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The purpose of this guide is to recommend print and electronic resources for conducting research in Women's Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in the Library. Click on the links on the left for suggestions about starting your research, getting books and articles, and finding other useful tools for research in women's studies.
To learn more about the library and its resources and how you can exploit them to your advantage, register in the Research Skills Tutorial on D2L. There are several sections in the tutorial with a short quiz at the end of each; at the end you will receive a Certificate of Completion. Many professors require you to take this tutorial--and once you finish it, you can save your certificate to reprint as often as necessary.
In the fall, the library hosts live Orientation tours as well as Zotero classes which you can sign up for at the library's entrance, and even after the formal schedule is finished, we are very happy to put on special classes at the request of at least 5 students. If you would like to arrange a special class, or you think your course would benefit from some in-class library instruction, please ask your professor to contact the librarian responsible for your faculty to set up some sessions.
Librarian for Women's Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies
In the library: The Library User Assistance Desk to your immediate left as you enter the library is a good place to start.
By email: Email the librarian responsible for your faculty for a reply during regular working hours.
By telephone: 705-675-4803, or toll free at 1-800-661-1058, ext. 2
For Distance Education students: Telephone: 1-800-661-1058, ext. 2 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Quick Tips on Preparing for Research
Before you start:
- understand the key terms you may be using as well as the general area that interests you;
- think about ways to narrow your topic, making it as specific as possible (unless you have been given a specific topic to research!);
- create a thesis statement;
- list the main concepts (key words) included in your thesis statement (research question), then based on your readings;
- find as many synonyms as you can for each main concept. You are now ready to start searching in the library's catalogue and databases.
When you are looking for definitions or if you don’t know much about a specific subject, reference works such as dictionaries and encyclopedias become invaluable because they contain relatively short—and accessible—articles. These articles often lay out the parameters of a subject and can assist you in trying to narrow your topic. Often such articles are accompanied by lists of readings (bibliographies) which allow you to explore your topic further.
Why Use Books?
- Books are extremely valuable resources when doing in-depth research on a topic! Authors have hundreds of pages to give detailed explanations and background information surrounding the various facets of your research interest.
- Using this kind of in-depth information will make it easier to form a research question or thesis statement (or even spark your inspiration)
- The bibliographies found in books are extensive, and will point you to other resources to add to your own resource list.
- Remember: scholars write journal articles under the assumption that you already have a relatively thorough understanding of the topic – this means that you will likely not find the foundational information needed for your topic in the beginning stages of your research process. In this sense, books become indispensable
Searching the Catalogue
The catalogue is your primary tool for finding books in the J.N. Desmarais Library. You can also use the catalogue to find other materials, including government publications and journals (the journals themselves--not individual articles).
You can search the catalogue by:
- Journal Title
When you know the book you are searching for, pick Title or Author; when you are searching for a topic, start with Keyword unless you know the exact Subject heading describing your topic.
More on searching the Catalogue is available in Module 5 of the Research Skills Tutorial in D2L.
E-books are located in two different places:
- Some may be located by using the library’s catalogue. These records will have [electronic resource] in the title.
- E-books can also be located by searching in e-book collections. Searching in these collections is the same as searching in a database.
Recommended E-Book Collections
- ACLS Humanities Ebooks
- Ebscohost eBook Collection
- Ebook Central (close to 40,000 e-books in multiple subject areas)
- GLBT Life & Issues Collection
- Scholars Portal E-Books (over 250,000 e-books in multiple subject areas. Select Full Text Only to find only those e-books with full text
- Taylor & Francis E-books
In addition to books, you may wish to search for book-length Master's theses or Ph.D dissertations.
Best bet: Dissertations and Theses (ProQuest).
If you are also looking for recent theses or dissertations produced by Laurentian graduates, check out our Research Repository - LUZONE. Note that since 2013, before graduation all Masters and Doctoral candidates MUST deposit their theses or dissertations in this repository.
