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Reference Question of the Week

Q: I am a returning grad student in Social Work who has been out of school for some time. I have been assigned a paper in my first class that asks for at least 12 "peer reviewed articles." How would I go about finding articles that are peer-reviewed?

A: When you go to search for articles through our "Database Finder" at http://library.albany.edu/databases/search.asp you can narrow the databases down by subject on the menu at the bottom of the screen. You can select Social Welfare from that list and it will provide you with a list of databases that are strong in your subject area.

To find peer reviewed articles, you will need to narrow down the search in the databases. For most Social Welfare topics the best place to start is in Social Work Abstracts. This database includes the 100 most important journals in the social welfare field. You can supplement this search with Social Services Abstracts (for human services literature generally) and PsycINFO (for psychology and psychiatry literature.)

Most databases have a feature to limit your search to Peer Reviewed (i.e. scholarly or research) articles. In Social Services Abstracts you can limit your search to Peer Reviewed after you complete your initial search. Just click on the green menu bar above your search results. In PsycINFO look for the “Limit Search��? feature. Limiting to Peer Reviewed is especially important when using general databases like EBSCO Academic Search Premier. There you can “Refine Search��? to retrieve only peer reviewed articles.

For further reference, we have a subject guide for social welfare that may be of help to you: http://library.albany.edu/subject/social_main.html .

Also, if you have any in depth questions about research, our Social Welfare Librarian would be happy to help.
Her contact information is as follows:
Mary Jane Brustman
Dewey Library 442-3517
mbrustman@uamail.albany.edu