Welcome to the Social Work Research Guide 

The Loyola University Libraries own, subscribe to and curate a large number of research materials. When starting research, the amount of information can be overwhelming. Libraries’ subject specialists have created Research Guides to bring together those most commonly needed in the subject areas. Due to changes in assignments, up-dated or new resources and shifting discipline emphasis, some items may change.

 If you have questions while using this tutorial, Ask-A-Librarian (https://illiad.luc.edu/illiad/IAL/logon.html)

Getting to the Guide

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You should have the University Libraries website, under the catalog basic search box are 3 white boxes.

These may be in different configurations, depending on you screen configurations.  Click on right arrow to find the subject area you need.

Getting to the Guide

2 of 2Depending on your topic, you may need materials from several disciplines.

For example, when researching Pastoral Counseling, you may need indexes and articles from:

  • pastoral studies
  • religion
  • social work
  • psychology

Each area may have a different perspective on the same topic.  For this tutorial, click on the Social Work area.

Then select the guide that is just Social Work.


Moving around in the Research Guides

1 of 2While you are in a Guide, you can click on the various tabs in the menu bar to open different pages. 


Moving around in the Research Guides

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If a tab has only one page under it, you can use the tabs to move from one page to another.  If the tab has more than one page, you will need to use the "breadcrumbs"at the top to get back to the main guide.  Like below:

Reference Sources

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This is the main page of the Social Work Research Guide.  On the left side of the page, you can see the School of Social Work (SOWK) information, with a list of the School's publications and links to them. 

Below the SOWK information are quick links to Libraries' Quick Links.

Reference Sources

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On the far right of the page, is information for your Subject Specialist, Annette Alvarado. 

Please contact her with any questions about the Libraries, about your research, purchase suggestions, and make an appointment (bit.ly/LUClibrarian) to go over your research. 

She is the easiest to reach by email. 
In the middle column, is a list of the most used resources for Social Work.

Check some of these out!

Social Work Home Page

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These are resources that you can use for beginning research and getting quick answers.

The page includes links to:

  • dictionaries
  • manuals
  • handbooks
  • quick reference tools
  • and others

Social Work Home Page

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Some of the tools here include disorder classification guides, like the DSM manuals and the International Classification of Diseases.
You will also see dictionaries and encyclopedias, like the Encyclopedia of Social Work (from the National Association of Social Work, it has LUC Social Work faculty among its contributors).

Social Work Home Page

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Also here are resources for overviews of topics like Opposing Viewpoint and CQ Researcher.
If you are interested in clinical social work, check out the Social Work Reference Center.


1 of 3The Libraries subscribe to over 250 different databases of information, so these are only some of the ones you might be interested in.

In the upper left corner are the indexes to journal articles that you are most likely to use in common social work topics.



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For some topics, you may want to use databases beyond just social work, thinking creatively about your topic and other subject areas which might provide other perspectives.

For example:

  • education databases have many articles on child development, gangs, and PTSD
  • business databases have articles on non-profit organization management and fundraising.


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Also, note there is a list of databases that “evidence-based “ articles, this is a common project in some Social Work classes.

Lastly, look at the databases for identifying dissertations, these works usually have extensive bibliographies which you can check for more resources.

Statistical Sources

The Statistics section contains 4 pages.

Resources covering larger geographic areas may also contain breakdowns of statistics in the smaller areas within them. For example, US resources will most also divide up by state.

  • Information about Statistics and Datasets
  • International Statistics
  • US National Statistics
  • Local Statistics (Illinois, Chicago, and Wisconsin).

Online Video

The LUC Libraries has media in several formats. Any films in DVD format are listed in the Libraries’ catalog with their locations. Other films are available for streaming online. 
Many online videos, but not all, are listed in the LUC libraries catalog. Other streaming videos can be found by searching these databases, especially:
  • Alexander Street Press
  • Kanopy
  • PsycTherapy


Surveys, Tests and Measures

Some of your assignments will require the use of instruments. There are many resources here for identifying different surveys, tests, and measures for your research.  Some of the tools that can assist you will get the actual surveys, questionnaires, checklists, scales, and others.

Grey Literature

The term grey literature refers to research that is either unpublished or has been published in non-commercial form.

Examples of grey literature include government reports. policy statements and issues papers. Conference proceedings. pre-prints and post-prints of articles. theses and dissertations. research reports.

These materials are rarely peer reviewed so you will need to evaluate their credibility using the criteria at http://libguides.luc.edu/c.php?g=324390&p=2323619.

Chicago Communities

One of your assignments will be to look for information on a Chicago Community.  Sources here will assist you in picking an area and finding information on different aspects of that community.  Depending on your instructor, you will need different information. Many Chicagoland suggestions are given.

Public Policy

One of your assignments will be to take a social problem, public policy, or public law and find information about it. Depending on your instructor, you will need specific types of resources.

Note that Congressional hearings at the time-related Acts or Laws were passed can give information about the problem they are to solve and where their reports are filed.

Grant Resources

For some of your assignments, you will have to look for funding information as well as non-profit filings.  These are some resources that may be helpful.  Also, there is information on grant writing.


APA Style and Citations

 The Publication Manual of the American Psychiatric Association is the standard for writing in the School of Social Work.  While it is necessary for assignments, it is also needed to determine what types of resources you are asked to find.

Check out Hoonuit for videos on using APA Style in Word.


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Zotero is a free citation management software program. You can use this to store, manage and organize your own database of citations.


Please enter your name and email address to retrieve a copy of your completed quiz.

You can enter multiple email addresses separated by commas. If you are doing this for a class, you may need to enter your instructor's email address also.


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