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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Database of the Week - SOCIndex w/Full-Text

SocINDEX with Full Text

SocINDEX with Full Text is a comprehensive sociology research database with an extensive scope. Coverage includes all sub-disciplines and closely related areas of study to sociology. Topics include abortion, criminology & criminal justice, demography, ethnic & racial studies, gender studies, marriage & family, political sociology, religion, rural & urban sociology, social development, social psychology, social structure, social work, socio-cultural anthropology, sociological history, sociological research, sociological theory, substance abuse and other addictions, violence and many others.

There are more than 1,910,000 records with subject headings based on a sociological thesaurus. Informative abstracts are available from more than 815 "core" coverage journals dating as far back as 1895. Of those 815, there is complete full text for 397 "core" coverage journals dating back to 1908. In addition, abstracts are also included from more than 630 "priority" coverage journals, and of these there is complete full text for 150 "priority" coverage journals. There are abstracts for more than 2,840 "selective" coverage journals. There is also extensive indexing of books/monographs, conference papers, and other non-periodical content sources, and full text content for more than 720 books and monographs, and full text for 6,743 conference papers.

Under the “Advanced Search” are links to several useful features. One of them is the more than 10,000 “Author Profiles” that are available. These profiles reflect the most prolific, most cited, and most frequently searched for authors in the database. Each author profile includes the full name, credentials, contact information, website link, journals in which the author has written, subject headings, keywords, geographic terms and related persons. At a glance, users can quickly ascertain an author's areas of expertise and academic or professional focus. Author profiles are updated on a routine basis as new information about each author becomes available, and new authors’ profiles continue to be added on an ongoing basis.

Another feature is the “Subject Terms,” which allow a user to search a Thesaurus of standard terminology used within the database. Each article is assigned a subject heading, or several, based on its content. “Broader Terms,” “Narrower Terms,” and “Related Terms” are provided by clicking on the main term selected. Scope notes are provided, which define the term, and there are also “Used For” references, which indicate past subject terms that are no longer used. Terms can also be searched using the abbreviation DE and the subject heading in quotation marks. (i.e. DE “Abandoned Children”). This feature really helps users in being able to see the terminology surrounding a subject.

I especially like this database for the full text content it has in the areas of sociology, criminal justice, social work and psychology. The only shortcoming appears to be the updating of the web sites in the author profiles. Faculty move and university websites move, so the links are sometimes not as current as one would like, but overall, I find this database very useful, especially in the interdisciplinary subject areas.

Jan Whitfield, Head of Public Services and Reference


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