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Introduction to Human Services (HMSV1100-Flathers & Ryan): Research in Human Services

This guide was designed for the students in HMSV 1100.

Getting Started

Below is the PowerPoint presentation used during the library instruction session and a blank copy of the Forming a Search Strategy worksheet.

And, Or, Not

Combine all your concepts and terms with AND, OR, NOT:


AND - use this when ALL the words must be in your results. This will narrow your results.   Example: apples AND oranges; peanut butter AND jelly

OR  - use this to connect synonyms, when ANY can come back in your results. This will broaden a search. Example: women OR woman OR girl; cat OR kitty OR kitten

NOT - use with caution since this will eliminate results with the specified word.

See a visual guide to Boolean here!


    Most of your research will likely start in the database SocIndex. This database indexes hundreds of journals in sociology and human services, as well as some in the behavioral sciences. The other databases listed may also relevant provide articles and research depending on your topic. When you are unsure of where to start, ask your librarian!

    Reference Sources

    Reference sources are a good starting point to get an overview of a topic. Try these resources in our print collection (1st floor):

    The encyclopedia of elder care : the comprehensive resource on geriatric and social care Ref. RC954.E53 2001

    The encyclopedia of child abuse Ref. HV6626.5.C57 2001

    Encyclopedia of special education Ref. LC4007.E53 2007

    Encyclopedia of family health Ref. RC81.A2M336 1998


      Electronic Reference:

      Many more reference titles are available through our online reference resource, CREDO.

        General Web Sites

        Subject Guide

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        Linda LeBlanc
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        HA-102, Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library, Hammond Hall
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