Social Work

Books & videos
Grey literature
Systematic reviews

Main databases

Secondary subject databases
Database Description
APA PsycInfo A comprehensive database for the field of psychology and psychological aspects of related disciplines. View Full Description
CINAHL with Full Text Index for nursing & allied health literature including full text for some content. View Full Description
Social Services Abstracts Citations and abstracts focused on social work, human services, and related areas, including social welfare, social policy, and community development. View Full Description
Social Work Abstracts Citations and abstracts for articles on social work, social welfare, and related fields. View Full Description
Sociological Abstracts Comprehensive, international coverage of journal articles, books, papers, etc. in sociology and related disciplines. View Full Description

Also useful

Tertiary subject databases
Database Description
American Indian Histories and Cultures Manuscripts, artwork and rare print material on native North American history and European settlement. View Full Description
Applied Social Sciences Index & Abstracts (ASSIA) Index of literature covering health services, social work, psychology, and sociology. View Full Description
Bibliography of Indigenous Peoples in North America Contains citations to books, journal articles, essays, conference papers, and government documents. View Full Description
Canadian Business & Current Affairs Database Provides access to Canadian journals, magazines and news resources on all topics. View Full Description
Cochrane Library Collection of seven databases with information on the effects of intervention and prevention in health care. View Full Description
Criminal Justice Abstracts with Full Text Covers journal articles, books, reports, dissertations and unpublished papers. View Full Description
ERIC (via ProQuest) Index with education related literature. Includes links to full text on the free version of ERIC. View Full Description
iPortal: indigenous studies portal research tool Index to articles, books, and other documents related to indigenous peoples of Canada and North America. View Full Description
JSTOR Current and back issues of journals in arts and sciences. View Full Description
MEDLINE (via ProQuest) Key index for biomedical and related literature. View Full Description
NCJRS Abstracts Database U.S. database with summaries of articles, books and other materials about crime and corrections. View Full Description
North American Indian Thought and Culture Full-text biographies, autobiographies, diaries, letters, personal narratives and speeches. View Full Description
PTSDpubs Index for assessment, treatment, services and policies relating to stress disorder. View Full Description
Social Sciences Citation Index (included in Web of Science) View Full Description
Social Work @ EBSCOhost Selected EBSCOhost databases for Social Work. View Full Description
Social Work @ ProQuest Selected ProQuest databases for Social Work. Suitable for general searching in social sciences and social services, education, and psychology View Full Description
Sociology Collection Index and full-text databases covering sociology, social work, and related disciplines. View Full Description
Sociology Database Index and full text collection of literature regarding the sociology and social work. View Full Description
Web of Science Core Collection Citation indexes for the arts & humanities, the social sciences, and the sciences. View Full Description


To find books use the Library search tool, Omni.

You can order books from different library locations for easy pick-up.


To find videos use the Library search tool, Omni.

Online Collections

American History in Video
Video collection for the study of American history.
Live and recorded webcasts on research methods and analysis. Requires log in.
CBC Digital Archives
CBC radio and television news clips, interviews, and more, documenting numerous aspects of Canadian life and history. Includes excerpts from the classic documentary series, This Hour Has Seven Days
Counseling and Therapy in Video
Collection of videos concerning social work, psychotherapy, psychology, and psychiatric counseling.
Collection of feature films. Can be accessed solely for personal, non-commercial, educational / research viewing.
Education in Video
Collection of videos about topics in training and education, including classroom footage.
Filmakers Library Online
Video collection of over 900 documentaries for humanities and social sciences.
Films On Demand
Streaming video collection for the humanities and social sciences.
Moving Image Archive
Thousands of videos ranging from classic full-length movies, to daily alternative news broadcasts, to user-uploaded videos of every genre.
National Film Board of Canada
Thousands of documentaries, animations, and alternative dramas produced by the National Film Board of Canada.
With the purpose of training therapists, this resource is a growing collection streaming videos of therapists conducting psychotherapy sessions.
Social Care TV (SCIE)
Covers broad aspects of the social care sector.
Theatre in Video
Video collection of plays and film documentaries.

What is Grey Literature?

In the context of Social Work scholarly research, grey literature is not formally or traditionally published and it is not usually subject to the process of peer-review. Examples of grey literature can include:

  • Policy documents
  • Association publications
  • Theses and dissertations

There are many places to search for grey literature. This page directs you to some of those places.

Public Policy Databases

Canadian government and non-governmental public policy documents.
International Public Policy @ EBSCOhost
Selected EBSCOhost databases for International Public Policy.
International Public Policy @ ProQuest
Selected ProQuest databases for International Public Policy.
Conference Board of Canada e-Library
Research reports on public policy, economics and management.

