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Social Work

Explore library resources related to social work research.

PIRATE SEARCH: One box to search many databases

Quick Search


If you're not sure where to start your research, Pirate Search may help you find search terms and identify useful databases.

Or, try one of our recommended databases to find the resources that are best suited to your topic.

Pirate Search

              Advanced Search

Browse Social Work Journals

Browse Social Work Journals


Browse an alphabetical list of subject-related journals available through Park University Library.

Other Databases Related to Social Work

Social Work Databases


Understanding: Peer-reviewed, Empirical, Qualitative & Quantitative

Understanding Terms:

Peer-reviewed, Empirical, Qualitative & Quantitative


Peer-reviewed

Peer-reviewed journals (often called "scholarly" or "academic" journals) contain original research articles. These journals publish research that has been reviewed  by other scholars in the field - the authors' academic peers. These reviewers work to ensure the integrity and quality of the research being reported upon.

Empirical

Empirical articles are based on experimentation or observation. In other words, they describe the results of research. Peer-reviewed articles are usually describing empirical research.

Qualitative vs Quantitative Research

Peer-reviewed articles may describe either qualitative or quantitative research.

Qualitative research tries to understand who, what, how, when, and why. It explores the nature of something. Typical approaches include observation, interviews, and focus groups.

Quantitative research describes how much or how often. It relies on statistics and variables to prove or disprove something.

Here's a short video describing the difference.


How to tell if you've found a peer-reviewed, empirical article

Peer-reviewed journal articles -- like this example from Pirate Search -- are typically 10-40 pages in length and share many or all of these qualities:

  • List authors' names, email addresses, and affiliations (e.g. Park University)
  • Use section headers throughout the article, roughly similar to these:
    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Literature Review
    • Methodology
    • Results or Discussion
    • Conclusion
  • Cite references to other quality sources

Be cautious, though

Some peer-reviewed journals will publish literature reviews, book reviews, and opinion essays. These should not be confused for original research articles! If you're unsure whether you've found an original research article, please contact a librarian for assistance!

Park University - McAfee Memorial Library
8700 NW River Park Drive, Box 61 - Parkville, MO - 64152
Phone: (816) 584-6285
Toll-free: (800) 270-4347