Sociology 4950/4960

Senior Honors thesis

Image courtesy of

Developing a Search Strategy

Search strategy is the process of finding information in a logical, step-by-step manner. Using a search strategy insures that you will find the information and materials you need as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Research Steps

  1. Choose your topic
  2. Find background information
  3. Find books on your topic
  4. Find periodical articles
  5. Find networked resources or relevant Web sites
  6. Evaluate your sources
  7. Cite your sources

Return to Top

Cornell University Library

The Cornell University Library provides access to library resources and services.

  • Catalog (Cornell plus WorldCat libraries) includes Cornell online subscriptions and print holdings as well as records for materials available in thousands of libraries to facilitate borrowing. Also includes a small selection of journal articles.
  • Articles and Database Names provides access to over 1000 online indexes and abstracts, almanacs, catalogs, dictionaries, directories, and encyclopedias. You may search a specific database, or locate article citations in more than one database simultaneously. In some cases, these citations will provide links to the full-text of the article online.
  • E-Journal Titles links to over 20,000 electronic journals licensed by Cornell University Library.
  • Ask a Librarian lists numerous ways you can ask us your questions.

See Help to read about Frequently Asked Questions.

Return to Top

Finding Background Information

The materials listed below are a selection of reference resources for finding authoritative background information and context for topics you will be covering in this class. Note the call numbers and library locations for these materials and check the reference collections for additional sources of background information. The authors of articles in reference books often provide bibliographies of selected books and articles for further study.

Annual Review of Sociology
Palo Alto, CA: Annual Reviews Inc.
Also available in print (Non-Circulating),
(Olin Room 405   HM1 .A61)

Synthesizes the primary research literature and identifies the principal contributions in sociology and its subfields. A keyword search option accesses authoritative articles by specific topic, methodology or theory.


The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology: A User's Guide to Sociological Language
Johnson, Allan G.
2nd ed. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2000.
Also available in print,
(Olin Ref   HM425 .J64x 2000)

"A clear, engaging, and useful resource, a guidebook to ease the way toward a deeper understanding of social life and of the only discipline dedicated to making sense of it in all its diverse and wondrous complexity." (Author's notes)


The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology
Ritzer, George, ed.
11 Vols. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2007.
(Olin Ref   HM425 .B53 2007 +)

A definitive reference source for students, researchers, and academics. Commissioned entries written and edited by an international team of scholars and teachers, including Cornell faculty. Arranged alphabetically in 11 volumes. Detailed subject index at the end. Valuable selective bibliographies lead to further reading. Provides explanations of key concepts and extended explorations of major topics. Includes research and theoretical developments from outside of the United States, especially Western Europe. Historical depth as well as more recent developments. Additional features include a timeline and a lexicon by subject area. The online version provides additions three times a year, extending and updating coverage and functionality.


Dictionary of Sociology
Scott, John and Gordon Marshall, eds.
3rd ed. rev. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
Also available in print,
(Olin Ref   HM425 .D5735 2009)

Clear, in-depth descriptions make this an ideal introduction to sociology for beginners as well as an invaluable reference tool for more advanced students and teachers.


Dictionary of the Social Sciences
Calhoun, Craig, ed.
New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
Also available in print,
(Olin Ref   H41 .D53x 2002 +)

Comprehensive, authoritative single-volume work, featuring over 1,800 concise definitions of key terms. Covers the vocabularies of anthropology, sociology, political science, economics, human geography, cultural studies, and Marxism, the Dictionary is an integrated, easy-to-use, A-to-Z reference tool.


Encyclopedia of Sociology
Borgatta, Edgar F. and Rhonda J. V. Montgomery, eds.
5 Vols. 2nd ed. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2000.
Also available in print,
(Olin Ref   HM17 .E56 2000 +)

Academic sociologists provide background articles with references on 370 major topics and themes.


International Encyclopedia of Economic Sociology
Beckert, Jens and Milan Zafirovski, eds.
London; New York: Routledge, 2006.
(Olin Ref   HM35 .I565 2006)

Significant encyclopedia in a burgeoning new field. Includes some 250 signed entries. Examines how economics and society are interrelated. Entries are cross-referenced and include succinct bibliographies. Subject index. Advisors include Cornell Professor Richard Swedberg.


