Social Work Research Guide: Find Articles - Databases

How to start looking for academic articles or studies

To find scholarly articles or studies, you will need to use a database (not CLIO). Scholarly journals are periodicals in which researchers publish articles on their work. Most often these articles discuss recent research. Journals also publish theoretical discussions and articles that critically review already published work. Scholarly journals are typically peer-reviewed, but not always. 

Database best for social work students: 

  • ​​EBSCOhost: Full-text database. Under "Choose Databases" select all available options. There is a box to check if you only want to search for peer-reviewed articles. 

On this page, you will find a lot of options to start your research, but these are not all of the databases that you have access to as a Columbia University student! Explore the other research guides to find other databases for different disciplines, or attend a workshop.

General, interdisciplinary databases:

  • ProQuest: This resource includes citations and full text articles in academic & professional disciplines, e.g., business, economics, gender studies, health, literature, management, political science.
  • Scopus: Provides indexing, abstracting of and citation linking to journals in biology ,physics, chemistry, geosciences, agriculture, medicine, business, social work, and the social sciences.
  • Web of science core collection: Consists of seven databases containing information gathered from thousands of scholarly journals, books, book series, reports, conferences, and more

Health & Mental Health Databases

For all three of these resources you must select the database in EBSCO, by clicking "Choose databases." EBSCO does not automatically apply CINAHL, PsycINFO, or MEDLINE because of limited amounts of users at once. 

CINAHLThis is the definitive research tool for nursing and allied health professionals. 

PsycINFO: American Psychological Association's resource for behavioral science and mental health resources. 

Medline (Via Ebscohost): Created by the National Library of Medicine. 

Mental Measurements Yearbook:  A comprehensive guide to over 2,700 contemporary testing instruments.

PsycARTICLES : Provides full text access to articles from journals published by American Psychological Association. Covers general psychology as well as applied, clinical, developmental, and social psychology.

Assessment Tools

Gender Databases

  • Contemporary women's issues: Provides information about women in over 190 countries.
  • Gender Studies Database: Women's studies, gender studies, feminist theory and criticism. Coverage 1972 to the present
  • LGBT+ SourceProvides indexing and abstracts of worldwide literature on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues.
  • Women's studies internationalProvides citations and some abstracts to the core areas of Women's studies. Covers journals, newspapers, newsletters, bulletins, books, book chapters, proceedings, reports, theses, dissertations, NGO studies, websites and grey literature. annually.

Social Science

  • Sage Research: Coverage includes more than 555 SAGE journals, more than 175,000 articles, book reviews, and editorials, with original graphics and tables in the following disciplines: Communication Studies, Criminology, Education, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.
  • Science Direct: Web database for scientific research that contains abstracts, tables of contents, and full text of articles in the sciences, technology, medicine and social sciences.

Social Work

Many databases that used to have their own platforms have been absorbed by other providers. If you have any questions about this, please email
EBSCOhost includes:
ProQuest includes:
  • Sociological abstracts: Abstracts and indexes the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences.
  • Social services abstracts: Indexes and abstracts current research in social work, human services, and related areas, including social welfare, social policy, and community development.

Foundations and Grants

1- Foundation directory provides access to the largest list available of funding sources for non-profits -- timely, comprehensive information on grant providers. Includes U.S. foundations, corporate giving programs, and public charities, plus a growing number of non-U.S. sources.
2- Other sources: 
3- Reading about the Grant Writing Process

Historical Databases