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Sociology: Researching a Topic

Getting started

Getting started

Whatever you are looking for, iDiscover is always the best place to start. As well as finding print books and where they are located, it is also your gateway to ebooks, ejournals and articles. 

  • Help! I got too many results!

Sometimes you might find you get a lot of results without anything relevant standing out. This is where the "Refine my results" section on the right of your results comes in handy.

  • Help! I can't find anything! 

Try a search using fewer words, select the most relevant keywords, also, don't forget about synonyms or related terms.

For more information about searching, you could look at the Camguides section on "Searching effectively"

Sociology Journals

The Seeley Library holds a range of journals relating to Sociology. Patrons are welcome to view and copy journals within the library, however unfortunately they cannot be borrowed. Most journals we hold are now available electronically so you should be able to access most articles remotely. 

If you are searching for a known item:

  • iDiscover- is good for both journals and ejournals. Covers all the libraries of the University of Cambridge. You can search by journal title or if you are looking for a particular article you can use the Articles and online resources search. Follow our simple guide on searching
  • ejournals A-Z gateway - is exclusively for ejournals. It allows you to search by journal title, citation or subject. 

If you are searching more broadly for an unknown title, try using abstract and indexing databases to carry out a general subject search. 

E-resource help

For questions about e-resources, (journals, ebooks, databases)  see these Frequently Asked Questions. Please also feel free to get in touch with the Library team, or come to the Library issue desk with your questions.

Research Data Management and Issues

Theses and dissertations

The Library holds a range of MPhil Theses and a small collection of PhD Theses, unfortunately, we do not hold any Undergraduate theses for Sociology,  if you require access to previous years' Undergrad theses for Sociology, please contact the departmental administrators).

MPhil Theses

The Library holds Sociology MPhil Theses (1993 - 2017/18)

The most recent year's Sociology theses can be found on Apollo. Previous years are held in storage and can be requested (up to three at a time) at the issue desk. Please note, the theses cannot be borrowed from the library or copied in any way (without express permission from the author).

How to search for MPhil Theses

Using the iDiscover catalogue, use the search terms 'SPS thesis' for a list of theses from 1993-2010; and 'HSPS thesis' for a list of theses from 2011 onwards.

  • Filter the results by restricting your search to the SPS Library using the 'Location' filter.
  • As above, use 'SPS thesis or 'HSPS thesis' and relevant search terms/keywords for your area of interest e.g. 'refugees', 'gender' or author name/title keywords if known.
  • If performing a broader search, use 'SPS thesis or 'HSPS thesis' along with a broad category term such as 'sociology', 'politics' or 'media'.

If you still cannot find relevant titles, do contact library staff and we will try to assist with searches.

Please be aware when using these search terms that CFR (Centre for Family Research) theses will also display as part of the Margaret Lowenfeld Collection.  If you would like to view CFR titles please contact the CFR administrators:

PhD Theses

The University Library (UL) holds a comprehensive collection of doctoral dissertations. They can be searched by title and author on iDiscover.

PhD Theses Online

An increasing number of theses are being made available online.

Apollo holds full-text digital versions of many Cambridge PhD theses. This is a rapidly growing collection deposited by Cambridge PhD graduates on a voluntary basis.

eresources@cambridge has a useful guide to accessing PhD theses electronically. 

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