Skip to Main Content

Social Work : Finding Articles & Databases

Social work databases

Databases are online collections of resources that you can search to find information. Some databases cover a particular subject area and some cover a range of disciplines. Most library databases require a unikey login. Finding the most appropriate databases can involve scoping searches across a range of different systems.

Use Library databases to search for journal articles, chapters from books and reports. 

When searching databases think of synonyms, broader, narrower and related terms for the concepts you are searching. Use the features in the systems to refine your search (such as limiting by peer review or date) to make the results more relevant.

Boolean operators are used in database searching:

AND narrows your search, use AND to combine different concepts

OR broadens your search, use OR to combine synonyms or related terms.

Create a search string with your keywords encorporating Boolean operators, for example:

"human rights" AND "domestic violence" AND prevention

Type your search string into the search box of your selected database.

Multidisciplinary databases

Australian Institute of Family Studies

Australian Human Rights Commission

Research methods


The Library considers any publication that comes out on a regular basis a Journal. Using Library Search, from the menu at the top of the screen click on 'Journal search' to search for a particular title or keywords.

Most of the Library's journal subscriptions are electronic, eJournals. Use Library Search to access recent issues and articles; or select a volume and issue from an archive. Search using your keywords, for articles within the the eJournal. 

Scholarly articles

Refereed or peer reviewed articles are scholarly resources that go through an official editorial process or review and approval by experts in the same subject area before they are considered for a peer reviewed publication. Checking to see if the article is from a peer reviewed journal is one way of evaluating a resource.  

Most Library databases allow you to limit your search results to peer reviewed. You may also use Ulrich's Periodicals Directory to find out if a journal is peer reviewed, Ulrich's use the term 'Refereed' to indicate peer reviewed.

Finding Australian government reports

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that this website may contain images, voices and names of people who have died.

The University of Sydney Library acknowledges that its facilities sit on the ancestral lands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, who have for thousands of generations exchanged knowledge for the benefit of all. Learn more