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Social Work

Resources and research tips for undergraduate and graduate Social Work students.

Welcome to the Social Work Graduate Student Library Research Guide!


Please register your Rebel Card at this link to check-out materials from the UNLV Libraries.

To begin, view the UNLV Libraries tutorials at this by clicking here.

Need more help?   Contact your librarian, Susie Skarl at

To Get You Started on the Road to Research & the Inquiry Process

Social Work Related Databases

Learn Effective Database Search Strategies


Learn Effective Database Search Strategies



  (The following are suggestions to improve your search results)



Use different search terms or key words

a.       Try using other words to describe your topic, it will give you better results. 

b.       Examples: veterans and PTSD, soldiers and PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder and war, PTSD and families

 Truncation or wildcard (*)

a.       This will locate alternate endings for your search term.

b.       Example - mar* to find marriage, marital, married, etc.

c.       Note: Some databases use different symbols; consult the help page for the correct symbol

 Try different databases

a.       Each database contains unique material, so searching a different database may yield more relevant research.

 Help page

a.       Each database has a page with tips to help you effectively search that resource.

Literature Review Resources

Video: Literature Reviews: An Overview for Graduate Students. 

"Lit Review 101"

A literature review asks: What do we know - or not know - about this particular issue/ topic/ subject?

How well you answer this question depends upon:

  1. the effectiveness of your search for information
  2. the quality & reliability of the sources you choose
  3. your ability to synthesize the sources you select

Begin with a Synthesis Matrix

As you read, you'll encounter various ideas, disagreements, methods, and perspectives which can be hard to organize in a meaningful way.

A synthesis matrix helps you record the main points of each source and document how sources relate to each other.


Find Good Models

  •  Search for Literature Reviews
    Look for other literature reviews in your subject area to see how they are written.
    **Thank you to John Glover for permission to use this guide from VCU.**

Tips for Searching on Google Scholar

A note about Google Scholar . . . 

Although Google Scholar contains many resources, it does not contain access to all relevant resources for hospitality research.  Researchers are strongly encouraged to look at the additional resources mentioned above to conduct a thorough literature review.  You do not need to purchase articles via Google Scholar many are available for through the UNLV Libraries or via Interlibrary Loan.

For help connecting to UNLV Libraries' resources through Google Scholar see the following.




Use Time-saving Library Services


Use Time-saving Library Services

UNLV Interlibrary Loan: Use this account to get articles, books, and other resources from our interlibrary loan system that are not available through UNLV Libraries for free by clicking HERE to set up an account. 

RefWorks: Software that will allow you to store, organize and format your research citations via the Internet automatically.

Google Scholar is a subset of Google that is designed to search for academic and scholarly articles and books online.

Follow UNLV Libraries on Twitter & Like Us on Facebook: For library news, research assistance, schedules, resource updates, and more, follow us on Twitter: @unlvlibraries  & Like Us on Facebook.

Suggest a Purchase for the UNLV Libraries: Do you have a suggestion for an item that we should add to the library collections?  Click here to make your request.

Research Consultations: If you would like to schedule a time that is convenient for your schedule to discuss your research, please contact me at or 702-895-2141.



Social Work Publication Information

Need to know where to publish, how to contact a publisher, and what has been published?  Check out the following resources.

Journal Citation Analysis Tools

Use the following resources to track citations, including by author, number of articles cited, number of articles published, etc. 

Using RefWorks

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