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Research consultations

I am available to assist in your research throughout the academic year.  If you would like to arrange for an individual research consultation, please e-mail me with a requested date and time, and a brief description of your research interest.

New books

View  the list of new books purchased or on order for the program.


The purpose of this guide is to recommend print and electronic resources for conducting research in Sociology at the J.N. Desmarais Library. Click on the tabs above for suggestions about starting your research, getting books, articles and finding other useful tools for research in Sociology.

Sociology Librarian

DMaley's picture
Name: Desmond Maley
Position Title: Associate Librarian
Email Address:
Extension: 3323
Office Location: 30-246, J.-N. Desmarais Library

More Help

In the library: The Library User Assistance Desk to your immediate left as you enter the library is a good place to start.

By email: Email the librarian responsible for your faculty for a reply during regular working hours.

By telephone: 705-675-4803, or toll free at 1-800-661-1058, ext. 2

By chat: With our "Ask the Library" service. For more information, see About Ask a Librarian.

For Distance Education students: Telephone: 1-800-661-1058, ext. 2 or email:

Get started in Sociology

Quick tips for getting started with research

It is always a good strategy to:

  • understand the key terms you may be using as well as the general area that interests you;
  • think about ways to define your topic as precisely as possible (unless you have already been given a specific topic to research);
  • create a thesis statement or research question;
  • list  the main concepts (keywords) included in your thesis statement or research question;
  • find as many synonyms as you can for each main concept.  

You are now ready to start searching in the library's catalogue and e-resources.


Sociology - Reference resources



Cambridge dictionary of sociology. 2006. Print. Authoritative overview of classical and contemporary sociology, including themes such as  cultural change, genetics, globalization, and information technologies.

Critical dictionary of sociology. 1989. Online. Translation of the 2nd French edition. Valuable for its overview of sociological concepts.

Dictionary of sociology. 4th edition. 2014. Print.

Penguin dictionary of sociology. 2006. 5th edition. Print. A standard reference work.

Sage dictionary of sociology. 2006. Online. Over 1,000 entries on key concepts and theorists.




Encyclopedia of identity. 2010. Ed. R. Jackson. Online.

Encyclopedia of social theory. 2004. Online. Covers the key concepts, theorists, schools, texts, and traditions, including behavior, culture, Marxism, and feminism.

Encyclopedia of sociology. 2001. 2nd edition. Online. A standard reference work in the field.

International encyclopedia of revolution and protest. Online. Important for its coverage of revolutionary social movements, left-politics, and radical leaders.

International encyclopedia of the social sciences. 2008. Online. Landmark reference work that covers methodology, disciplines, intersecting fields, and applications.

The value of reference books

When you are looking for definitions or if you are not familiar with a subject, reference works such as dictionaries and encyclopedias become invaluable because they contain relatively short, authoritative articles. These articles lay out the parameters of a topic and can assist you in providing a specific focus. Often such articles are accompanied by lists of readings or bibliographies which allow you to explore the topic further. All of the resources listed link either to the library catalogue record for each book or to an online resource or website.


Get books

Get call numbers

Materials relevant to Sociology fall broadly under the H to HX areas of the Library of Congress classification schedule, especially HM through to HT. Sociology also connects to many other knowledge fields, so it is worth the time to round up several call numbers that take you to different areas fo the collection to see what may be there. 

H - HX Sociology

HA Statistics

HD Industry and labour

HM Sociology. History. Theory.  Culture. Groups and organizations. Social psychology (e.g., social perception, cognition, interpersonal relations)

HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform

HQ The family. Sexuality. Life cycle. Gerontology. Men. Women

HT Communities. Urban and rural sociology. Classes. Races

HV Social pathology (e.g., substance abuse). Social and public welfare. Criminology

Sociology connects to many other knowledge fields, so it is worth the time to round up several call numbers that take you to different areas of the collection to see what is there. 


Get books

Our library catalogue, called Evergreen, is the essential tool for getting books in the J.N. Desmarais Library as well as other library collections and resource centres on the Laurentian campus. You can also use Evergreen to search for journals (which will lead you to articles) and government publications.

You can search the catalogue by:
  • Keyword
  • Title
  • Journal title
  • Author/Editor
  • Subject
  • Series

If you know the book you are searching for, enter the relevant info under Title or Author, then write down the call number of the book to get it in the stacks.  When you are searching for books on a topic, start with Keyword unless you know the exact Subject heading that describes your topic.  Once you have the subject heading, use it to identify what other books may be available. Use keyword to search under call number.  More discussion of searching in Desire2Learn, our research skills tutorial.


With nearly 200 million records representing titles held by nearly 75,000 libraries you will find almost any book ever published in the English language in WorldCat.
Search Tips:  Once you log-in, click on the Help Button: Help button
After your search, when you see a title that interests you, click on it and within the record you will see an image for "Get it @ Laurentian" :
   Get it @ Laurentian
When you click on that, you will be led to a menu which allows you to check for availability in Laurentian’s catalogue or order the item through ILL - Interlibrary Loan.
Note: While a free version of WorldCat is available online, we recommend that you use the university's subscription version of WorldCat because it offers the "Get it @ Laurentian" feature and more powerful search functionality.

