St. Mary's University
Blume Library
Database Guide

Social Sciences Abstracts
via Wilsondisc for Windows

Social Sciences Abstracts is a bibliographic database that indexes and abstracts articles from more than 415 periodicals. A wide range of interdisciplinary fields are covered in a broad array of social science journals. This database contains 50-to-300 word abstracts of articles published from February 1983 to present. It is updated quarterly.

1. To Access the Database
In the Blume Library click on the Netscape Navigator icon on the computer desk top.  You will be connected to a page listing Electronic Databases at the Academic Library.  From the Interdisciplinary Databases page click on Social Science Abstracts from the list on the right side of the screen.

To access this and other databases from outside the Library, your home, or your office off-campus, see the instructions located at:

2. To Search
Type your keyword(s) into the white search box and click on OK. It is usually best to start with one or two terms. If you are combining two or more terms, use and to connect the terms.

Social Sciences Abstracts has an index that allows you to browse for terms contained in records. The Browse button is located at the top of the Search page. When browsing through the index you can simply highlight an index word or phrase then click on Show to display the records.

3. To Display Results
Your records will be displayed immediately in "Brief Fields" format. If you would like to see more of the record click on the All Fields button at the bottom of the screen. Click on Brief Fields to return to the shorter record format.

To move to the next record click on the double down arrow on the lower right side of the screen. To move to the previous record click on the double up arrow above the scroll bar on the right hand side.

4. Mark records you want to print or download by clicking in the small box to the left of every record. A check mark will appear.

a. To Download
After marking the records you want click on the Save button at the top of the screen. A box will appear. Select drive a:  for a diskette. Under File Name enter the name you would like to call the file with the extension .txt on the end. Click Download. You will be able to bring up this file in any word processor software to edit or print.

b. To Print
After marking the records you want, click on the Print button located at the top of the page. A box will appear, click Print.

5. To Perform Another Search
Type your keyword(s) into the white search box and click on OK.

6. To Locate Articles
Check the Periodical Holdings List (located on the first and second floors of the Academic Library) or the online catalog.

For items not at St. Mary's, check the CORAL Union List of Periodicals located near the Reference Desk or online at  <>.

7. To Exit from Social Sciences Abstracts
In the File menu choose Exit, then click on Exit at the next screen.


*     Unlimited truncation
   cat*         retrieves cat, cats, catatonic, catatonia, category, catch, etc.

?     Wild Card character
   wom?n     retrieves woman, women


To further refine your search results click on Limit. A box will appear. You may limit your search by the following:

    Publication Year
    Physical Description
    Language of Article
    Document Type

Simply highlight the limit you want from the Limit Search By: box, then highlight the value you need from those appearing in the Limiting Values: box. Click OK.

Operators for Connecting Search Terms

AND         Both terms appear in the record
    aged AND depression

OR            Either term appears in the record
    dyslexia OR learning disabilities

NOT         First term appears without the second term
    deregulation NOT air*

NEAR     The second term must appear within the specified number of words of the first, in the
                 same sentence or field.
    television NEAR4 children

IN             Use to search specific fields (see below)

Search Specified Fields

AB     Abstract
    clinton in ab

AU     Author(s)
    hufford-larry in au             hite-s* in au

SO     Source
    social forces in so

TI     Title
    riots in ti

Combine Searches

Your search history will be displayed near the top of the Search page with a separate # for every search. To combine your last search with a new one, simply start the new search with any operator (and, or, not, near, in) and it will automatically combine your new search with the last one. Example: and poverty

To combine previous search sets, type the # sign and number. Example: #3 and #5

For More Information

Click on Help for more search tips.
Contact a Reference Librarian (210/436-3508 or e-mail <>).

Created September 7, 1999.  The URL for this page is