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Library Subject Guides


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Books and Journals

Book shelves in the LibraryBooks are a great place to start your research. They contain useful summaries about what's happening in your field and can help you to establish the key theories and background of your research. As well as books specifically covering your subject, the Library also holds lots of titles to help you develop your study skills.

Books contain references to other resources that you can explore for more in-depth information when you have understood the basics.

Journals, sometimes called periodicals, are collections of articles published regularly. Articles contain the most-up-to-date research content and often go into more depth than books. They are a fantastic source of criticism and discussion of research.

How to find them

Use YorSearch, the Library catalogue. Some books will be available as e-books that you can access online from anywhere; look for the View It link in YorSearch..

Each of your modules will have a reading list of suggested books. 

Many of the books you need will be located in the D section of the Library for Sociology, although you may also need to look elsewhere.

If you know the name of the journal you need, you can search for it in YorSearch. Most journals can be accessed online by logging in with your University username and password; look for the View Online link. Some will also be available in print in the Library.

Sage Research Methods

SAGE Research Methods exists to help social science researchers and students with their projects, consisting primarily of a collection of e-books with supporting dictionary articles, journal entries and videos.

Created by the scholarly publisher SAGE, the Research Methods collection covers all aspects of research principles and design and analysis, from hypothesis formation and literature searching to evidence-gathering and drawing conclusions.  

SAGE Research Methods will help you:

  • Design your research project
  • Understand your chosen method
  • Identify a new method
  • Conduct your research
  • Write up your findings.

Each publication in the SAGE Research Methods collection is also linked from YorSearch.

To access Sage Research Methods click on the link below.

Finding Sociology resources on the Web

Sociology often deals with controversial topics, so you need to make sure that you critically evaluate the information you find on the Web to understand if the site is politically or ideologically biased in its point-of-view. If a website is not a well known organisation or educational institution, do some research into their credentials. If you are not careful, the information you find on the Web can seriously compromise your academic work.

Top tips

1. Find information on well known organisation, government ( or education (.edu websites. For example:

British Sociological Association

The Durkheim Pages


2. Use Internet information gateways for Sociology, for example:

The SocioWebThe SocioSite

Click on the image for access.

3. Always evaluate the websites that you use, for:

Accuracy can you rely on the information provided on the website?

Authority who has written the web pages and do they have the necessary knowledge or qualifications to do so?

Currency are the pages up to date and regularly maintained?

Objectivity Is there any inherent bias in the pages that you need to be aware of?

Coverage Does the website provide enough information or will you need to look at a range of websites?

Newspapers - Nexis UK

Nexis UK lo0goNexis UK is a major full text database for global news and business information. It gives access to over 35,000 sources, with more than 12,000 international news sources, including UK daily and regional newspapers.

Find articles within UK broadsheets (e.g. The Guardian, The Independent, The Times), UK regional newspapers (e.g. Yorkshire Post, Scotsman, Manchester Evening News), major world newspapers (e.g. The New York Times, The Japan Times, South China Morning Post) and more ...

Use Nexis UK when you want to:

  • find newspaper articles on a topic of interest

  • gather information about a company, industry, country and people

  • keep up to date on news and current affairs.

To access Nexis UK click on the link below. To help you search it effectively, refer to the user guide provided.

News broadcasts

BBC iPlayer logo

Recent television and radio broadcasts are usually freely available from the broadcaster's website. For example, the BBC makes its television and radio programmes available via BBC iPlayer, for up to seven days after their original broadcast.

Older broadcasts are rarely freely available. If you are looking for news broadcasts from the last few months, or years, you will need to use a news and current affairs database. For relevant databases see the E-resources Guide's Images and Sound and Theatre, Film and Television listings.

Theses and Dissertations

Information about theses is available on the main Library website.

All University PhD and MPhil theses are available via YorSearch. Masters theses for some subjects are held in the Library for 6 years. 

All York research students registered in or after October 2009 are required to upload their theses into White Rose eTheses Online , a shared online respository for doctoral level theses from the Universities of York, Sheffield and Leeds.

You can also access theses from outside the University:


To start a more detailed search for articles and other research evidence, you'll need to use online databases. These are collections of resources that allow you to search for articles from hundreds of different journals at the same time.


Key databases for Sociology

Additional Sociology related databases

Other useful databases

Statistics - Quick Reference Sources

UK statistics

National Statistics logo The most in-depth collection of social and economic statistics about the UK is free-to-access on the National Statistics website, maintained by the state-run Office of National Statistics.

Statistics - European Union

Statistics - International data collections

When undertaking a research project in the social sciences, you may require evidence from published social or economic datasets to support your assertions. Perhaps you need to compare several variables over time in order to draw conclusions about the relationships between them, or gather all the available data about a country or region to inform your analysis of the political, economic or social situation.

To support your research, the University of York Library subscribes to the OECD iLibrary, a substantial source of social and economic data. In addition, UK higher education users have access to data on the UK Data Service (free of charge).