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Social Work: Finding journal articles

Subject guide for social work

Searching for academic journal articles

Peer reviewed journal articles form a key part of your research at university. As with books, you will find them on your reading lists but you will also need to search for them independently. The best way to do this is to search a subject database or use a tool like MySearch to look into lots of subject databases at the same time.


mySearch allows you to search across a range of different databases containing different resource types; to find peer reviewed journal articles, you will need to limit your search to 'peer reviewed'

Click here on this MySearch link to go directly to the advanced searching functionality

Search strategy proforma - use this to design your searches

The best way to undertake a successful search is to fill in a search proforma before you start. This does not need to be time consuming. To learn the basics about finding articles with MySearch, view the tutorial below. To learn more about how to do a thorough literature search, click on the Literature searches tab above.

MySearch tutorial












Subject focused databases

Sometimes you may choose just to focus on a subject specific database. Law databases in general are not searched by MySearch and you need to search them directly. Some of the databases with more of a focus on social work include:

  • SocINDEX
  • Web of Science

We have lists of social work related databases and data sources, with descriptions about coverage, to help you identify relevant material. Also consider looking at some of the other subject guides and also subject resource lists.

There are also some profession oriented resources in the social work databases list such as

  • Community Care inform
  • Social Care online

Law databases most relevant to you are Westlaw and Lexis which can be found on the Law databases list.

Legal journals

For more information on how to access legal journals, please see the Law resources tab in this guide.

What is an academic journal article?

What is peer review?