Social Work *: Scholarly Sources

Randall Information Center | USC School of Social Work

Peer-Reviewed Articles

What is a Peer-Reviewed Article? 

Peer-reviewed articles are written by experts and researchers who want to share their research with others in the field.

How do you find Peer-Reviewed articles? 

Search online databases and scholarly journals. Read the database description to determine if it includes peer-reviewed articles. Many databases include options to limit your results to peer-reviewed articles. 

Quick Reference

Ulrich's Periodical Directory will tell you if a journal is peer-reviewed (refereed). Type in the journal's name and look in the "Refereed" field.

Popular versus Scholarly Sources

Dissertation Databases

USC Dissertations

Search USC Digital Library or ProQuest Dissertations & Theses to find USC dissertations.  

If you have trouble locating a dissertation, contact Wayne Shoaf at shoaf@usc.edu or ph. 213-740-4090 or John Juricek at juricek@usc.edu or ph. 213-740-2931.

Non-USC Dissertations

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses is also a good source for locating digitized dissertations produced at other universities in the United States.

In addition, more and more universities no longer require students to deposit their dissertations with ProQuest so you may want to search for an university's institutional repository via Google and search within that digital collection for a particular publication.

Find the DOI

Use Crossref, a free site, to look up DOIs. The free DOI lookup searches for DOIs using information such as article title, authors, and publisher information.

Journal Impact Factor

Simply search for the title of the journal in the master search in the upper left-hand corner of the page:

Journal Citation Report search box

Social Work Databases

The databases below cover specific subjects. Select the database based on your topic. Look at the database descriptions to help you. For example, PsycINFO, which covers mental and behavioral health, would be good for articles about interventions or depression.  Topics pertaining to education, try ERIC and topics about older adults, try AgeLine.

Social Work Research Journals

Browse or search these research-based journals for your topic: