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Social Welfare Research Toolkit: MORE

Resources for research in Social Welfare.

Evidence Based Practice

Evidence Based Practice, to quote Professor Gambrill, is "a new educational and practice paradigm for closing the gaps between research and practice to maximize opportunities to help clients and avoid harm.”

School of Social Welfare dissertations and theses: background

The Social Welfare Library has print copies of dissertations, theses, and group research projects produced in the School of Social Welfare since its establishment in 1944 through 2010. Theses were submitted for masters degrees beginning in 1946. From 1948 until the early 1970s, group research projects – by groups of students under the supervision of a faculty member – were an alternative to individual masters theses. Beginning in 1960, dissertations were submitted for the DSW in social welfare, and after 1988 for the PhD.

Beginning in 2010, all dissertations at UC Berkeley were produced in electronic format only and are available through the library's online databases.

If you want to include group research projects or masters' theses in your search, you must use OskiCat, Melvyl, or WorldCat Dissertations. Other dissertation databases index only dissertations in social work at Berkeley and do not include theses or group projects.

  • Call numbers for dissertations begin with HV13.A14.
  • Call numbers for masters' theses begin with HV13.A135.
  • Call numbers for group research projects begin with HV13.A132.

Finding Tests & Measures

APA Handbook of Testing and Measurement in Psychology

eBooks and books with full-text scales:

Online searchable sites with full-text scales:


Nexis Uni Tips

  1. Use truncation (wildcard) to search different forms of the word (child* retrieves child, child's, children)
  2. Use 'proximity connectors' -- w/[number], for example (youth or adolescent or teen*) w/25 homeless*. (You can also use w/s for within sentence, or w/p for within paragraph but you can't also combine these with the number of words.)

Forward Citations

If an article is relevant to your topic, you want to look at the research it cited (backward citation). But it can also be very helpful to see who has cited it (forward citation). There are several different ways to do this, and the results will overlap --  no single method is comprehensive.

Google Scholar provides forward citations for some articles. It has a broader range of documents included (not just peer reviewed journals, but reports, pre-prints, etc.) and doesn't eliminate self citation or de-duplicate the results.

ISI Web of Science contains the Social Science Citation Index which allows you to do a "Cited Reference" search. This shows other articles (from a prestigious list of peer reviewed journals) which have cited the target article, and it also shows the references for the the original article... both forward and backward citation.

Screenshot below on how to get to the Cited Reference Search from the Social Science Citation Index.

Search Tips

Power search features for most article databases:
  • Use synonyms -- there are many ways to express a concept (teenager or teenagers or adolescent)
  • Use truncation to get different forms of the word, for example teenage* will retrieve teenagers, teenager, teenaged, etc.
  • Use quotation marks when you want an "exact phrase"
  • Restrict by date -- most will let you find only the most current five years if you chose that limit.

  • Use "controlled vocabulary" (also called descriptors or subject headings) if the database has them. The PsycInfo Thesaurus is a very powerful tool. It helps you identify articles that are about a topic, not just that have the word in the abstract. For example, if you are looking for the cause of a certain psychological problem, the descriptor "etiology" finds material that looks at causality.
  • Use the special "limits" or "fields" that the database offers. They really do help you make a more focused and powerful search. PsycInfo lets you use many helpful limits including:
    • Methodology-- are you interested in literature reviews? Empirical studies? Clinical trials? Quantitative or qualitative studies?
    • Population -- do you want research based on humans? Males vs. females?
    • Age of subjects -- adolescents? children? old people?
    • Publication type -- do you want articles? dissertations? books?