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Sociological Research

A quick guide to sociological research methods for collecting and evaluating information on your topic.

Resaerch Guide Objectives

This guide will:

  • Review what resources sociologists use for research
  • Discuss publishing patterns in sociology
  • Discuss the difference between a scholarly journal and popular magazine
  • Review popular sources for research, e.g. Google, Wikipedia
  • Review the most important specialized databases for sociology
  • Specialized literature: methodology & dissertations, etc.

Other Useful Emory LibGuides:

What resources do sociologists use?

Sociologists primarily use scholarly journals, books, data (quantitative & qualitative), and "grey literature" in their research. "Grey literature" is a term used to describe research reports that have not been published through traditional commercial or academic means (e.g. a report from a think tank, like the Pew Research Foundation Internet Project). Sociologists also use government documents and archives.

While scientists generally work and publish in teams and humanists often publish alone, it is common for sociologists to work alone or with several co-authors. Most sociological research is published in scholarly journal articles or books. Books remain an important form of publication in sociology.

Analysis of text and numerical data is an increasingly important part of sociological research.

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