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Social Work Guide


Below are some recommended databases for searching for journal articles in social work. To search for individual journals by title, go to the Journals & Newspapers section.

Key Resources

  • Social Services Abstracts (ProQuest)
    Social Services Abstracts "provide bibliographic coverage of current research focused on social work, human services, and related areas, including social welfare, social policy, and community development."
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Social Work Abstracts (EBSCO)
    "Social Work Abstracts offers extensive coverage of more than 450 social work and human services journals dating back to 1977. Produced by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the database provides indexing and abstracts dealing with all aspects of the social work field, including theory and practice, areas of service and social issues and problems. Researchers seeking scholarly and professional perspectives on subjects such as therapy, education, human services, addictions, child and family welfare, mental health, civil and legal rights, and more will find Social Work Abstracts to be an indispensable resource."
    Unlimited simultaneous users.

Additional Resources

  • Academic Search Premier (EBSCO)
    Academic Search Premier is a multidisciplinary resource that "provides journal coverage for most academic areas of studies."
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • America: History and Life (EBSCO)
    "America: History & Life is the definitive index of literature covering the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present. With indexing for 1,700 journals from 1964 to present ... The database also includes citations and links to book and media reviews."--Database information page.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Canadian Business and Current Affairs (CBCA) Reference (ProQuest)
    Please note: CBCA Reference is now searchable as part of the larger CBCA Complete collection. Canadian Business and Current Affairs (CBCA) Complete is the nation's largest and most comprehensive bibliographic full-text reference and current events database. Available through the ProQuest Web interface, CBCA Complete combines full text and indexed content from all four CBCA database subsets (Business, Current Events, Education, and Reference). Subject coverage is comprehensive and information is available from the broadest range of Canadian sources anywhere.
    NOTE: In certain instances ProQuest has decided to omit particular 'articles' from full-text access due to copyright restrictions or because the item has not met their criteria for being an 'article' (ie. too short, a letter, not attributed to an author, etc.).
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • CINAHL with Full Text (Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature - EBSCO)
    CINAHL with Full Text is the world's most comprehensive source of full text for nursing & allied health journals, providing full text for more than 500 journals indexed in CINAHL. This authoritative file contains full text for many of the most used journals in the CINAHL index - with no embargo. With full-text coverage dating back to 1981, CINAHL with Full Text is the definitive research tool for all areas of nursing and allied health literature.
    Unlimited simultaneous users
  • Cochrane Library
    The Cochrane Library contains high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making. This database includes the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, the Cochrane Database of Methodology Reviews, the The Cochrane Methodology Register, the Health Technology Assessment Database, and the NHS Economic Evaluation Database.
    Access to the Cochrane Library in New Brunswick is through a province-wide license made possible by a partnership between UNB and the eight Regional Hospital Authority libraries.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Google Scholar
    Google Scholar searches a subset of the Web that Google has classified as "scholarly literature". They do not publish a list of chosen sites, and they do not state how often sites are checked. Some important sources are not covered at all. Thus, Google Scholar alone should not be relied on for comprehensive research.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Historical Abstracts (EBSCO)
    "Historical Abstracts is an exceptional resource that covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present, including world history, military history, women's history, history of education, and more ... Provides indexing of more than 1,700 academic historical journals in over 40 languages back to 1955."--Database information page.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Public Affairs Information Service (PAIS) International and Archive (ProQuest)
    The PAIS International database contains references to journal articles, books, government documents, statistical directories, grey literature, research reports, conference reports, publications of international agencies, microfiche, Internet material, and more. Newspapers and newsletters are not indexed. Also included in PAIS are the PAIS Archive and ProQuest Deep Indexing: Public Administration and Policy databases.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • PsycINFO (American Psychological Association - EBSCO)
    PsycINFO is an abstracting and indexing database of more than 2000 journals (approximately 3.3 million records) devoted to peer-reviewed literature (journals, books and dissertations) in the behavioural sciences and mental health.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • PubMed
    PubMed is the U.S. National Library of Medicine's (NLM®) database of biomedical citations and abstracts. It includes MEDLINE, which covers over 4,800 journals published in the United States and more than 70 other countries primarily from 1966 to the present.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Scopus
    Scopus, a multidisciplinary online resource, will be invaluable to students and faculty in various fields of study within the sciences, health sciences and the social sciences. Scopus offers full-text linking, abstracting-and-indexing information including peer-reviewed titles from international publishers, Open Access journals, conference proceedings, trade publications, quality web sources.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Sociological Abstracts (ProQuest)
    Sociological Abstracts "covers the world's literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behaviorial sciences."
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • SocINDEX with Full Text (EBSCO)
    SocINDEX with Full Text is the world's most comprehensive and highest-quality sociology research database. Its extensive scope and content provide users with a wealth of extremely useful information encompassing the broad spectrum of sociological study. The database features more than 2.1 million records with subject headings from a 20,000+ term sociological thesaurus designed by subject experts and expert lexicographers. SocINDEX with Full Text contains full text for 890 journals dating back to 1908. This database also includes full text for more than 850 books and monographs, and full text for over 16,800 conference papers.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Violence & Abuse Abstracts (EBSCO)
    Violence & Abuse Abstracts publishes 1,200 abstracts annually plus and extended bibliography of recent literature on all types of interpersonal violence, including sexual, physical and psychological child abuse, domestic violence, rape, sexual assault and harassment, hate crimes, workplace violence, gang violence, elder abuse and neglect. Each abstract is categorized into one of four distinct sections: medical, legal, psychological and social.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts (ProQuest)
    Worldwide Political Science Abstracts provides "citations, abstracts, and indexing of the international serials literature in political science and its complementary fields, including international relations, law, and public administration / policy."
    Unlimited simultaneous users.