Social Policy & Advocacy Websites

Caledon Institute of Social Policy Archive
This social policy think tank no longer operates, but its collection of social policy research is available online through the Maytree Foundation.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
An independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social, economic and environmental justice.
Canadian Council on Social Development
A not-for-profit organization that partners and collaborates with all sectors (not-for-profit, philanthropic, government and business) and communities to advance solutions to today’s toughest social challenges.
Canadian Policy Research Networks
Socio-economic policy think tank.
Canadian Social Research Links
A virtual resource centre for Canadian social program information. Updated regularly with news from other sites.
Charity Village
A non-profit directory.
The Council of Canadians
A social action organization.
The Centre for the Study of Living Standards
A non-profit, national, independent organization that seeks to contribute to a better understanding of trends in and determinants of productivity, living standards and economic and social well-being through research.
Institute for Social Research (York University)
Houses the largest university-based survey research centre in Canada.
Canadian Think Tanks (University of Alberta Library)
Subject guide that provides an A-Z list of Canadian Think Tanks.
Canadian Child Welfare Research Portal
Provides access to research on Canadian child welfare programs and policies.

Government Documents

Visit the Government Information Subject Guide for more resources and to connect with the Government Information Librarian, Hélène LeBlanc.

Canadian Research Index
Citations to monographs and annual publications from Canadian government and institutional resources.
PAIS Index (limit search to "PT = government document")
International index to various types of publications on public/social policy and social sciences. Includes PAIS Archive.
Google Advanced Search
Combine search terms, limit results by region, search by file type (e.g. pdf), or search by domain such as

Association & Government Websites





Theses & Dissertations

Theses and Dissertations are major research projects conducted by senior university students, usually graduate students, as a degree requirement. Visit the Theses and Dissertations Subject Guide to find more resources.

    Dissertations & Theses Global (ProQuest)
    International database with full text and/or abstracts for doctoral dissertations and selected master's theses.
    Scholars Commons @ Laurier
    Online collection of the intellectual, creative, and scholarly output of the Wilfrid Laurier University community.

    Evaluating Sources

    You need to critically evaluate all types of sources to determine how appropriate they are for your research. This applies to grey literature sources in particular because they are produced outside formal or traditional publication channels.

    Statistics and Data Portals

    Statistics Canada Homepage
    Discover resources, news, and research from Canada's national statistical agency.
    Repository of socio-economic survey, census, and polling data from Statistics Canada, Ipsos Reid, Gallup, etc.


    Canadian Institute for Health Information
    Statistics and analysis on the Canadian health care system.
    Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Surveillance
    Uses administrative data to analyze incidence, prevalence, and outcomes of chronic conditions and disease in Canada.
    Canadian Index of Wellbeing
    Measures the social well-being of Canadians.
    The Source for Women's Health
    Identifies and tracks sources of women's health data, reports, and reviews.

    Select Resources

    Elections Canada
    Campaign results, voter turnout, and campaign finance information. Click on Resource Centre for reports and publications.
    Juristat is Statistics Canada’s annual publication for crime and justice statistics, such as homicide rates and violent crime rates by region. See topics by browsing by Chronological Index in the left-hand menu.
    Community Information Database (CID)
    Develop basic socio-economic profiles for communities in Canada.
    WomanStats Project
    A compilation of data on over 260 indicators of women's status in 174 countries. Creating a free account is required.


    Visit the Data and Statistics Subject Guide to find more resources and to connect with the Data Librarian.

    What are Systematic Reviews?

    Systematic reviews identify and analyze all of the research that has been done on a specific topic. They expose gaps in research and can help practitioners make decisions by revealing what up-to-date evidence shows.

    “A systematic review attempts to identify, appraise and synthesize all the empirical evidence that meets pre-specified eligibility criteria to answer a given research question. Researchers conducting systematic reviews use explicit methods aimed at minimizing bias, in order to produce more reliable findings that can be used to inform decision making.”

    ~ Cochrane Library, About Cochrane Reviews

    Finding Systematic Reviews

    Try searching the following resources to find systematic reviews. You can also search databases using "systematic review" as a keyword.

    Cochrane Library
    Collection of seven databases with information on the effects of intervention and prevention in health care.
    Campbell Library
    The peer-reviewed online monograph series of systematic reviews prepared under the editorial control of the Campbell Collaboration. Campbell systematic reviews follow structured guidelines and standards for summarizing the international research evidence on the effects of interventions in crime and justice, education, international development, and social welfare.
    A database of systematic reviews of public health and health promotion interventions.
    Pubmed Systematic Review Filter
    Free biomedical literature search tool, composed primarily of Medline but including additional information. Select "Clinical Queries" under the heading "PubMed Tools" to find systematic reviews.


    Visit the Systematic Reviews Subject Guide for more information and contact the Social work Librarian, Meredith Fischer: or 519-884-0710 ext. 4973.