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Social Work

ATTENTION: This research guide was last modified on September 09, 2008, before the January 2012 redesign of the library's home page. Information on how to access journal articles, databases, and other library resources may be inaccurate or outdated.

For up-to-date instructions on accessing materials, please visit our tutorial pages instead.

Contact Information

Naomi Moy


Getting Started


Relevant Call Number Areas

Finding Journal Articles

Off-campus Access


The Internet

Citing Your Sources

Getting Started

To start your research, use the resources below or begin with the the CSUDH Library web page at: http://library.csudh.edu/

The article databases listed under the category of Journal Articles and Electronic Resources are available from on-campus computers or by remote access to registered CSUDH students who can log in by using their campus username and password.  The Library regularly updates the database. If you are having difficulty with access, please come to the Library Reference Desk or email Naomi Moy (nmoy@csudh.edu) or Carol Dales (cdales@csudh.edu).


Locate books by using the Library's ToroFind catalog. Search for books by author, title or subject. In addition to finding materials available in the CSUDH Library, you will find links that allow you to directly request books from other CSU libraries and in other local libraries and libraries worldwide.

  • ToroFind : CSUDH Online Catalog is used to find books and other materials available in the CSUDH Library.
    Here are a few recently acquired titles:

       *  Social Workers' Desk Reference, Oxford University Press, 2009. 

       *  Comprehensive Handbook Of Social Work And Social Welfare, 2008.
       *  Exploring Child Welfare: A Practice Perspective, Cynthia Crosson-Tower, 2007.

  • you will also see links to electronic books on a variety of topics geared to academic libraries and college students.

    Here are a few recently acquired titles: 
  • Use the "All 23 CSU Libraries" button in ToroFind  to check for books available in all libraries of the California State University system. Search for the book and click on this button. Highlight a library name and click on the "Request This Item" button. You must be registered with the CSUDH Library to use this service.

  • Use the "Search for Books NOT in CSUDH Library" button in ToroFind  to check for books available in 70,000 libraries worldwide.
  • Interlibrary Loan a book using a request form. You supply us with the information, and the Interlibrary Loan Department will search for the book. Since books you request may come from libraries in other states, this can be the slowest method.

Relevant Call Number Areas
  • Sub Class HV HV40-69 Social service. Social work.
  • HV1-9960 Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology.

Finding Journal Articles

You can get journal articles by going to the library home page and clicking the Journal Articles & Electronic Resources link under the "Find Journal Articles Now" heading. Click the heading that sounds the most like your situation.

Once you are in a database, you can start to search for your article. Most databases include several search boxes you can fill out. If you're doing a formal research paper, remember that most databases will also let you choose to search only for peer-reviewed or scholarly journals.

Articles which you can read in that database will have a link to the PDF full text or the HTML full text. Click on that text link to read the article. Some databases also let you e-mail yourself the files by clicking on an e-mail link.

Some articles will have a red and white button "Find it @CSUDH Library" instead of having links to the full text. This means the text of that article is not in the database you are searching. If you click the "Find it..." button, you can usually see a list of databases that do have the full text. If there are no databases containing the article you want, you can request it via Inter-Library Loan .

Off-campus Access

If you are using a computer that is on campus, you can access all of our electronic databases and ebooks without any further steps. Just click on the database name in the Database List  and you will go immediately to the search screen.

If you are off campus, you will need to log in using your username and password (same information you use to log in to MyCSUDH and Blackboard).  When you click on a database name from off-campus, you will see a screen asking you for this information.

After you enter your user name and password, you will be able to access any of our electronic databases and ebooks just asyou would on campus.

