Doing Research in Sociology in the Princeton University Library
How to Use This Guide 

    In order to begin, it is necessary to identify a topic for a literature review, data analysis, or other research in sociology.  Since Sociology looks at the everyday and commonplace world, bu does so from the discipline of understanding the behavior and treatment of people identified as belonging to various groups, there is a diacotomy of real world observation and measures, coimbined with the discipline of sociological theory and methods.

    One way to identify  sociological topics is to browse the Annual Review of Sociology, either electronically as found in the Main Catalog on the Library Web Page, or in paper in the Social Science Reference Center at HM1 .A857, Vol. 1 (1975)-v. 27 (2001). 

    Another way is to browse the contents of the current issues of journals in sociology. To identify titles, use the Main Catalog, choose Guided search, set Limits to Serial, and also limit by Language such as English and whatever other languages can be read, then enter Sociology into the search box, and choose Subject as the field where this should be found. Browse the contents of those with electronic access.  You can also print out a list of titles of particular interest, and go into the PeriodicalsReading Room on A Floor in Firestone to examine paper copies. 

    It is especially important to use scholarly indexes and other sources in doing research in sociology, and the sources are listed below in the order that we recommend you use them.  Since sociology examines the world around us, many of the observations and concerns of sociology can be found on the open Internet and in general interest and popular publications.  Those can be helpful, but the discipline of sociology draws strength and credibility from the scholarly publications in the field. 

    Databases are available through the Library Home Page on any computer on the Princeton University campus network or remotely, from anywhere in the world with access to the Internet, via VPN or the Library Proxy Server.  (For help with VPN or the Proxy Server, go to the Library Home Page and choose Connect from Off Campus, the top item in the second left listing.)   Paper items are found in varioius locations, usually in Firestone,. Check the Main Catalog. Coverage dates given here refer to the date of publication of the article or book, not the time period being studied 

    Warning:  It is often necessary to navigate, that is, click from page to page, perhaps five or more .  Be sure to use the Find It At PUL button, also called the SXF button, for the technology which does the looking-up in this process. Most journals are now in electorinc format, but some still must be found in paper. Most books are still in paper only. The actual journal or book in paper format must be found by walkng to the shelves in Firestone or in a departmental library.  Before you leave the record, click on the WHERE TO FIND IT link just under the call number. For Frirestone materials, this will draw a map of the floor where the title is located, and then trace a path from the central elevators to where it is located. You can also use the Call Number Listings and Library Maps posted on each floor to find Firestone materials. For material in locations outside of Firestone, ask the staff for help in departmental libraries such as the Art Library or the Lewis Science Library.. For materials Princeton doesn't own, use the Borrow Direct or Interlibrary Loan services.


      Last updated 14 March 2012 in the Princeton University Library.