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Social Work Research Guide


Step 1: Topic and Background Information
Step 2: Books and Bibliographies
Step 3: Journal Articles


When choosing your essay or research topic, consult the Library Catalogue (see the Omni Quick Guide for tips on searching the library catalogue) and this Social Work guide.  If you need help, come to the Research Help Desk on the main floor of the Leddy Library. Research topics in Social Work may overlap with other subject areas such as Psychology, Women's Studies, Sociology, Nursing etc.., so you may also want to look at the online Leddy Library guides for other subject areas.

Once you have chosen your topic, the following reference books may help to provide background information or definitions of terms. Please note that this is a select list, so browse the reference collection for additional titles.

  • ACA Encyclopedia of Counseling
    Ref BF 636.54 .A23 2009

  • Alphabet Kids from ADD to Zellweger syndrome: a guide to developmental, neurobiological and psychological disorders
    CRC Ref RJ 506 .B44 W65 2009

  • APA Concise Dictionary of Psychology
    Ref BF 31 .A65 2009

  • Autism Encyclopedia
    Ref RC 553 .A88 A847 2005

  • Canadian Encyclopedia of Social Work
    Ref HV 12 .C36 2005

  • Code of Ethics - Canadian Association of Social Workers
    HV 10.5 .C2 2005 - also available online at CASW

  • Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice Handbook - Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers
    Ref HV 109 .O53 O58 - also available online at OCSWSSW

  • Comprehensive Handbook of Social Work and Social Welfare
    Ref HV 40 .C635 2008

  • Contemporary Youth Culture: an International Encyclopedia
    Ref HQ 796 .C8154 2006

  • Dictionary of Developmental Disabilities Terminology
    Ref RJ 135 .A26 2002

  • Dictionary of Multicultural Psychology
    Ref GN 502 .H336 2005

  • Dictionary of Social Work
    Ref HV 40 .P534 2010

  • Directory of Services and Programs for Abused Men in Canada
    Ref HV 1441.8 .C2 D57 2008

  • DSM-5 - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
    Ref RC 455.2 .C4 D54 2013

  • Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice
    Ref HM 671 .E53 2007

  • Encyclopedia of Alzheimer's Disease
    Ref RC 523 .M665 2003

  • Encyclopedia of Child Abuse
    Ref HV 6626.5 .C57 2007

  • Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood
    Ref HQ 767.84 .E53 2004

  • Encyclopedia of Children's Health and Wellness
    Ref RJ 45 .T9465 2004

  • Encyclopedia of Community
    Ref HM 756 .E53 2003

  • Encyclopedia of Diasporas
    Ref JV 6225 .E53 2004

  • Encyclopedia of Disability
    Ref HV 1568 .E528 2006

  • Encyclopedia of Domestic Violence
    Ref HV 6626 .E534 2007

  • Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol and Addictive Behavior
    Ref HV 5804 .E53 2009

  • Encyclopedia of Elder Care
    Ref RC 954 .E53 2008

  • Encyclopedia of Evaluation
    Ref H 62 .E583 2005

  • Encyclopedia of Feminist Theories
    Ref HQ 1190 .E63 2000

  • Encyclopedia of Gangs
    Ref HV 6439 .U5 E53 2008

  • Encyclopedia of Health and Aging
    Ref RA 777.6 .E534 2007

  • Encyclopedia of Health Psychology
    Ref R 726.7 .E53 2004

  • Encyclopedia of Homelessness
    Ref HV 4493 .E53 2004

  • Encyclopedia of Infant and Early Childhood Development
    Ref HQ 767.84 .E545 2008

  • Encyclopedia of Juvenile Violence
    Ref HV 9104 .E59 2007

  • Encyclopedia of Measurement and Statistics
    Ref HA 29 .S2363 2007

  • Encyclopedia of Race and Racism
    Ref E 184 .A1 E584 2008

  • Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender
    HQ 16 .E52 2007

  • Encyclopedia of Social Measurement
    Ref HA 29 .E525 2005

  • Encyclopedia of Social Welfare History in North America
    Ref HV 12 .E497 2005

  • Encyclopedia of Suicide
    Ref HV 6545 .E87 2003

  • Greenwood Encyclopedia of Children's Issues Worldwide
    Ref HQ 767.84 .G74 2008

  • Guide to Canadian Health Care Facilities
    Ref RA 978 .C2 G84

  • Guidelines for Ethical Practice - Canadian Association of Social Workers
    Ref HV 10.5 .C22 2005 - also available online at CASW

  • Handbook of Death and Dying
    Ref HQ 1073 .H36 2003

  • Information Windsor
    Ref HV 110 .W5 U5

  • International Encyclopedia of Adolescence
    Ref HQ 796 .I58 2007

  • International Encyclopedia of Depression
    Ref RC 537 .I573 2009

  • International Encyclopedia of Men and Masculinities
    Ref HQ 1090 .I58 2007

  • International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences
    Ref H 40 .A2 I5 2008

  • Oxford Dictionary of Statistical Terms
    Ref HA 17 .K4 2003

  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association
    Ref BF 76.7 .P83 2020

  • Privacy Toolkit for Social Workers and Social Service Workers: guide to PHIPA
    Ref KEO 730 .R42 P75 2005

  • Routledge International Encyclopedia of Queer Culture
    Ref HQ 76.96 .R68 2006

  • Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women
    Ref HQ 1115 .R69 2000

  • Sage Dictionary of Social Research Methods
    Ref H 62 .S22 2006

  • Sage Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods
    Ref H 61 .S234 2008

  • Sage Encyclopedia of Social Science Research Methods
    Ref H 62 .L456 2004

  • Sexual Health
    Ref HQ 21 .S47364 2007

  • Social Work Dictionary - 6th edition
    Ref HV 12 .B37 2014

  • Social Workers' Desk Reference
    Ref HV 40 .S6464 2009

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The Library Catalogue provides a listing of materials available at or through the University of Windsor Libraries. The library catalogue can be used to find books, videos, journals etc..

