- The Library

Key Databases for Social & Policy Sciences

Do you have an assignment? Are you able to find the best articles on your topic i.e. beyond those on your reading list? To find details of the relevant articles and conference papers from across thousands of journal titles, you will need to use the following databases (no single database covers all relevant literature).

When you find a database result of interest, click on the blue and white Links button to find out whether the Library provides access to the full document, either online or within the Library's print collection. 

IBSS: International Bibliography of the Social Sciences 

  • Coverage: journal articles & books relating to anthropology, economics, political science & sociology - coverage from 1951 onwards 
  • PDF Guide / Video tutorial


  • The world’s largest abstracts and citations database of peer-reviewed journals and quality web resources. It searches across 46 million records from over 19,500 journals across the health, life, physical and social sciences, engineering and humanities.
  • PDF basic guide / video tutorials / full guide
  • SCOPUS can also be used to track authors and analyse journal performance: Journal Metrics Guide.   


Business Source Complete 

  • Broad coverage of business, management & development
  • Thousands of full text journals, magazines, case studies & market research/industry reports 
  • Access to Harvard Business Review from 1922 onwards


Community Care Inform databases: Adults / Children 

  • Subject coverage across the two databases: social work/policy: children, young persons, families and adults
  • Used by social work practitioners and contains expert-written, practice-related information: organisations’ reports, guidelines, good practice, case law, legislation, articles…   
  • Users are advised to use either Google Chrome or Firefox

Social Policy and Practice

  • Enables you to search simultaneously the following five databases: Social Care Online, AgeInfo, ChildData, Acompline and Planex 
  • The overall focus is on applied research and practice & more than half the references are for grey/unpublished literature including organisations' reports 
  • Accessing full documents: if you find a result of interest, click the blue and white 'Links' button to find out if a link is provided to the full document. If a link is not provided (which is often the case with reports), try searching for the document using the following: the Library Catalogue, Google Scholar and Google.
  • Note option to add another field 

Web of Science Core Collection

  • Part of Web of Science & contains ISI Social Science Index
  • PDF Guide / video tutorial
  • Note option to add another field
  • Coverage: journal articles and conference papers
  • Date coverage: 1970 onwards (searching is restricted to title-only up to 1991)