Selected Core Journals

The following is a selected list of core peer-reviewed academic journals which are among the most important to social work. During database searches, you will encounter articles from these journals, plus many additional titles essential to specific social work sub-fields, research approaches, geographic regions, or related disciplines.



The library subscribes to many newspapers online, including major historical archives for The Globe & Mail, The New York Times, and The Times (London).



Search UNB WorldCat:
Limit to: 

Browsing Shelves

To browse the shelves for books in social work, try the HV1-5840 area. However, starting with a WorldCat search is recommended, as material may be found in various other areas of the library, including the following ranges:

HV6001-9960 Criminology
(Prior to 1999, HM1-299 was used)
Sociology (General)
HN1-995 Social History, Conditions, Problems
HQ1-2044 The Family, Marriage, Women
HT51-1595 Communities, Classes, Races
H1-99 Social Sciences (General)
BF Psychology
J Political Science
R Medicine
RT Nursing


Finding Dissertations and Theses

Dissertations and theses are like unpublished books, and may be especially useful for new research areas where not much information has yet been published. Search using Dissertations & Theses, a database that contains the work of authors from over 1,000 graduate schools and universities.

Reference Sources


When researching a new topic it is often necessary to get an overview, explanations of unfamiliar terms, or brief factual information.

To find additional reference materials, check our Reference Materials database, or browse section HV1-6000 of the Reference Stacks (HIL-REF) on the main floor of the Harriet Irving Library.

Key Resources

  • Wiley/Blackwell Reference Online
    Wiley/Blackwell Reference Online "is a vast new online library giving instant access to the most authoritative and up-to-date scholarship across the humanities and social sciences. With more than 350 reference volumes to be published in Blackwell Reference Online by the end of 2008, it is the largest academic reference collection available online and includes the critically-acclaimed Blackwell Companions and Handbooks, major reference works such as the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management and the Companion to Syntax, and a whole host of other valuable reference materials such as dictionaries, encyclopedias and concise companions."
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Encyclopedia of Canadian Social Work
    see also [HIL-REF HV12 .C35 2005]

    "As Canadians, we are all touched by some aspect of social welfare, either as recipients, donors, or taxpayers. But despite the importance of the social network in our country, there has been no single source of information about this critical component of our society. Even professionals in the field of social work or social services have not had a comprehensive volume addressing the myriad features of this critical societal structure. The Encyclopedia of Canadian Social Work fills this need." "Over five hundred topics important to Canadian social work are covered, written by a highly diverse group of social workers representing all aspects of the field and all areas of the country. Practitioners, policy makers, academics, social advocates, researchers, students, and administrators present a rich overview of the complexity and diversity of social work and social welfare as it exists in Canada." "The principal finding from this project upholds the long-held perception that there is a uniquely Canadian model of social work that stands as a useful model for other countries. The Encyclopedia of Canadian Social Work is an important source of information for both Canadians and interested groups around the world."--BOOK JACKET. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • Encyclopedia of Social Work [HIL-REF HV12 .E56 2008]

    The National Association of Social Workers and Oxford University Press have published the updated, revised and expanded 20th edition of this essential work. The 400 articles in this 4-volume set cover all aspects of social work.

  • Blackwell encyclopedia of sociology
    see also [HIL-REF HM425 .B53 2007 vols. 1-11]
    This title is part of the Wiley/Blackwell Reference Online e-book collection available through the Wiley Online Library.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.

Additional Resources

  • Doing a Literature Review in Health and Social Care [HIL-REF R118.6 .A94 2007]

    "This book is a step-by-step guide to doing a literature review in health and social care. It is crucial reading for all those undertaking their undergraduate or postgraduate dissertation or any research module which involves a literature review."--BOOK JACKET.

  • Encyclopedia of Social Measurement [HIL-REF HA29 .E525 2005]

    Written by experienced methodologists in various fields of the social sciences, the 356 alphabetically arranged, signed entries in this encyclopedia describe the "research questions social scientists ask, the sources and methods they use to collect information, and the techniques they use to analyze these data and provide answers to the important questions."