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The Leddy Library is providing access to an increasing number of online resources through the Leddy Library's web site.

Specific online Social Work indexes to find articles:


Related databases to find materials pertaining to Social Work:

The Leddy Library has a wide variety of databases that could be of interest to Social Work. The following is a select list so, depending on your topic, you may also want to take a look at the library subject guides for some other areas such as Psychology, Sociology, Nursing, Education, Women's Studies etc..


Online journals:


Newspaper articles:


E-books (electronic books):

For more information about e-book collections available through the Leddy Library, go to:  E-books


Theses and Dissertations - Leddy Library guide listing a variety of resources for access to theses and dissertations


Systematic reviews:

  • Campbell Collaboration - provides access to systematic reviews and protocols pertaining to the effects of social interventions in the areas of education, crime and justice and social welfare
  • Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews - provides access to systematic reviews and protocols pertaining to the effects of specific health care interventions

Related online reference tools:

For a general list of dictionaries and encyclopedias that are available via the Leddy Library, please click on Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Handbooks.  You can also search for additional reference materials in our Library Catalogue


Tests and Measurements:

Check the Leddy Library catalogue for print books about tests and measurements


Citation indexes:

CANSIM (Statistics Canada’s time series database with tables covering social and economic aspects of life in Canada)

Another useful resource is the Leddy Library’s Government Information web page. This site provides direct links to various sources of government information at the federal, provincial and municipal levels, plus links to the United States and other international organizations.


The Academic Data Centre provides access to data from Statistics Canada; Canadian Census Analyzer; Census Guides; CANSIM; Data Liberation Initiative; Canadian Institute for Health Information etc., plus sources for statistical information about the United States and other countries. The Centre has several online guides that could be useful for Social Work including:


NASW Clinical Register - this register is "a listing of clinical social workers who have met national standards for education and experience established by the National Association of Social Workers Competence Certification Commission.  The most recent edition is always available at the NASW website.

Writing Help:

The Leddy Library has a Writing Help web page that gives access to citation style guides, writing help and tools for managing references (RefWorks and Zotero).

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Assocation, 7th edition, can be found on Course Reserve and in the Reference Collection at Leddy Library at: BF 76.7 .P83 2020



Canadian Periodical Index - A 13 .C27
Print index available in the Reference section. Coverage is from 1938 to the present.

Inventory of Marriage and Family Literature - Z 7164 .M2 A482
Print index available in the Leddy Serials Collection. Coverage is from 1973 to 1994.

Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature - A 13 .R48
Print version of this index is available in the Leddy Indexes and Abstracts section in the basement of the West Building. Coverage is from 1900 to 2002.

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If the Leddy Library can't give you access to the journal articles or books that you need, you can submit interlibrary loan requests to RACER the Leddy Library's interlibrary loan service. The Leddy Library will then try to get the journal articles and/or books for you from another library.


There are many Internet resources pertaining to Social Work. For assistance in choosing and using various Internet search tools, come to the Research Help Desk in the Leddy Library. You can also make use of the Leddy Library's Research Help web page.

The following web sites may be of interest for topics pertaining to Social Work:

211 Windsor-Essex Community Information Database

Adoption Council of Canada

Alliance of Canadian Research Centres on Violence   

Association for Community Organization and Social Administration

Alliance for Healthier Communities

British Association of Social Workers

C. D. Howe Institute

Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health

Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE)

Canadian Association of Social Workers

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Canadian Centre on Disability Studies

Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

Canadian Child Welfare Research Portal

Canadian Council on Social Development

Canadian Disability Studies Association (CDSA/ACEI)

Canadian Mental Health Association

Canadian Policy Research Networks

Child Welfare Information Gateway

Child Welfare League of America

Children’s Mental Health Ontario

Council of Canadians with Disabilities

Council on Social Work Education

Family Violence Initiative  -  Public Health Agency of Canada

First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada

Fraser Institute

Global Affairs Canada  -  CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency has now merged with this government department

Information for Practice

Institute for Research on Public Policy

International Association for Community Development

International Association for Social Work with Groups

International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)

LIHN - Local Health Integration Networks - includes a link to the Erie St. Clair LIHN

Maytree (includes the Caledon archive for the Caledon Institute of Social Policy)

Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County

National Association of Social Workers (NASW) - United States

National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health 

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) - United States

New Social Worker

Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies

Ontario Association of Social Workers

Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers

P.O.W.E.R. Surfers - patients online for well-being, education and research

Social Welfare Policy and Practice

Urban Institute

Windsor Women Working with Immigrant Women

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit

Windsor-Essex Health Gateway 

Women's Health Matters - Canadian site developed by women's health experts at Women's College Hospital in Toronto

World Health Organization