  • Academic Search Premier is a multi-disciplinary database with full text for more than 4,650 publications, many of which are peer-reviewed journals. This database is often used as a starting point since it covers a wide range of subject areas.
  • Chicano Database is a bibliographic database for materials, including books, on Chicanos and the broader Latino experience. Although this database does not include links to the full text, use the CSUDH Journals List to locate journals articles and the ToroFind catalog to locate books.
  • ERIC is a database for education broadly defined. If the focus is on children or students, try this database.
  • Ethnic NewsWatch provides newspaper, magazine and journal articles from the ethnic, minority and native press. If you are researching ethnic populations, you may find additional perspectives because of the resources it indexes.
  • Health Source Nursing Academic has full text journal articles for nursing, medicine, and other areas of health.
  • MEDLINE (Ovid)  covers all aspects of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health care systems, and more. It's coverage is international and it focuses on research. There are some links to full text.
  • ProQuest Nursing Journals and ProQuest Medical Library are two databases that can be searched simultaneously for articles in medicine and health.
  • PsycINFO is the primary index for the literature of psychology. It has citations and abstracts for journal articles, book chapters, books, technical reports, and dissertations. Some links are available for full-text articles, especially for journals published by the American Psychological Association.
  • Science Direct contains current comprehensive coverage of all fields of science, including the social sciences.
  • Social Services Abstracts covers social work, human services, social welfare and social policy.
  • SocINDEX with Full Text is a comprehensive sociology research database that offers coverage from all sub disciplines of sociology, including criminology, cultural sociology, demography, economic development, ethnic & racial studies, gender studies, politics, social psychology, social structure, urban studies, welfare, and others. It includes full text for 235 "core" journals, as well as full text for books and conference papers.
  • Sociological Abstracts is the major database for sociology. This database is an abstracting service without full-text articles so be sure to click on the button to find articles.
  • WilsonWeb: Omni Full Text Mega includes indexing of journals in a broad range of subject areas, including social sciences, health and education.

The Internet

Scholarly Internet Research:

Remember, not all web sites are created equally. Some sites may be valid sources of information, but others are filled with opinion represented as fact. While there isn't a 100% effective way to figure out what kind of site you're looking at, here are some guidelines to follow when using the internet for research:

  • Check Credibility - Is it easy to figure out who's behind the information? Does whomever it is know what they're talking about? Do they have qualifications in the field or some other reason to be trust-worthy in it?
  • Check Accuracy - Are the sources cited well? Is the information up-to-date? Are there any broad, sweeping generalisations that are impossible to verify?
  • Check Reasonableness - What is the page's point-of-view? Is it a corporate page trying to sell you a product? Is it a government or educational site where the main purpose is to educate people?
  • Check Support - Is it possible to double-check the information in another location?

Useful Scholarly Websites

INFOMINE is a virtual library of Internet resources relevant to faculty, students, and research staff at the university level. It contains useful Internet resources such as databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, mailing lists, online library card catalogs, articles, directories of researchers, and many other types of information.

The Librarians' Internet Index aims to provide a well-organized point of access for reliable, trustworthy, librarian-selected websites, serving California, the nation, and the world. All links on the Index are selected and approved by librarians before inclusion.

For more information, check out our guide on Evaluating Web Resources

Citing Your Sources

What is plagiarism? - Plagiarism is "The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft." (OED)

In essence, when you quote or paraphrase from somebody else's work without citing it, you are plagiarizing their work. Plagiarism is a serious matter, and could result in a lower or failing grade and even in your expulsion from university. Just rewording your work isn't enough to avoid plagiarism. Since you are still borrowing information heavily from another writer, you still need to include a citation.

But I didn't know! - Ignorance of the law is unfortunately no excuse. You can commit plagiarism without meaning to, and it's just as serious a problem if you do.

How can I avoid it? - You can avoid plagiarism by always citing your sources . Whenever you put a quotation or borrow information heavily from a source, be sure you include a citation in the proper APA style. This will let your professor know you aren't trying to pass the idea off as your own. Taking detailed notes on where you get your information helps a lot with this, since it prevents you from forgetting which is your own work and which is borrowed from others.

Click here for an excellent tutorial on citing sources in APA format.