Selecting the best or most appropriate finding aid for identifying sources depends almost entirely on the context of your research project. There is no single database or web search interface that will work for every research context; instead, you'll need to match your specific research needs to a variety of options. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of Gender Studies, there are many other databases that may be useful to utilize for your research.
1. Start with the information provided in tertiary sources!
2. Do an author search in Primo or a subject database. Which scholars are working on your topic? Many researchers will write about the same topic throughout their career. Searching by an author's name may help you gather additional information.
3. Mine the bibliographies and footnotes in other secondary sources. You may find one secondary source that is not quite right for your project; however, it may cite another scholarly source that would be just right!
4. When searching Primo or a database, pay attention to the subject headings in your results. You can use the vocabulary or click to do a new search for that heading. You'll be surprised at what you discover this way!
5. Select the best sources, not just the most convenient sources. This may mean requesting a book from SUMMIT and/or an article from Tipasa, both of which take about two to five days to arrive.
Use Primo to find resources on your topic at Collins Library and beyond. You will have plenty of time to request materials via Summit or ILL for your project, so start early!
By consulting book reviews of the scholarly works you are reading, you can gain a better understanding of the place of a particular work within the field. Here are a few tips for locating book reviews:
Search by the title of the book, or by the author of the review and a keyword from the title.
When integrating research into your final project, your literature review should move beyond basic summarizing to focus on a critical analysis of the works you've reviewed and their relationship to your research question.
There are many ways for you to organize your literature review - chronologically, by thematic categories, methodological approach, major debates/conflict, or the position/argument of the author(s). Avoid simple lists and discussing each of your sources individually, and only use the chronological method if there is a clear chronological path of development in the research on your topic.
Practice synthesizing your sources thematically using the matrix below.
Gender Studies Database provides indexing and abstracts covering the full spectrum of gender-engaged scholarship. Essential subjects include gender inequality, masculinity, postfeminism and gender identity. Search for professional journals, conference papers, books, book chapters, government reports, discussion & working papers, theses & dissertations and other sources.
Depending on your topic and your angle, you may wish to search additional subject databases.
The databases listed below are examples of multidisciplinary finding aids. These databases provide access to many scholarly journals and other resources, but they are more limited in coverage compared to subject databases. In many cases, it's better to search subject databases to identify articles, and then search the journal title in Primo to link to the materials. However, when you are specifically undertaking interdisciplinary research, these databases can be excellent starting places.
Google Scholar can help you find articles which have cited an article that you have found. Frequent citation is often (but not always!) a marker for a particularly influential scholarly work.
Using citations to search for scholarly literature can help you think more broadly about your research topic within the larger discipline, and help you answer the following questions:
Step 1: When looking at search results, check for the 'Cited by X' link underneath each result. That will tell you how many subsequent articles (that Google Scholar is aware of) have cited this particular article or book.
Step 2: Click that link, and you will be taken to a new set of results, all of which have cited the original article, which will still be listed at the top of the page.
Don't forget to prepare a list of related terms and concepts BEFORE you begin searching! This will save you time and give you a sense of direction as you search.
Number 1 Search Tip: Use Advanced Search and limit features whenever possible. Subset limits, date limits, citation searches, subject searches, etc. -- are all useful time savers.
When you construct your search, you'll want to connect synonyms with the Boolean operator "OR" and different concepts with the Boolean operator "AND." You also can use truncation (the asterisk*) to find all forms and spellings of a word.
Use a combination of the following techniques to increase the effectiveness of your searches:
|Search Technique||What It Does|
|quotation marks||Searches for exact phrase|
|Truncation (usually an *)||Searches for all forms of a word|
|Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT)||Lets you broaden or narrow your search|
|Database thesaurus or index||Allows you to pinpoint the exact indexing terms the database uses|
Tipasa is linked to your library account so you'll need to log in to use it.
Once you are logged in, either go directly to Tipasa and manually enter the information, or, if you're using a database, look for a shortcut link to automatically fill out the form, like this:
Allow at least a week for the article to come. If your article is delivered in electronic format, you'll receive an email with a link to follow as soon as it's arrived.
This subject guide highlights only a small portion of the many resources available to you. If you're not finding what you need, don't hesitate to contact Katy!