Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


Databases for Social Sciences

Use the databases below to:

  • find references to journal articles
  • keep up to date with the latest publications in your subject

Some databases require your Cardiff University network username and password for off-campus access. These databases are available for all staff and students of Cardiff University but because of licensing restrictions they are not available to external members and visitors.

You can also access databases through Electronic Resources - MetaLib

Database guides are available to help you.

Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts (ASSIA)

Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts (ASSIA) provides references and summaries of articles covering:

  • social services
  • social work
  • sociology
  • education
  • health

It is updated daily and coverage is from 1987. ASSIA currently contains over 375,000 records from over 500 journals published in 16 different countries, including the UK and US.

Back to top

British Education Index (BEI) (off-campus access to BEI)

British Education Index (BEI)
A key database for identifying journal articles and grey literature in the field of education. It contains bibliographical details of articles in UK journals, conferences and selected reports. BEI covers a wide range of subjects, but has particular strengths in areas such as:

  • educational policy
  • administration
  • assessment
  • evaluation
  • technology
  • special educational needs

Back to top

British Humanities Index (BHI)

British Humanities Index
Contains references relating to the humanities from articles in over 200 British journals and major newspapers from 1962 onwards. Subjects covered include:

  • the arts
  • music
  • philosophy
  • religion
  • literature
  • economics
  • history
  • politics
  • current affairs

Back to top

Education Information Resources Center (ERIC)

Indexes journal articles, multi-author volumes, conferences and official reports relating to education from 1962. Up to 14,000 documents and over 20,000 journal articles are indexed per year.

Back to top

International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS) 

International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS)
Indexes material on economics, sociology, politics and anthropology. Produced by the London School of Economics and Political Science, IBSS includes over 2.5 million references to journal articles, books, reviews and selected chapters dating back to 1951

Back to top

National Criminal Justice Reference Service 

National Criminal Justice Reference Service
The National Criminal Justice Reference Service Abstracts database indexes journals, reports and books dealing with research, policy, and practice related to criminal and juvenile justice, and drug control. Access is provided by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Back to top


Contains citations and summaries of journal articles, books, book chapters, technical reports and American dissertations. Areas covered include psychology and psychological aspects of related disciplines, including education, psychiatry and medicine.

References to articles are drawn from over 1,300 journal titles from more than 50 countries and date back to 1887. References and summaries of English language books and chapters are included from 1887 to the present. 

Back to top


Includes over 14,000 scholarly journals in scientific, medical, technical, and social science disciplines. Coverage goes back selectively to 1966.

Back to top

Social Care Online

Social Care Online
Produced by the National Institute of Social Work and covers the whole range of social and community care issues including:

  • anti-discriminatory practice
  • child protection
  • families
  • elder abuse
  • juvenile and criminal justice
  • local government
  • management
  • mental health

Back to top

Social Services Abstracts

Social Services Abstracts
Social Services Abstracts covers over 1,300 journals from 1979 to date,  and provides abstracts of journal articles and dissertations, and citations to book reviews. Subject areas include: The family, gerontology, poverty, social work, welfare services, social policy, community development and mental health services, violence abuse and neglect.  Had over 148,000 records in 2011, with 5,000 added per year.

Back to top

Sociological Abstracts

Sociological Abstracts
Provides access to world-wide literature in sociology and related disciplines from 1963 onwards. Abstracts of articles from over 2000 journals are included along with details of dissertations, book reviews and sociological books. Updated daily.

Back to top

Web of Knowledge Service

Web of Science
This service provides access to the Web of Science databases:

  • Arts & Humanities Citation Index
  • Social Science Citation Index
  • Science Citation Index

Covers over 8,500 scholarly research journals, including author abstracts, from 1981 to the present. Searchable by keyword or by works that have been cited by other publications.

Also includes the ISI Journal Citation Reports for the Sciences and Social Sciences. To access the Reports, login to Web of Science and select the ISI Journal Citation Reports option from the home page. These provide easy access to data so scholarly journals can be compared. Categories include highest impact and most frequently cited journals.