In a Boolean keyword search, the terms are combined by the operators AND, OR and NOT to narrow or broaden the search (in CLIO, Ovid, and some other databases, you DO have to enter them in capitals).  This type of search is possible in most library catalogs and databases, but Google and other Web search engines do not carry out OR and NOT searches properly.

These Venn diagrams help to visualize the meaning of AND, OR and NOT; the colored area indicates the items that will be retrieved in each case.

AND

The operator AND narrows the search by instructing the search engine to search for all the records containing the first keyword, then for all the records containing the second keyword, and show only those records that contain both.

OR

The operator OR broadens the search to include records containing either keyword, or both.
The OR search is particularly useful when there are several common synonyms for a concept, or variant spellings of a word.

Examples using OR:
medieval OR "middle ages"
"heart attack" OR "myocardial infarction"
vergil OR virgil   

NOT

Combining search terms with the NOT operator narrows the search by excluding unwanted terms.

 

Examples using combinations of the three operators:
puritans AND women AND (massachusetts OR connecticut OR "rhode island" OR "new hampshire")
(adolescen* OR teen*) AND (cigarettes OR smok*)
reagan AND "star wars" NOT (movie OR film OR cinema OR "motion picture")
"zora neale hurston" AND (correspondence OR letter* OR diar* OR autobiograph* OR memoir*)

Search CLIO for articles