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This guide lists American University Library databases, print sources, and free Web sites of use to Sociology research.

Subject Guide

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Text: (571) 248-7542


The emphasis of this guide is on Sociology resources in the American University Library collections.  With time more and more free Web sites will be added.

Search Tips

Boolean operators:

AND - use to narrow a search and get fewer and more relevant results.
elections and voters

OR - use to broaden a search and get more results. Good for synonyms and words with variant spellings. Add parentheses when using OR.
(latin america or argentina or colombia)
(organization or organisation)

NOT - use to narrow a search to get more relevant results
mexico not new mexico


  • Most databases use an asterisk symbol *.

Use to find words with different word endings.
e.g. immigrant* yields immigrant, immigrants
e.g. immigra* yields immigrant, immigrants, immigrate, immigration, immigrating, etc.

Truncation (or wildcard) symbols:

  • Most databases use an asterisk symbol *.

Proximity search:


Use to find words that are close to each other on a page. It is one way to find more relevant results.

Each family of databases has its own command words.

near/number=words near another word in any order, within a certain number
renewable energy near/5 viable