International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences
Smelser, Neil J. and Paul B. Baltes, eds.
26 Vols. Amsterdam; New York: Elsevier, 2001.
Also available in print,
(Olin Ref   H41 .I58x 2001 +)

The printed edition of this online database runs to 24 volumes plus 2 index volumes. Both are alphabetically organized and extensively cross-referenced throughout. Covers theory and methodology in core disciplines, including sociology. Emphasizes the interconnectedness among disciplines, including mathematics and science.

Return to Top

Finding Books

Library Catalog (Cornell plus WorldCat libraries)

Featured on the Library Homepage, the Catalog includes Cornell online subscriptions and print holdings as well as records for materials available in thousands of libraries to facilitate borrowing. Also includes a small selection of journal articles.
For a more specific Catalog search, use the Advanced Search link provided on the Library Homepage.


Classic Catalog (Cornell only)

The original online catalog for electronic and print holdings of the Cornell University Library.


Catalog comparison chart and search tips

The Library Catalog Advanced Search and the Classic Catalog allow you to specify certain search commands, like Subject Heading, Author Name, etc.

Some typical subject headings are:




You can also find books on a particular subject by browsing the library stacks in the area in which the Library of Congress Classification number for that subject is shelved. Most books on sociology are classed in HM.

Understanding Library of Congress Call Numbers


While available on the Library Homepage, these services are still offered through the Classic Catalog

  • PATRON INFO -- To manage your Library account, renew materials.

  • REQUESTS -- To recall books, request delivery from the Library Annex, request Library to Library Book Delivery.

  • INTERLIBRARY LOAN -- To borrow materials -- books, dissertations, journal articles, DVD's, etc. -- from other libraries, when item is not listed in the Library catalog.

  • BORROW DIRECT -- Specialized rapid loan for BOOKS only, if title not available in the library catalog, or already charged. Delivery takes about 4 business days.

Return to Top

Reading Suggestions on Research Methodology



  • Firebaugh, Glenn. Seven Rules for Social Research. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008.
    (Olin   H62 .F438 2008), see Table of Contents online.

  • Goldthorpe, John H. On sociology. 2 Vols. 2nd ed. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2007.
    (Olin   HM585 .G656 2007), see Table of Contents online.

  • Hedström, Peter. Dissecting the Social: On the Principles of Analytical Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
    (Olin   HM24 .H446 2005)

  • Hunt, Morton M. Profiles of Social Research: The Scientific Study of Human Interactions. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1985.
    (Olin   H62 .H93), also ILR

  • Stinchcombe, Arthur L. The Logic of Social Research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.
    (Olin   HM511 .S75 2005), see Table of Contents online.

  • Singleton, Royce A. Jr. and Bruce C. Straits, and Margaret Miller Straits. Approaches to Social Research. 4th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
    (Mann   H62 .S4776 2005), see Table of Contents online.

General References


  • Bouma, Gary D. and G.B.J. Atkinson. A Handbook of Social Science Research. 2nd ed. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
    (Olin   H62 .D583x 1995), also ILR, Management

  • Cramer, Duncan and Dennis Laurence Howitt. The Sage Dictionary of Statistics: A Practical Resource for Students in the Social Sciences. London; Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2004.
    (Mann Ref   HA17 .C73 2004)

  • Creswell, John W. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2003.
    (Olin   H62 .C6963x 2003)

  • Kempf-Leonard, Kimberly, ed. Encyclopedia of Social Measurement. 3 Vols. San Diego, CA; London: Academic, 2005.
    (Olin Ref   H62 .E53 E53 2005 +)

  • Lewis-Beck, Michael S., Alan Bryman and Tim Futing Liao, eds. The Sage Encyclopedia of Social Science Research Methods. 3 Vols. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2004.
    (Olin Ref   H62 .S11 2004 +)

  • Payne, Geoff and Judy Payne. Key Concepts in Social Research. London; Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2004.
    (Olin   H61 .P39 2004)

  • Ritzer, George, ed. Encyclopedia of Social Theory. 2 Vols. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2005.
    (Olin Ref   HM425 .E47 2005 +)

  • Vogt, Paul W. Dictionary of Statistics & Methodology: A Nontechnical Guide for the Social Sciences. 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA.: Sage Publications, 2005.
    (Mann Ref   HA17 .V64 2005)

