Social Welfare Research Toolkit

Literature Review

In a  literature review you explore research that has come before you and is relevant to your topic. It can help you identify:

  • core research in the field
  • experts in the subject area
  • methodology you may want to use (or avoid)
  • gaps in the literature -- or where your research would fit in

Helpful approaches:

Find Books

UCB: Use OskiCat to find books related to your topic at UC Berkeley. Oskicat will show you where it's located, and will also show you the Library of Congress Subject Heading -- which can help you find material other relevant books.

UC: Not enough books  at Berkeley? Use Melvyl to find more books at other campuses in the UC system.  Clickon the REQUEST button (in the detailed view of a catalog record) to request the item through  Interlibrary Loan.

World: Still want more? You can search thousands of libraries through WorldCat on FirstSearch and then request the material through UC e-links or directly via Interlibrary Loan

Google Books: Library catalogs don't search inside of books. Google Books can help you identify the book you need, then click on "Find in a Library" to see if we have it.


Springer Electronic Book Package E-books in many fields including Social WorkSocial Policy and Psychology.

APA e-book collection Current e-books published by the American Psychological Association from 2009 to date.

ebrary Berkeley's largest e-book collection, with thousands of  titles on a wide range of subjects, including social work, education and psychology. Some advanced ebrary features require downloading reader software.

Wiley Online Library Ebook Collection Fulltext books in social welfare and psychology from 2011.

Oxford Scholarship Online: Psychology

MIT CogNet E-books in cognitive and brain sciences published by MIT.


Find Articles

We have hundreds of research databases which help you find articles (and more) on a wide variety of topics. They are organized according to academic discipline, by name, or by type of database (dissertations, e-books, etc.)

Core resources for Social Welfare:

  • Social Services Abstracts
    Indexes journals in social work, human services, and social policy.
  • PsycINFO
    Core database in psychology, also includes social work.
  • Social Work Abstracts
    Indexes hundreds of journals related to social work on a wide range of topics.
  • Sociological Abstracts
    Core database in sociology, many overlaps with social welfare.
  • PubMed
    Access to citations from MEDLINE and other journals in the field of medicine -- includes psychiatry, geriatrics, public health,etc.
  • ERIC
    Interested in Social Work in the schools, or the overlap with Education? ERIC is a key source for education research and practice.
  • Academic Search Complete
    Social Work research is often interdisciplinary, and this can be a good place to search. Includes many fulltext articles.
  • Family and Society Studies Worldwide
    International social science research about the family and society.
    Indexes all literature on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental-health sequelae of traumatic events. From the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

UC eLinks and Citation Linker

Sometimes the database you search doesn't link to the fulltext -- it only gives the citation. Click the UC e-links button to see if Berkeley has it online, and if not, it will check for a print version.  And if we don't have it at all, it lets you request it through Interlibrary Loan.

What if there isn't a UC e-links button??? Sometimes you find an article in a bibliography, a book or a footnote -- and you want to see if we have it. The Citation Linker searches through our online databases to see if it's available fulltext. If not, it sets up a search for the paper journal in Melvyl. And if we don't have it at Berkeley, it lets you request it through Interlibrary Loan.

Research Library Cooperative Program (RLCP)

UC Berkeley graduate students, faculty and academic staff are eligible to borrow books from Stanford via the RLCP program. If a book you want isn't available in OskiCat, you can search Stanford's catalog -- and then request the book you need by filling out this form: In general, the RLCP requests will arrive more quickly than requesting through Interlibrary Loan.

Last Update: 07 Aug 10:22 | Tagged with: social welfare social work