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SOCL 365: Illness Narratives (Beard): Home


How do scholarly articles differ from non-scholarly sources? This chart outlines the basic differences. 


The “Exploding Article” was originally described by Iris Jastram on her Pegasus Librarian blog on 2/13/2008

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Before you start searching, consider what discipline may provide research on your topic.  Is your topic related to history? Sociology? Medicine?  Depending on your research topic, you may want to explore some subject-specific databases, as well as multidisciplinary databases.

Suggested subject-specific databases:

You can also found many articles in these great multidisciplinary databases:

Check out the library's e-journals list to search for articles in specific journals. For example:

  • Sociology of Health & Illness 
  • Journal of Aging Studies
  • American Sociological Review
  • Social Science & Medicine
  • Qualitative Health Research
  • Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry
  • American Anthropologist 
  • Journal of Health & Social Behavior 
  • Patient Education & Counseling 
  • Health Sociology Review 
  • Gender & Society 
  • Social Problems 
  • American Journal of Sociology 
  • British Journal of Sociology


Google Scholar is a great tool for doing a broad search of scholarly literature on your topic:

  • Google Scholar searches across many disciplines. 
  • Your search results will include a broad range of sources, including journal articles, conference papers, theses, dissertations, academic books, pre-prints, and abstracts. 
  • Results come from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. 
  • Google Scholar also includes court opinions and patents.

You'll just want to keep some things in mind:

  • Coverage is not comprehensive. Many sourcess are hidden in publishers' databases and journals that Google can't search, so you'll want to look at other databases as well. 
  • Search results can include links to things like course syllabi and high school term papers, so you'll want to evaluate what you find. 

You can access advanced search features by clicking the arrow in the right of the search box. These features allow you to refine your search.

Look for the words Get Full Txt @ Holy Cross next to an article. You should be able to access any of these articles through the library's subscriptions. If you come across a source that Holy Cross does not have access to, remember that you can request the item through Interlibrary Loan.

Scholar Settings When you are on the Holy Cross campus, Google Scholar will automatically show you those Get Full Txt @ Holy Cross links next to articles that Holy Cross has access to. If you are off-campus, you can set your Scholar Settings to show the links for accessing sources through Holy Cross. You can modify your settings by selecting the Settings link in the upper-right corner of Google Scholar webpage.

Click on the Cited by and Related articles links at the bottom of a search result to find more relevant articles and books.