Specific Methods


  • Alreck, Pamela L. and Robert B. Settle. The Survey Research Handbook. 2nd ed. Chicago: Irwin, 1995.
    (Olin   HN29 .A45 1995), also ILR, Hotel

  • Arksey, Hilary and Peter Knight. Interviewing for Social Scientists: An Introductory Resource with Examples. London; Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1999.
    (Mann   HM526 .A75x 1999)

  • Bailey, Carol A. A Guide to Field Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press, 1996.
    (Olin   H62 .B27x 1996)

  • Barbour, Rosaline S. and Jenny Kitzinger, eds. Developing Focus Group Research: Politics, Theory, and Practice. London; Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 1999.
    (Olin   H61.28 .D48x 1999)

  • Bickman, Leonard and Debra J. Rog, eds. Handbook of Applied Social Research Methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1998.
    (Olin   H62 .H24534x 1998 +), also ILR

  • Black, Thomas R. Doing Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences: An Integrated Approach to Research Design, Measurement and Statistics. London; Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1999.
    (Olin   H62 .B55x 1999)

  • Coffee, Amanda. Making Sense of Qualitative Data: Complementary Research Strategies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1996.
    (Olin   HM48 .C6x 1996), also Hotel

  • Denzin, Norman K. and Yvonna S. Lincoln, eds. The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research. 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2005.
    (Olin   H62 .H2455 2005 +), see Table of Contents online.

  • Fowler, Floyd J, Jr. Improving Survey Questions: Design and Evaluation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1995.
    (Olin   HN29 .F67x 1995)

  • Hardy, Melissa and Alan Bryman, eds. Handbook of Data Analysis. London; Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2004.
    (Olin   H62 .H224 2004 +)

  • Hedrick, Terry E., Leonard Bickman and Debra J. Rog. Applied Research Design: A Practical Guide. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1993.
    (Olin   H62 .H3713x 1993)

  • Hesse-Biber, Sharlene, Christina Gilmartin and Robin Lydenberg, eds. Feminist Approaches to Theory and Methodology: An Interdisciplinary Reader. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
    (Olin   HQ1180 .F43 1999)

  • Kvale, Steiner and Svend Brinkmann. InterViews: Learning the Craft of Qualitative Research Interviewing. 2nd ed. Los angeles, CA: Sage publications, 2009.
    (Olin   HM48 .K9 2009)

  • Lofland, John and Lyn H. Lofland. Analyzing Social Settings: A Guide to Qualitative Observation and Analysis. 4th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thompson Learning, 2006.
    (Mann   HM571 .L82 2006)

  • Miles, Matthew B. and A. Michael Huberman. Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1994.
    (Olin   H62 .M63 1994 +), also ILR, Management, Hotel

  • Peterson, Robert A. Constructing Effective Questionnaires. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage publications, 2000.
    (Olin   HN29 .P45x 2000 +)

  • Rea, Louis M. and Richard A. Parker. Designing and Conducting Survey Research: A Comprehensive Guide. 3rd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2005.
    (Mann   HA31.2 .R43 2005), see Table of Contents online.

  • Reinhartz, Shulamit. Feminist Methods in Social Research . New York: Oxford University Press, 1992. Also available in print,
    (Olin   HQ1180 .R448x 1992), also Uris

  • Renzetti, Claire M. and Raymond M. Lee, eds. Researching Sensitive Topics. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1993.
    (Olin   H62 .R43x 1993)

  • Roulston, Kathryn. Reflective Interviewing: A Guide to Theory and Practice. Los angeles, CA: SAGE, 2010.
    (Olin   HM526 .R68 2010)

  • Schonlau, Matthias, Ronald D. Fricker, Jr. and Marc N. Elliott. Conducting Research Surveys via E-Mail and the Web. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2002. Also in print,
    (Olin   HA29 .S366x 2001), also Mann

  • Schwandt, Thomas A. Dictionary of Qualitative Inquiry. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA.: Sage Publications, 2001.
    (Olin   H61 .S4435x 2001)

  • Seidman, Irving. Interviewing as Qualitative Research: A Guide for Researchers in Education and the Social Sciences. 2nd ed. New York: Teachers College Press, 1998.
    (Mann   H61.28 .S45x 1998)

  • Weisberg, Herbert F., Jon A. Krosnick and Bruce D. Bowen. Introduction to Survey Research, Polling, and Data Analysis. 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1996.
    (Olin   HN29 .W3994x 1996)

  • Wright, Daniel B. Understanding Statistics: an Introduction for the Social Sciences. London; Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1997.
    (Uris   HA29 .W75 1997), also Hotel

  • Yin, Robert K. Case Study Research: Design and Methods. 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2003.
    (Olin   H62 .Y56x 2003)

Return to Top

Finding Articles

Periodical articles are an excellent source for detailed analysis or up-to-date information on a topic. These articles are from materials that are published "periodically" or in daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annual or even irregular intervals. They are found in newspapers, magazines, journals, yearbooks, and other sources.

