Social Work

Library Research and Searching Techniques

Key Scholarship Resources

For articles on various aspects of social work practices, check out these databases:

For research on social issues

For research on psychological issues and mental health

For research on Traumatic Stress

For research into all aspects of education

To search across all the scholarly literature

These journal collections provide a different sort of search capability: You can search the full text of the articles.

Many of the databases listed in the previous tabs will lead you to the full-text of the articles. You will see a link that says Full Text or PDF. Some, though, will only provide bibliographic information and an abstract. There are different steps to take depending on what you see.

Find It @ UTSA button the find it at UTSA button

  1. Click on the Find It @ UTSA button next to the citation in the database. This will take you to our interlibrary loan service ILLiad. ILLiad will search our online holdings and, if we have access to the article online, will provide you with a link.
  2. If Find It @ UTSA does not give you a direct link to the article, copy and paste the title of the journal into Summon and change the search to journal article. If we have online access to the journal, you will see a link in the Summon record.
  3. If we do not have online access to the article, you can request that we get you a copy via ILLiad. From the library's home page, click on the Get It For Me link, sign in, and click on Article/Conference Paper under New Request. The article will be scanned and sent to your online UTSA Libraries account (see below).

Get It For Me button Get It for Me button

  1. Click on the Get It For Me button next to the citation in the database. One of two actions will occur. If a screen asking you for your email address appears, enter your email address, read and agree to the Terms and Conditions, and select Accept. This is a copyright clearance procedure and allows the article to be delivered, via email, in 8 hours or less. 
  2. If the email screen does not appear, you will be taken to a screen that says YOU SEARCHED FOR followed by bibliographic information regarding your article.
  3. Under NEED HELP?, click Get it For Me. You will be directed to a screen that requests your abc123 and passphrase. Login. 
  4. You will see a prepopulated request form. Unless you need to add any extra information or comments, scroll down and click submit. The article will be scanned and automatically sent to your online UTSA Libraries account.

Research tips

Research papers are those you will write for classes that review and discuss existing scholarship, scholarly literature, and academic articles.  

What makes up an academic article?

They are formal research reports written by researchers. Academic articles follow an established format that consists of:

  • Addressing a problem
  • Writing a problem statement
  • A review of the relevant existing research
  • A statement of methodology, including the characteristics of the population to be studied. It also includes the method of data collection and analysis of the data.
  • The results
  • Discussion of the results
  • Addressing the Limitation of the Study
  • (optional) Including Future Work

References support all scholarly work and published research.

These articles are published in research publications only after blind peer-review. A blind peer-review means that other researchers in the same field assess the article submitted for review.

  • The reviewers do not know who wrote the article, and the author(s) of the article do not know who reviewed it, thus a "blind" review.
  • The reviewers evaluate the article for the quality of the research and its value as a contribution to the field, 
  • They can recommend publication, suggest it not be published, or suggest revisions.

Finding academic articles

  • The best way of finding relevant articles for your papers is by searching relevant databases or Google Scholar.
  • You must identify the keywords for your search.  As you do your searching, you might find better or more accurate keywords in article titles or abstracts.  Thus modifying your search is part of the process.
  • When you find relevant articles, read the reference list or bibliography.  Since the authors are required to review the relevant research, they have already gathered previous articles on the same and related subjects.
  • You can access the full-text of the article by clicking on the link that says Full Text or PDF.  You can then print the article, email it to yourself, or save it to your computer or flash drive. 
  • You can download or email the citation to yourself.  Be sure to edit the citation to fit APA style for your reference list.
  • If you are using bibliographic management software, you can export the citation directly to that program.

Bibliographic Software