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SOCW 3301 Theories of Human Behavior: Scholarly Sources

What are scholarly sources?

In basic terms, scholarly sources are written by scholars for scholars and go through a scholarly publication process. This scholarly publication process usually includes some form of peer-review, which means it is vetted by experts in the field and therefore considered more credible than information that hasn't gone through this process.

Often in social work, you will be looking for scholarly articles that include empirical studies. Empirical studies are important because they provide the evidence that the conclusions of the article are based on. Below you will find some of the best places to locate these types of articles and some tips for how to search for them.


Most of the databases listed here are hosted by EBSCO. You may already be familiar with EBSCO. It is important to note that EBSCO is not a database. It is a platform through which you can access a variety of databases that UTA Libraries has access to.

One of the benefits of the EBSCO platform is that you can search multiple databases at the same time. If you click PsycINFO below, the link will take you only to the PsycINFO database in EBSCO. However, once there, you can "Choose Databases" and add many of the others from this list.

Search Tips

1. Don't search as a single phrase - instead, break your topic up into main concepts and place each concept on its own search line, separated by AND

2. Not finding enough sources? Think of synonyms for each of your concepts and combine them with ORS

3. Use truncations to include multiple variations of a word, i.e. persist* (includes persist, persistence, and persistent)

4. Use the Peer Reviewed or Scholarly Articles limiters in your search results