Periodicals are available in several formats: bound paper volumes (like books), microfiche or microfilm, and increasingly as electronic text.

Indexes and Abstracts


Periodical Indexes and Abstracts are Reference resources that identify and locate articles in periodical publications. They are often subject-oriented and list author, title, name of periodical, volume, pages and date of publication in entries called bibliographic citations. For information about bibliographic format and how to cite resources that you use in your research, go to Citing Sources.

Abstracts are specialized indexes that also include summaries of the content of the articles with their citations.

Periodical Indexes and Abstracts also come in several formats: traditional and historical bound paper volumes, stand alone CD-ROM computer workstations, and more recently as networked databases available via the Cornell University Library, or through links in the Library Catalog. For more information about finding electronic reference sources through the Cornell University Library, go to Search Tips for Databases.

Periodical Article Indexes


Google Scholar

Although uneven in coverage and far from comprehensive, this search engine provides a simple, convenient way to broadly search for scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations. Results are displayed by Google's relevancy algorithm, based partially on how often the piece has been cited in other scholarly literature. Cornell Library facilitates links to the full text of licensed or subscription materials whenever possible, but you must connect to Google Scholar via the Library Gateway or the Library Catalog to take advantage of this feature. If the full text of the item you need is not available via GS, be sure to search the Catalog or other Library resources.


ProQuest Research Library

Research Library, formerly known as Periodical Abstracts, is an interdisciplinary database available through the ProQuest online system. It indexes and abstracts over 1,600 general interest magazines, news sources and selected scholarly journals in the social sciences, humanities and sciences. Provides inks to the full text of many articles. Also includes citations and abstracts for selected television and radio programs.



Contains citations and full text articles from over 300 journals dating back to 1895, over 500 books and monographs, and over 6,000 conference papers. Also provides additional citations and abstracts from more than 600 fully indexed and over 1,000 selectively indexed journals. Covers all subdisciplines of sociology, including anthropology, criminology, cultural sociology, demography, economic development, ethnic & racial studies, gender studies, marriage & family, politics, religion, rural sociology, social psychology, social structure, sociological theory, sociology of education, substance abuse, urban studies, welfare, and others.


Sociological Abstracts

Provides citations to articles from over 1,800 journals, serials, conference papers, books and dissertations from 1963 onward. Abstracts of the articles have been included since 1974. Covers sociology and related disciplines including community development, culture, social structure, demography, human biology, environmental interactions, family and social welfare, health and medicine, law, religion, social psychology and women's studies. It is international in scope and also contains all of the citations from the Social Planning/Policy & Development Abstracts. In addition to keyword searching, retrieval is enhanced by subject searching based upon the Thesaurus of Sociological Indexing Terms. Links to the full text of many articles are provided.


Social Sciences Citation Index

A multidisciplinary database indexing the literature of all fields, including the social sciences. Covers over 1,700 scholarly journals spanning 50 disciplines, as well as listing individually selected, relevant items from over 3,300 of the world's leading scientific and technical journals. Subject searching is based only upon key terms from citations and article abstracts; there is no thesaurus or consistently applied subject terms. A unique feature of the Web of Science is that it allows you to track footnotes and find related material based on where a particular reference has been cited, e.g. you can find where your professor's works have been cited and whose work your professor has cited.


NOTE: Numerous other periodical index databases are available on related subjects such as economics, development, rural sociology, population, women's studies, psychology and ethnic studies. Online indexes are also available for geographic areas such as Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

Return to Top

Finding Online Journals


This site allows you to search for the 20,000+ electronic journals licensed by the Cornell University Library. Records for all of the journal titles, available online as well as in print, are listed in the Cornell Library catalog.



