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SocINDEX Database: How to use it

Indexes the major literature in the field of sociology.

Advanced Search

Limit your search by language, date, publication type, and other ways by making your choice(s) on the lower portion of the Advanced Search screen (which is the default search screen). 

Some of these same options are available from the Basic search screen, too.  Some of the most frequently used options are highlighted with the arrows in the screen shot below.

Apply Related Words—expands your search by including synonyms and plurals of your term

Links Within the Record

In items in the Result List and In the record of an item (after you have clicked on a title in the Result List), you may also click on anything that is in blue to link to other materials by that author or from that source or with that subject heading.  Words or phrases in blue type are links.

SocINDEX Subject Terms (Thesaurus)

Thesaurus. The Thesaurus indicates the official vocabulary assigned to classify the items in the database.  You can use the Thesaurus to determine what word or phrase is the official subject term or phrase used in the database.  For example, if you type the word transitions in the Thesaurus, you see that transitions is not used as a subject term.  Instead change is the term used. 

This doesn't mean that if you typed in the word transitions that you wouldn't get lots of results; instead it means that if you choose change from the Thesaurus or type change in a search box and change the field to Subject, you'll get a much more focused result of those materials where the major subject is change, not just that the word transitions was used somewhere in the article or book or report. 

The Thesaurus searches for terms ONLY in the Subject Terms field of the record.

Click on Subject Terms along the top of the screen. Type the term or phrase you are looking for in the box under Browsing: Sociology Thesaurus, then click on Browse. Your term or phrase will show up in the alphabetical list if it is used as an official subject in the database.

In this case, you will need to click on the term change to get to that term.  Once you find a term or phrase you want to search, check the box to the left of the term, then click on Search if you want to search just that term, or click on “Add” if you want to add that term to your other search terms. (See below.)


Checking to see if a word or phrase is listed in the Thesaurus, and how it's listed in the Thesaurus, can often be a means of focusing your search better.  

Field Searches, Subjects, Source Types

Field Searches --You may designate if you want to search anywhere in the record (Select a Field (optional)), only the title, only the author, only the subject, etc., by changing the default fields. 

Subject Terms--Once you have executed a search, SocINDEX suggests subject terms along the left-hand side of the results (under Subject: Thesaurus Terms or Subject (which includes the author-supplied subject terms)) which you can AND with your original search to focus your search or substitute for your original search term(s).  If you want to AND a term with your original search, just check the box next to the term you want to AND into your search and then click on Update.

You can also limit your results to the Source Type (journal articles, book articles, dissertations, etc.) by clicking on a specific type in the left-hand side bar.

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