Sociological Abstracts

Sociological Abstracts provides access to the world's literature in sociology and related disciplines, such as anthropology, gender studies, social science, social work, social psychology, philosophy, and urban studies. The index includes abstracts of journal articles from over 2,500 journals, conference papers, dissertations, book reviews, and selected books. The index covers 1963 to the present.


Quick Search

  1. Enter a single word or multiple words in the text box. Individual words can be truncated to retrieve related terms, e.g., human* will retrieve human, humans, humanity, humanitarian, etc. Multiple words entered into the text box as a phrase will be searched as an exact phrase.
  2. If searching for multiple concepts, combine the words or phrases by using the Boolean terms "and", "or", "not," or "near."
  3. If desired, limit the search by specifying a date range using the drop down menu. The default range is from earliest material through the current year.
  4. Click the Search button.
Advanced Search
  1. Click on from the bar.
  2. The Advanced Search allows for increased search capability. Search up to three words in each line of a search strategy with a combination of three sets of terms within specific fields of the record - combine terms and fields. Enter a single or multiple words in the text boxes. Choose Anywhere to search for the words in all fields of a record. If desired, choose a specific field of a record to limit the search (Abstract, Author, Descriptors, Title, Source, Keywords, etc.). ALERT: Within each set, terms typed in any of the three text boxes are combined with an or operator only. Additional search lines can be added.
  3. To search an author's name, use the last name first name or last name first-second initials (e.g., smith john or sutherland wj) as name entries vary.
  4. Combine sets of terms: use the drop down menu of operators, and, or, or not.
  5. Searches can be limited to a specific date range, to journal articles only, English language, or to the latest update. The latest update refers to the records most recently added to the database.
  6. Under "Show" use the drop down menu to display results in a specific format. Options include short (title, author, source, and brief annotation), full, or full -- omit refs. The default is short. Full records and abstracts can be displayed from the citation in the results list.
  7. Click the Search button.


Results List

The list of results will show basic citation information for articles, books or chapters within books, dissertations, and other resources indexed; click on View Record to see the complete field information, including any extended abstract available and assigned descriptors (subject terms).

Within the Results List, limit the citations to peer reviewed, book reviews, etc.

Locating Documents at UWM Libraries

  1. To determine if the UWM Libraries own a specific journal or book cited in the results list or has the full text of the journal available in another online resource, click at the bottom of the citaiton.
  2. If the journal is available full text in an online resource, select the database of choice from the options given and follow the instructions to locate the article.
  3. If the journal is not available full text in an online resource, follow the link to the UWM Libraries to check for print holdings. Locate the call number and holdings in the PantherCat record.
  4. If a title does not appear in the libraries' catalog nor is available full text online, request the journals through Interlibrary Loan and the books through UW System borrowing or Interlibrary Loan.
  5. Dissertations included in the database may be requested or purchased through Interlibrary Loan.



Click on on the top bar for other useful search tools:

Sociological Abstracts allows easy browsing of indexes: Author Index, Journal Name, and Publication Type Index.. Select the choice from the drop down menu, enter a search term, and retrieve an alphabetical listing of words from within that category. For example, enter an author's last name and click Go. A list of all cited authors with the last name entered will be retrieved. To see a complete list of journals indexed, follow the instructions under "Help."
Type in a word to search through the list of words/terms in the Thesaurus. The results of that search will be the correct term with broader and narrower terms. To look at the other terms and additional broader or narrower terms, click on the highlighted term.
This option allows previous search strategies, i.e., terms and subjects searched, to be combined without re-entering all the terms, to obtain more precise search results.
The Command Search function allows the combination of keyword, author, publication year, title terms, etc., by typing a combination of field codes, terms, and boolean operators in a line. Examples of field codes include: (KW=) keyword and (AU=) author. A complete list of field codes can be found in the drop down menu choices of an Advanced Search or under "Help."
An example of a command search would be:
        py=(1990 or 1991) and au=smith and kw=abuse

To print/save/email multiple records, mark each record selected.
Click the Save/Print/Email Records button.
Choose a specific format in which the records will be printed. Options include: short (title, author, source), full, or full without refs. If this is not selected, the default display is full record.Citations can be saved in several formats: the default format is PC.Fill in the email address where the citations should be sent.Export to RefWorks.
Click the Print button.Click the Save button. Choose File--Save As from the browser menu, then choose a:\ drive from the drop down menu.The 'from' email address can be the same as the address entered in the 'to' address box. Only records for published works will be processed.
Click the browser print icon or select File � Print from the browser menu to proceed with printing.Click Ok.Click the Email button after both email addresses have been entered.Follow the instructions for RefWorks.


Users can set up a profile to receive "alerts" on new research done. Follow the instructions given in the database; for general information, the UWM Libraries guide "EMAIL ALERT SERVICES" may be useful.

For additional information, click on "Help & Support" or request assistance at the Ask a Librarian Desk.

To determine if a specific journal is indexed by Sociological Abstracts, (SA) use the Search Tools: Indexes process. To view an alphabetical list of all journals indexed by SA, click on "Help & Support," scroll down to "Databases and Collections," then to "Serials Source Lists." Scroll down the screen to Sociological Abstracts and click on "Browse."

NOTE: journals are indexed differently. Each journal will be flagged with one of the following: CORE journals are indexed cover-to-cover (all articles in each issue are included); PRIORITY journals are indexed with more than 50% of the articles covered; SELECTIVE journals are indexed with less than 50% of the articles covered.


To exit Sociological Abstracts, click Home on the web browser.

LLB: 04/07/08-socab54

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page contact: Linda Brothen