Boston College Libraries Faculty Newsletter



Subject Area Highlight: Social Work


The study of Social Work encompasses a broad variety of disciplines. These include but are not limited to: sociology, public health, nursing, psychology, education, and political science. For this reason, resources heavily used by social work students are equally useful to students and faculty members with a variety of different academic interests. We would like to highlight some social work related resources with the hope that they can be helpful to the wider BC community.


Social Workers regularly deal with mental health issues on both a community level and with individual clients. For mental health related research, there is Psychiatry Online. Produced by American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc., this powerful new tool includes full-text access to The American Journal of Psychiatry, Psychiatric Services and other leading journals in the field. It includes online practice guidelines for a variety of mental health disorders. A key feature of this new resource is the online DSM Library which includes the DSM-IV-TR, the DSM-IV-TR Handbook of Differential Diagnosis, and representative case studies for psychiatric disorders. Another new online tool is PsycBooks. This is a full-text source of books and books chapters published by the American Psychological Association. PsycBooks now has offerings from over 13,000 titles, including out-of-print titles. As part of the Cambridge Scientific Abstracts package, PsycBooks can be searched simultaneously with databases such as PsycInfo and Social Services Abstracts.

The library has a broad range of resources for social workers and other researchers interested in public policy issues. An excellent starting point for this type of research is Facts on File. This powerful tool includes a world almanac, an archive of news stories going back to 1940, country profiles, and an “Issues and Controversies” link on the upper right hand corner of the page. This link will bring you to an alphabetical listing of controversial contemporary issues. Each profile of a controversy will present you with an outline and history of the issue in the United States. For journal articles on policy issues, there is PAIS International, and ASSIA: Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts. PAIS International covers public policy issues ranging from affirmative action to child labor. ASSIA is an interdisciplinary database covering publications in psychology, social work, the health sciences, sociology, education, and other major social science disciplines. Because of the interdisciplinary scope, it is an excellent database for research on a policy issue that encompasses a broad variety of subject areas.



Kate SilfenKate Silfen
Social Work Librarian





Please contact a social work librarian at if we can offer you any assistance.

Questions, comments? Contact the BC Libraries Newsletter Review Board.
Subscribe to the Boston College Libraries Newsletter