Child pages
  • SocINDEX Tipsheet

Drew University Library

Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

To identify what has been written on a topic within sociology, SocINDEX is a core database.  It. indexes and provides abstracts of scholarly material within the discipline, somewhat broadly defined.

Getting Started:

You can begin with a keyword search, like the one below, which will help you identify appropriate material:

  • * = a truncation symbol, which retrieves items with words that start with the letters preceding the asterisk: immigrant, immigration, or immigrants.
  • " " = = a phrase search, with retrieves items with the exact phrase enclosed in quotation marks: "welfare reform".

Narrowing Searches:

You can restrict your search to scholarly or academic publications:

After selecting "Scholarly,"
click "Update":

To limit your results by subject, look for the limit on the left-hand column on the screen:

Selecting specific
headings will narrow
your search by looking
for those headings
within the results
originally found.


Using the Thesaurus:

You can also look at the list of subject terms listed in the database: 
Click "Subject Terms" in the top bar:


 Clicking on emigration & immigration will "explode" the term,
telling you what other terms are related to it, narrower, or
broader, often suggesting additional alternatives for your

If you select the terms by clicking in the box, and then
selecting Add, that will search for items that have any of
those subject terms.

Combining Searches:

You can combine searches two ways:

  • Add search boxes to the Advanced Search:
  • Go to Search History:

    After clicking on "Search History,"
    select the searches that you wish to combine.

Dealing with Results:

When you have sources that might be useful, you'll need to actually look at them!  Sometimes the source is available in SocINDEX, indicated by a "Linked Full Text," PDF or HTML link in the record.  If it is not available within SocINDEX, click on the Article Linker:

This will open a window which will tell you if the item is available elsewhere:

In this case, the article is available in two other
databases.  Click on "Article" to retrieve.


  • Call (973-408-3588) or come to the Reference Desk in the Library (9:00am-5:00pm, Monday-Friday; 6:00pm-10pm, Sunday-Thursday).
  • Send us an email at
  • Meebo us for a chat from Research Resources when the Reference Desk is staffed.
  • When the Desk isn't staffed, go to Q&A/New Jersey.

Or just give me a call or drop me an email:
Jody Caldwell

Guide generated 1/23/14.

  • No labels