  • Encyclopedia of Social Theory
    see also [multiple locations HIL-REF HM425 .E453 2006]

    Social theory occupies a central role in today's debates in such sociology-related disciplines as anthropology, political theory, political economy, media and cultural studies, feminist theory, and post-colonial studies. Heading a large team of international scholars, Harrington (sociology, U. of Leeds, UK) introduces some 500 entries by noting that the encyclopedia's emphasis is on concepts, themes, debates, and schools of thought rather than on personalities (thus accounting for the lack of photos). Signed entries ranging from about 300 to 2,500 words cover connotations of "action" to contemporary Slovenian theorist Zizek, Slavoj. They include references, cross-references, and further reading. The detailed index facilitates searches. Annotation #169;2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR ( Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • Encyclopedia of Social Welfare History in North America [HIL-REF HV12 .E497 2005]

    Editors Herrick (Michigan State University) and Stuart (University of Alabama) organized work from a long roster of contributors--most of whom are based in the US, but Canada and Mexico are represented as well so that this work presents a tri-national perspective. Alphabetically arranged, 180 articles provide readers with information on the history of social welfare in each country, important events and developments in the field, and key figures. Topics include various aspects of criminal justice, education, employment and labor, families, health, income maintenance programs, race and ethnic relations, social and economic development, and government and nongovernment social welfare. The book is appropriate for academic and public libraries and can be used by both beginning students and established scholars. Appendices provide research guides, chronologies, and a bibliography of archival depositories, current work, and historical works cited in entries, organized by type of source and country. Annotation #169;2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR ( Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.


  • Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging
    see also [HIL-REF HV1451 .H34 2006]

    The volume's 102 original chapters and 13 overviews, written by the most experienced and prominent gerontological health care scholars in the United States and across the world, provide social work practitioners and educators with up-to-date knowledge of evidence-based practice guidelines for effectively assessing and treating older adults and their families; new models for intervention in both community-based practice and institutional care; and knowledge of significant policy and research issues in health and aging.

  • Handbook of Social Work Research Methods [HIL-REF HV11 .H342 2001]

    Provides social work professionals, educators, researchers, and students with an overview of research tools relevant to the field. Explains foundations of both quantitative and qualitative methods and conceptual research, and discusses general issues such as ethics, gender, grantwriting, and dissemination of findings. Sections on approaches include chapters on methods and chapters detailing specific types of studies such as surveys, needs assessments, narrative case studies, and participant observation. Thyer teaches social work and psychology at the University of Georgia. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR ( Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (2nd Ed.)
    see also [HIL-REF H41 .I58 2001 vols. 1-26]
    Fully revised and updated, the second edition of the International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, first published in 2001, offers a source of social and behavioral sciences reference material that is broader and deeper than any other. Available in both print and online editions, it comprises over 3,900 articles, commissioned by 71 Section Editors, and includes 90,000 bibliographic references as well as comprehensive name and subject indexes.

    UNB has online access to the 2001 edition as well as owning print volumes of the earlier edition.
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Oxford Bibliographies Online
    "Oxford Bibliographies Online (OBO) is an entirely new research tool for the social sciences and humanities. A scholar-curated library of discipline-based subject modules, OBO is designed to help busy researchers find reliable sources of information in half the time by directing them to exactly the right chapter, book, website, archive, or data set they need for their research."
    Unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Oxford Reference
    Multi-part database of the online versions of Oxford University Press texts. Each topical division contains the searchable version of the latest edition of published dictionaries and encyclopedias. Additionally, information about Oxford University Press is provided. Online texts will be updated after new editions of the print monographs are published. Covers the humanities and social sciences.
    5 simultaneous users.
  • Social Work Futures: Crossing Boundaries, Transforming Practice [HIL-REF HV11.8 .G7 S63 2005]

    Academics and practitioners explore current issues in social work while looking towards the future of the profession. Aimed at students and practitioners, the volume is organized around three crucial components of social work training programs in the UK: process, practice, and research. Twenty-one contributions address such topics as the key principles of assessment, anti-discrimination work in mental health, and service user involvement in research. Adams teaches social work at the U. of Teesside. Annotation #169;2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR ( Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.

  • Social Workers' Desk Reference [HIL-REF HV40 .S624 2002]

    Equally useful for students, teachers, and practitioners, the Social Workers' Desk Reference provides comprehensive information on all of the various aspects of social work. Topics covered within the 146 chapters include crisis management, family therapy, treatment planning, disorders, case management, community services, and risk assessment. Each chapter concludes with a list of references or recommended readings. An excellent glossary and thorough indexes round out this practical volume. Authoritative and readable, this resource provides one-stop shopping for social work.

Association Websites

The best general websites for social work are the Canadian and American professional associations, both of which have a wealth of useful information:


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