Ebook collections

We have ebook collections. Not every ebook is catalogued in Evergreen, so you should explore resources like Ebrary, Emerald, MyiLibrary, Sage Knowledge, Taylor & Francis ebooks.

Dissertations and Theses

  • ProQuest Dissertations and Theses ?

    Description: This database includes 2.7 million searchable citations to doctoral dissertation and Master's theses from around the world from 1861 to the present day together with 1.2 million full text dissertations that are available for download in PDF format. Full text has been added since 1997 and strong retrospective full text coverage for older graduate works. Those not available full-text may be ordered privately; they are not normally available through interlibrary loan.

  • Theses Canada ?

    Description: "Canadian universities participate in the program voluntarily by submitting approved theses and dissertation to Theses Canada." Published by Library and Archives Canada.

  • Dissertations & Theses @ Laurentian University ?

    Description: This database gives access to the dissertations and theses produced by students at Laurentian University

  • DART-Europe E-Theses Portal ?

    Description: "DART-Europe is a partnership of research libraries and library consortia who are working together to improve global access to European research theses" - publisher's info.

Get articles

Articles: Quick Tips

The databases to the right provide references to many scholarly journal articles and papers.

  1. Start off with keyword searches expressing your topic. Keyword searching crosses all fields.
  2. Use Search Operators such as "OR" and "AND" to expand or reduce your results.
  3. Review those items that look relevant, then, exploit the details within those entries to help lead you to other relevant articles.
    • Pay attention to the subject headings (often called "descriptors") to see how the database describes your topic and use them to find related articles.
    • Find other papers written by the same author; these will typically be on similar subjects.
    • Follow citation trails: other articles that have cited this article will probably be on a related subject and will include citations to other articles of interest.
  4. For more Secrets of Searching a Database, review that section in How to Research Like a Librarian.

Sociology - Recommended Databases

  • Sociological Abstracts ?

    Description: Covers the international literature of sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences since 1952. Also provides abstracts of books, book chapters, dissertations, conference papers and working papers.

  • Annual Review of Sociology ?

    Description: Covers significant developments in the field of Sociology since 1975. Topics covered include major theoretical and methodological developments as well as current research in major sub-fields. Review chapters typically cover social processes, institutions and culture, organizations, political and economic sociology, stratification, demography, urban sociology, social policy, historical sociology, and major developments in sociology in other regions of the world.

  • JSTOR ?

    Description: JSTOR includes the archives of over one thousand leading academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as select monographs and other materials valuable for academic work. The entire corpus is full-text searchable, offers search term highlighting, includes high-quality images, and is interlinked by millions of citations and references. Note: Normally the journals in JSTOR are five years from current; further, all JSTOR journals are available through the "Get it @ Laurentian" link from other databases. JSTOR should NOT be used as at the first resort.

  • Web of Knowledge ?

    Description: A comprehensive research platform that brings together many different types of content including journal articles, patents, websites, conference proceedings, and open access material. Web of Science is located within Web of Knowledge. This resource offers access to journal articles in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. Web of Science contains over 100 years of research, fully indexed and cross-searchable.


    Description: Multilingual social sciences and humanities database. English and French searching options available.

Related online resources for articles

JSTOR is a comprehensive resource for searching the back runs of over 1,000 leading journals in multiple knowledge fields, including Sociology. There is a delay of three to five years before the journal is available in JSTOR.

We get major newspapers like the Globe and Mail and the New York Times. Lexis Nexis also contains the full-text (no photos) of major newspapers worldwide, including North America, Europe, and the U.K., updated daily.


Getting Articles @ Laurentian

In any database, when you see an article that interests you, click on it and, unless the article is available within the database itself, within the record you will see an image that says "Get it @ Laurentian":

Get it at Laurentian

When you click on that,  you will arrive at a menu which will lead to an electronic copy of the article you want, or, if not available electronically, to Laurentian's catalogue which will allow you to check if the article is available in print in the library, and if not, to a final link which allows you to order the item through Interlibrary loan.

Get style manuals

Citing sources

Properly citing your sources is an extremely valuable and necessary skill when completing your research. See Laurentian's Citation Style Guides for quick reference guides on commonly used citation styles.


The Department recommends APA style for citations and bibliographies:

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Also known as the APA style manual. 6th ed. 2010. Print.

An easyguide to APA style. 2014. Print.

Purdue Online Writing Lab. Excellent open-access site for learning how to cite in APA style.

Tracking Your Research

Zotero is a FREE web-based citation manager that will allow you to: 

  • Directly import references from article databases, the library catalogue, e-book collections, etc.
  • Manage and organize your references.
  • Create a bibliography.
  • Share your references with others
  • Add in-text citation and a bibliography directly into your assignment 

Getting started with Zotero: