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Sociological Abstracts

A guide to all aspects of Sociological Abstracts including content, searching, and viewing results on the ProQuest platform.

Collection Information

Many records from key journals in sociology, added to the database since 2002, also include the references cited in the bibliography of the source article. Each individual reference may also have links to an abstract and/or to other papers that cite that reference; these links increase the possibility of finding more potentially relevant articles.

The international distribution of the journals indexed in Sociological Abstracts is as follows:
North America 60%
South and Central America 1%
Western Europe 31%
Eastern Europe 4%
Australia and New Zealand 1% 
Asia, Middle East, Africa 3%

The indexing practices of Sociological Abstracts provide value-added features that include professional document selection, extensive quality control, and three levels of indexing.

Classification Codes indicate a broad subject area and represent the major focus of the article. Sociological Abstracts identifies 29 broad areas of sociology and includes 95 specific sub-headings. The classification codes can be searched by numeric code or word.

Descriptors are assigned using the Thesaurus of Sociological Indexing Terms. Currently in its sixth edition; the Thesaurus was implemented in 1986 after two years of research and development.

The Identifiers field has been used since 1998 to provide vocabulary that is not accessible through the controlled terminology of the Thesaurus. The natural language terms found in the Identifiers field reflects new or developing concepts in sociology that are not yet added to the Thesaurus. Prior to 1998, the Identifiers field was used to provide an "abstract of the abstract," and listed the dependent and independent variables under investigation, population, methodology, and geographic location of study.

Links to Additional Sociological Abstracts Information

Subject Coverage

  • Addiction
  • Community and mental health services
  • Family and marriage
  • Gerontology
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Social care
  • Social policy
  • Social services
  • Social structure
  • Social welfare
  • Social work
  • Sociology

Publication Coverage

  • Books
  • Conference Papers & Proceedings
  • Dissertations & Theses
  • Magazines
  • Other Sources
  • Reports
  • Scholarly Journals
  • Trade Journals
  • Working Papers