A searchable database containing full text back issues of several hundred scholarly journals in the humanities, social sciences, sciences, business and other fields. Contains over 50 titles pertaining to sociology through various date ranges.
NOTE: The most recent 5 years of journals are not available through JSTOR.

Return to Top

Finding Data and Statistics



LexisNexis Statistical Universe

Provides extensive access to U.S. statistical information. Includes an index to over 100,000 U.S. government, state, local, privately-produced and international statistical publications from 1973 to present, abstracts and tables, and background information. Provides three modes of searching. 'Find a Table' enables you to search the row-column headings & titles of published tables. 'Find a Publication' allows you to search descriptive summaries of statistical publications -- many of which are held in the Cornell Library collections. Also provides a 'List of Links' to web sites with useful information about social science statistics.

Governmental Sites


Among many other sites providing access to statistical information about the U.S. are the governmental sites:


Provides access to statistics and information produced by more than 70 U.S. government agencies. Searchable through an A-Z subject index, keyword searching of agency web sites linked to FedStats, "fast facts" linkage to frequently requested tables from the Statistical Abstract, as well as direct links to agency contacts, news releases, and other navigational and organizational aids.


American FactFinder

The most accessible point of access to the U.S. Census Bureau web site. Provides data in the form of maps, tables, and reports from a variety of Census sources. Statistics and maps on the most popular topics for an area can easily be viewed by clicking on the following buttons from the main page: Fact Sheet for quick access to basic demographic, social and economic data on a city, town, county or state or ZIP Code. People to find more tables on a variety of topics (age, education, income, race and more). Housing and economic data are also available. Provides links to the 2000 decennial Census and to the 'American Community Survey,' an ongoing sample survey that provides data about communities every year. Links to 'get data' under each heading enable you to select geographical levels and socio-economic variables to create your own tables.


Statistical Abstract

Also in paper,

Statistical Abstract of the United States. Washington: Bureau of the Census, 1878-.
(Uris Ref   HA202 .A25, Mann Ref   HA202 .A38, Olin & ILR Ref   HA202)

A convenient, one volume statistical compendium. The standard annual summary of data on the social, political and economic organization of the United States. Footnotes at the bottom of tables and bibliographic lists provide a guide to original, often more detailed, statistical publications and sources.


Bureau of Labor Statistics

The principal fact-finding agency for the Federal Government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics. An independent national statistical agency that collects, analyzes, and disseminates statistical data, relevant to current social and economic issues, to the The U.S. Department of Labor, the American public, the U.S. Congress, other Federal agencies, state and local governments, and businesses. Statistical reports and detailed tables on economic indicators such as employment and unemployment, prices and living conditions, productivity, and compensation are provided.

Data Archives


CISER Data Archive

The Data Archive of the Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research (CISER) maintains a collection of machine-readable social and economic data sets, consisting of over 19,000 online files and thousands of studies on CD-ROMs and diskettes. It is also a centralized facility for information services on numeric data files, their acquisition, storage, maintenance, and processing.



This web page provides search and browsing access to abstracts and data sets in the world's largest archive of computerized social science data at the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). ICPSR Direct allows Cornellians to download data directly from links in the ICPSR catalog of holdings after they provide name, Cornell affiliation, department, and e-mail address. After registering, you may obtain data by entering your e-mail address and using a Cornell IP address. Access to off-campus Cornell users is provided by the Cornell University Find Databases function. The CISER Data Archive can assist students in downloading the complete files.

US Cross-sectional and time series


2000 Census

The U.S. Census Bureau provides this gateway to data from the decennial census. The site provides a range of access from packaged and searchable tables to downloadable data and GIS files.



The American Religion Data Archive (ARDA) collection includes quantitative data on churches and church membership, religious professionals, and religious groups (individuals, congregations and denominations). The web site facilitates comparisons across data files by allowing users to search data files on topics of interest, download and compare the results. Also provided are links to related sites as well as maps and reports on religious congregations and membership.



The Current Population Survey (CPS) is a monthly survey of about 50,000 households conducted by the Bureau of the Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The CPS is the primary source of information on the labor force characteristics of the U.S. population as well as on a variety of topics including school enrollment, income, health, voting, and fertility. This government site provides search software for documents or the data.



