SOWK 536: Policy and Advocacy in Professional Social Work: Finding Journal Articles

Research guide for students in SOWK 536.

When to Use a Scholarly Source

Use scholarly sources to give context to your local data. Scholarly sources explore relationships between characteristics or populations in characteristics. Every research question needs at least two subjects -- known as keywords. Identify at least two defining traits or characteristics of your community, and use scholarly research to understand the relationship between them. For example, a scholarly research question might ask, "What is the relationship between homelessness and food insecurity?"

Note that scholarly research questions are typically not location-specific. You likely will not find articles about your specific community, and that's ok! Use scholarly research to contextualize the information about your community.

General Search Options

Recommended Library Databases

The databases below cover specific subjects. Select the database based on your topic. For example, PsycINFO, which covers mental and behavioral health, would be good for articles about interventions or depression. 

Scholarly Journals

Look up the top ranked journals in Social Work according to Web of Science Journal Citation Reports 

In the database, Journal Citation Reports - select Browse Categories. Then select the tab Journal Ranks, and use the filters on the left to select the subject. 

The selected journals below include scholarly, peer-reviewed social work research. You can access other journals on the USC Libraries website by using the Journals search. Under FIND, select Journals.