Skip to Main Content

Academic Research: an Overview: Social Sciences

Information and resources for doing academic library research and scholarship

Books and Ebooks

Use the library catalog to find the call numbers for specific books, or browse within the class letter for your field.Books in the library are arranged alphanumerically in the stacks (shelves) by Library of Congress classification numbers. The subclass for psychology is BF. General social science is class H; economics is in subclass Hb-HJ; sociology, HM; social work, HV; criminology is also HV. Political science is in class J; law in class K; anthropology in class G.  Ebooks are also lilsted in the catalog and in several databases( linked below).

What Are Social Sciences?

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, a social science is "any branch of academic study or science that deals with human behaviour in its social and cultural aspects. Usually included within the social sciences are cultural (or social) anthropology, sociology, psychology, political science, and economics." Applied social studies may include business, criminal justice, area or country studies, library science, and law.

image of connected people from sociology article


"Social Sciences Needed to Help Beat the COVID Pandemic," an article from Scientific American magazine.

"The Golden Age of Social Sciences," an article from the National Academy of Sciences!



Social sciences

Social Sciences contain the largest number of disciplines taught at Northwestern State. In the Database Directory by subject, the categories include Business, Criminal Justice, Education, Law and Legal, Political Science, Psychology, Reference and Library Science, and Sociology and Social Work. 

Some additional databases include:

Academic Search Complete: a multi-disciplinary database indexing more than 8,500 full-text periodicals including 7,300 scholarly titles. Also includes some general and popular sources, including video.

Biography in Context: useful in locating authors, scholars, and other public figures.

Credo: a reference database of scholarly encyclopedia articles, plus some brief general articles and definitions.

Gale Virtual Reference Library: online subject-specific reference books.

JSstor: an archive of scholarly journals, now with current articles from some journals.

Project Muse: A collection of books and articles.

WorldCat: an international bibliography of books, Internet resources, archival collections, etc. Items held by Northwestern State University libraries are highlighted.