Sponsored by the U.S. Census Bureau, DataWeb provides access across the Internet to demographic, economic, environmental, health and other databases housed in different systems in different agencies and organizations. The statistics, census data and survey data are in a collection of systems and software that provide data query and extract capabilities, as well as data analysis and visualization tools, i.e., the DataFerrett.



The General Social Surveys (GSS) are designed as part of a program of social indicator research, replicating questionnaire items and wording in order to facilitate time-trend studies. This collection is a cumulative dataset that merges all data collected as part of the General Social Surveys from 1972 to the present. GSS files are available from the CISER Data Archive or ICPSR. The NORC-GSS cumulative data file 1972-2002 on CD-ROM is available in the Olin Library Electronic Text Center.



The Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) consists of thirty-seven high-precision samples of the American population drawn from fifteen federal censuses and from the American Community Surveys of 2000-2003. It assigns uniform codes across all the samples and brings relevant documentation into a coherent form to facilitate analysis of social and economic change.

US Longitudinal


For the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS) a representative sample of eighth-graders were first surveyed in the spring of 1988. A sample of these respondents were then resurveyed through four follow-ups in 1990, 1992, 1994, and 2000, on a range of topics including: school, work, and home experiences; educational resources and support; the role in education of their parents and peers; neighborhood characteristics; educational and occupational aspirations; and other student perceptions. Files are available from the National Center for Education Statistics.



The Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) is an ongoing data collection effort begun in 1968 in an attempt to fill the need for a better understanding of the determinants of family income and its changes. The questions asked fall generally under the headings of economic status, economic behavior, demographics, and attitudes. Specifically, they deal with topics such as employment, income sources and amounts, housing, car ownership, food expenditures, transportation, do-it-yourself home maintenance and car repairs, education, disability, time use, family background, family composition changes, and residential location. Files are available from the CISER Data Archive or the ICPSR data archive.

Return to Top

Evaluating Sources

Evaluating the sources you find is a crucial step in the process of library research. The questions you ask about books, periodical articles, or multimedia sources are similar whether you're looking at a citation to the item or have the item in hand.

Critically Analyzing Information Sources lists some of the critical questions you should ask when you consider the appropriateness of a particular book, article, media resource, or Web site for your research.

Distinguishing Scholarly Journals from Other Periodicals shows how to evaluate periodicals by looking at their format, intended audience, and appearance.

Five Criteria for Evaluating Web Sites offers a table of suggestions.

For additional suggestions specific to Web sites, see Evaluating Web Sites: Criteria and Tools.

How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography.

Return to Top

Citing Sources



ASA Citation Style
(American Sociological Association)

Style Guide/American sociological Association (3rd ed.)

Olin Library
HM569 .A54 2007
(located at the Reference Desks)

ASA Reference Examples
(Excerpted from the American Sociological Association Style Guide (1997))

Guidelines to ASA Citations
(Created by California State University,
Los Angeles)

Preparation Checklist for ASA Manuscripts
(from ASA's web site)
(ASA's web site)

Chicago Citation Style

Chicago Manual of Style Online
(15th ed.)

Chicago Manual of Style Quick Guide
(Chicago's Home Page)


Citation Management


RefWorks is a web-based program that allows you to easily collect, manage, and organize bibliographic references by interfacing with databases. RefWorks also interfaces directly with Word, making it easy to import references and incorporate them into your writing, properly formatted according to the style of your choice. RefWorks workshops are offered at Uris Library, Mann Library.

EndNote allows you to build your own database of bibliographic references from a variety of resources, including library catalogs and periodical indexes. EndNote interfaces with several standard word processing programs and provides direct connections to resources, making it easy to import references and incorporate them in your writing. EndNote (or RefWorks) is highly recommended for researchers. EndNote workshops are regularly held on campus at Uris Library and Mann Library.

Cornell University Code of Academic Integrity

Return Top

Research and Reference Help

Image   (Online chat/I.M. provided by Cornell staff 10am - 5pm Mon - Fri)

Olin Reference e-mail address:

Reference Desk Schedules in Olin Library

Olin Library Reference phone number: 255-4144

OKU Research Consultations

OKU Workshop Schedule

Writing Walk-in Service (Knight Institute) -- available in Olin Library

Return to Top

Based on guide by Deb Schmidle


In consultation with Professor Morgan
Rev. Nancy Skipper, Sociology Liaison, nss3 [at], 255-5176
106 Olin Library, Cornell University Library