Sociological Abstracts from CSA

  • When to use Sociological Abstracts from CSA

    Journals that focus on sociology and related disciplines are indexed in Sociological Abstracts from CSA. When you are looking for research articles in fields such as social work and other behavioral sciences this is a good place to get a start.

    Using Sociological Abstracts in Print to Find Journal Articles

    • Start with the volume Thesaurus of Sociological Indexing Terms (call number Z695.1.S63 B66 1992). It has a blue cover and is located after the most recent volume of the Sociological Abstracts from CSA (call number HM1 .S67) in the reference area on the 2nd level of Grace Library. You will find here all the subject terms of the abstracts. They are listed in alphabetical order. 
    • You need to find the subject term that best fits your research topic. Try thinking of words that are central to your thesis. Next we will look up your term in the Thesaurus, but first let’s explain how it is structured:
      The thesaurus structure is hierarchical. At the top of each hierarchy is the Main Term, which has the acronym MT. It is in boldface. The elements that relate to it are indented directly underneath the MT.  
    MT   Main Terms are the words that you will be looking up in the abstracts.
    UF   Used For are the non-preferred variants to the MT that you need.
    USE   USE tells you what the preferred term is. It is recommended that you look up this term next in the thesaurus.
    BT   Broader Terms give you a more general category to which the MT belongs.
    NT   Narrower Terms give you a more specific sub-category to which the MT belongs.
    RT   Related Terms have a close conceptual relation to the MT but are not broader or narrower than the MT.
    SN   Scope Notes give you a quick definition of the MT.

    Sample Thesaurus Entry 
    DC    D015500
    SN     persons aged 18 years or older.
    HN    Formerly (1963-1985) DC 015000
    UF     Adult/Adults/Adulthood
    BT     Adulthood
    RT     Elderly
              Middle Aged Adults
              Adult Children  
              Adult Development
              Adult Education
              Family Life
              Filial Responsibility

    • Once you have found the Main Term(s) in the thesaurus that you want to use, open a volume of the Sociological Abstracts. You will probably want the most recent one. Each volume is split into three sections: 
    The first section contains the abstracts of the journal articles.
    The second section contains reviews of publications.
    The third is the index section. This is subdivided into an author, source and subject index. What you looked up in the thesaurus are subject terms. 
    In the third section in the subject index of Sociological Abstracts look for the Main Term from the thesaurus. The terms are listed in alphabetical order. You will see the Main Term in boldface and following it are the article titles that discuss that subject.
    If your Main Term is not listed in the subject index do not lose heart. Keep in mind that each volume of the Sociological Abstracts lists only a certain time period of journal articles and that if you use a different volume you might find your term. 

    • After an article title there is an accession number. It begins with the acronym SA (Sociological Abstracts). Use the accession number to locate the article citation in the abstracts section. The accession numbers list the titles numerically from least to greatest. The abstracts section will include a citation (author, article title, journal name, etc.) that you will use to find the article.

    Finding a Journal

    Once you have a citation to an article that you would like to read you must find out whether Grace Library has a subscription to the journal title. You can determine our current and past subscriptions by going to the Journal Titles List. If you need assistance finding journal titles, Ask a Librarian for help.