Skip to main content
Banner Image

Sociology Methods: Finding Information: Getting Started

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

Class 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:

An Introduction to Sociological Research 

Sociology Graduate Students Research Guide

Sociology Journals: Current Contents

Sociology Research Guide: Criminology & Miscarriage of Justice

TIP: Sociology is closely related to a number of other fields so check out the library research guides in psychology, education, political science, African-American Studies, LGBTQ and Women's Studies. You'll find them listed by subject on the library guides home page.

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.

Subject Librarian

Nidia BaƱuelos
540 Asbury Circle
Atlanta, GA 30322
© Emory University Libraries - 540 Asbury Circle, Atlanta, Georgia 30322