Doing Research in Sociology in the Princeton University Library
Biography and Scholarship

    The life course has emerged over the past 30 years as a major research paradigm. Distinctive themes include the relation between human lives and a changing society, the timing of lives, linked or interdependent lives, and human agency... Also, the field has seen an expanding interest in how social change alters people's lives, an enduring perspective of sociological social psychology.
    "Time, Human Agency, and Social Change: Perspectives on the Life Course".  Glen H. Elder, Jr. Social Psychology Quarterly, Vol. 57, No. 1. (Mar., 1994), p. 1.  Online on JSTOR Viewed March 2012

    The lives of scholars in particular have a great multiplier effect.  Through their own work in research, writing, speaking, and teaching, they shape their disciplines and help others to participate in the scholarship of their worlds.  In order to gather information about a particular scholar, there are three categories of especially useful tools.  These describe the scholar in terms of the following elements.

    • Life:  Biographical, giving details about the person's life. 
    • Writing:  Bibliographical, showing lists of books, journal articles, and other materials which that person has written.
    • Effect:  Citations and holdings, showing who has used that person's work in further scholarly writing, and how many and which libraries hold the person's books.
    Please note that sources are hot-linked below for convenience.  However, they and many others can also be accessed through the home page of Princeton University Library.  Those which are subscription based are restriced to members of the Princeton University community, who can access these resources from off campus by using VPN or the Lbrary Proxy Server.  Details are available on the library home page under Connecting From Off Campus.

    Biography and Genealogy Master Index, subscription database
    Biography Reference Bank, subscription database
    Literature Resource Cneter, formerly Contemporary Authors - subscription database
    Marquis Who's Who, subscription database
    American Men and Women of Science: A Biographical Directory, licensed resource
    Home page of academic department where scholar teaches.
       For example, the departments of Sociology of Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, Berkeley, and so on.  Often will have a link to a highly detailed Curriculum Vitae or personal web page which the scholar has prepared.
    Home page of publishers for scholar's books, see listing on Publishers Catalog site  
      For example, Princeton University Press, University of California Press, and so on 

    Books, articles, and other writings of a scholar are often listed within the sources listed under "Life" above.  In addition, the following are key databases which can also be searched to identify a scholar's work.: 

    Main Catalog of Princeton University Library For books
    WorldCat, union catalog of many libraries.  For books. 
    Sociological Abstracts. Index to sociology journal articles and papers presented at conferences.
    Social Sciences Citation Index. Part of Web of Science Database. Broad index includes sociological articles and books within many other fields; search by author and follow examples on the search screen EXACTLY.

    Social Sciences Citaton Index  Search by CITED author.
    WorldCat.  Notice the number of libraries holding a particular book.
    Encyclopedia of Sociology, Macmillan - 2000, 2d Ed. [Electroic format.]  Also in paper format at: (SSA) HM425.E5 2000
    World of Sociology  (SSA) HM585.W67 2001

    Last updated 14 March 2012 in the Princeton University Library.