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Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons

Social Work

A guide to Social Work resources and library research.

Google Tools!

Setting Up Google Scholar Preferences

For a video tutorial CLICK HERE

For step-by-step directions in print see DOC below

Criteria for Evaluating Websites

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To determine the quality of information on a website check the following:


Authority – Who is responsible for the content of the page?  What are the individual or organization’s goals and purpose?  Is there contact info?  What’s the domain?


Accuracy – Are the sources for any factual information clearly cited?  Is the information free of errors that would indicate a lack of quality control or produce inaccuracies in the information?


Objectivity – Is there bias?  Who’s the intended audience?  Is advertising playing a role?


Currency – Date published?  Date last revised?  Out-dated info?  Out-dated links?


Coverage – Page still under construction?  Does it address intended topics or has something significant been left out?  Is there a fee to get to some of the information?  Is the info well supported and cited?

Fact Checking

Policy/Law/Legislation Resources


In addition to our legal databases (found here) LexisNexis and HeinOnline try:



Massachusetts Legislature - General Laws Search search for MA law and bills


MA Trial Court Libraries  MA law resources by subject and by source also chat reference help.  Their page on MA Law on Public Benefits.


MA State Library The Commonwealth's library located at the State House supports the research and information needs of government, libraries, and the public through innovative services and access to a comprehensive repository of state documents and other historical items  Chat and email reference help available.


Massachusetts Social Services


Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute (LII)

A direct link to their Supreme Court Collection.  A research and electronic publishing activity of the Cornell Law School.


Guide to researching federal statutes (Law Library of Congress Guides) which includes by popular name option

Provides access to congressional legislation, the Congressional Record, and floor activities in Congress.  Goal of maki ng federal legislative information freely available to the public.    

Major Acts of Congress (Library resource)  Major acts of Congress explained.

Government Laws and Regulations  Popular laws and regulations

Congressional Research Service Reports  From the University of North Texas Digital Library this collection tries to provide integrated, searchable access to full-text CRS reports previously found on varying websites. CRS is the public policy research arm of Congress. 

Polling Data

Research and Data

Evidence-Based Practice A snapshot from the NASW

Ethics Resources and Research An overview from the NASW

More social work policy research and data

History of Social Work

Social Work Pioneers  A database of pioneers in the social work field.  Provided by NASW.

Social Work History  Facts from the NASW.

History of the NASW 1917-1955 From Virginia Commonwealth Library

A History of Social Welfare  A digital collection provided by Cornell University.  Search or browse its texts, view timelines.