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Social Work in Credo: Getting Started

Welcome to the Social Work Library Resources guide! This guide is designed as a jumping-off point for your research in the field of social work.

Credo Reference

Better than Google!! Credo Reference is good  for background information

What kind of information do you need?


Have problems with time management?

Plan and Stay on Task




You have a plan, so what's next?

The Research Process.



Where to Start...

For background information, start in Google but don't stay there.undefined

The library's database and one stop research tool, Credo Reference Online offers access to digital editions of 250 reference titles and links to the library's online catalog and other useful databases. Credo is our academic Google!  

       One Stop Search 




ADHD and children    ( How many of these sites can pass the CRAAP test?)                                 


ADHD and children 

CredoReference Pro Con arguments on controversial issues


Academic Search Complete (Social work Journal)


Another One Stop Search

Opposing Viewpoints


Planning Your Research


Planning your research saves you time.

Translating your research topic into a "PICO" question will help you figure out how to search for your topic in a database. The first step is figuring out search terms for your Population/Problem, Intervention, Comparison, and Outcome.


Using the PICO Format

P  Patient, Population, or Problem of Interest


I   Intervention, Exposure, Prognostic Factor (treatment, diagnostic test, risk factor, etc.)


C Comparison (implicit or explicit)


Outcome of interest (positive or negative)


You are working with a third grade class with a high rate of obesity and many students at risk for type 2 diabetes. You want to incorporate regular exercise into their daily schedule but you need to be able to justify starting an after-school physical activity program to the school administration.

This is a HOW question - you are looking for a solution to a problem.

Example:   How has daily exercise reduced obesity in elementary school children.


For more information about PICO check out this tutorial: PICO:Research Questions for the Health Sciences!



Role of the 5 W's



Who, What, When, Where, Why (and How)

Researchers in most fields are looking for one of two things:

  • A cause for a problem (Why) or
  • a solution to a problem (How).

The Why or the How then becomes the I element of the PICO formula.

The P element of the PICO formula is typically the Who or the What


Put your topic in the form of a question

Putting your topic in the form of a question will help you focus on what type of information you want to collect:  who, what, where, why and how.

Writing a one sentence research question will help you narrow your search and focus your topic.

Narrow your search by using limiters.  You may limit:

by the  geographical area:

Example: What environmental issues are most important in the Southwestern United States?

by culture:

Example: How does the environment fit into the Navajo world view?

by time frame:

Example: What are the most prominent environmental issues of the last 10 years?

by discipline:

Example: How does environmental awareness effect business practices today?

by population group:

Example: What are the effects of air pollution on senior citizens?

I have Tried Everything...

Remember that a topic may be difficult to research if it is too: locally confined, recent or too broad

  • locally confined - Topics this specific may only be covered in local newspapers and not in scholarly articles.

Example: What sources of pollution affect the City of Norfolk water supply?

If the question is about something local, you do have the option below:

  • Check the local newspaper, local websites (especially newspaper and municipal websites, as well as and for socializing and events).
  • recent - If a topic is too recent, books or journal articles may not be available, but newspaper or magazine articles may. Also, websites related to the topic may or may not be available.
  • broadly interdisciplinary - You could be overwhelmed with superficial information.

Example: How can the environment contribute to the culture, politics and society of the Western United States?