Articles: Quick Tips
The databases to the right provide references to many scholarly journal articles and papers.
- Start off with keyword searches expressing your topic. Keyword searching crosses all fields.
- Use Search Operators such as "OR" and "AND" to expand or reduce your results.
- Review those items that look relevant, then, exploit the details within those entries to help lead you to other relevant articles.
- Pay attention to the subject headings (often called "descriptors") to see how the database describes your topic and use them to find related articles.
- Find other papers written by the same author; these will typically be on similar subjects.
- Follow citation trails: other articles that have cited this article will probably be on a related subject and will include citations to other articles of interest.
- For more Secrets of Searching a Database, review that section in How to Research Like a Librarian.
Peer Review is the evaluation of creative work by scholars in the same field in order to maintain or enhance the quality of the work in that field.
In the case of peer reviewed journals, which are usually academic, peer review generally refers to the evaluation of the articles in them prior to publication. For more, check out this definition of peer review.
- To ascertain whether a journal is peer reviewed, consult Ulrichsweb.
Some Related Databases
- ASTIS (Arctic Science and Technology Information System) Database
- America: History and Life
- Canadian Business and Current Affairs
- Canadian Newsstand
- Canadian Periodical Index
- Eureka.cc (Biblio Branchée)
- MLA International Bibliography
- Ontario Scholars Portal
- PAIS (Public Affairs Information Service)
- Social Sciences Index Retrospective, 1907-1984
- Sociological Abstracts
You may also consult the Guide to Newspapers and Magazines.
When researching a paper, it is useful to consult the citations used by the author of an article that you find relevant. But that article itself may have been cited by other authors after it was first written. Two sources help you identify such citations:
Getting Articles @ Laurentian
In any database, when you see an article that interests you, click on it and, unless the article is available within the database itself, within the record you will see an image that says "Get it @ Laurentian":
When you click on that, you will arrive at a menu which will lead to an electronic copy of the article you want, or, if not available electronically, to Laurentian's catalogue which will allow you to check if the article is available in print in the library, and if not, to a final link which allows you to order the item through Interlibrary loan.
Need a Film Not in Laurentian's Online Film Collections?
Consult: Watmedia (Provincial Multi-media Catalogue). Material held by Laurentian may be signed out in the library. To order a film not available at Laurentian, please email LUFilmLibrary@laurentian.ca and specify the date(s) you require the item.
Questions: Please contact Ashley Thomson who manages the Intrafilm Project.
- Blogs by Women
- Feminism and Women's Studies
- Voice of the Shuttle: Gender and Sexuality Studies
- WGSSLinks Developed by the Women & Gender Studies Section of the Association of College & Research Libraries.
- Women's Studies Online Resources
- Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women
- International Center for Research on Women The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) is a global research institute with headquarters in Washington, D.C., and regional offices in Nairobi, Kenya, and New Delhi, India. ICRW's mission is to empower women, advance gender equality and fight poverty in the developing world.
- The Kinsey Institute
- National Women's Studies Association
- Re: Gender
- Women's and Gender Studies et Recherches Féministes (formerly the Canadian Women's Studies Association / l'Association canadienne des études sur les femmes)
- Society of Women Engineers A not-for-profit educational and service organization that empowers women to succeed and advance in the field of engineering, and to be recognized for their life-changing contributions as engineers and leaders.
- Women in Technology International A global network of women that helps women by providing access to - and support from - other professional women working in all sectors of technolog
Media and Gender Resources Online
Looking for resources which focus on the role of gender and women in the media? Consider some of these online resources as a place to begin your search.
- About Face A San Fransisco-based nonprofit group combating negative and distorted images of women in the media. Website provides a list of media organizations which harm women and media groups which work toward the empowerment of women.
- Gender Ads ProjectProvides resources and images of various gender-representations in the media. Main two areas of focus are on "Females in Ads" and "Males in Ads".
- GenderTalk.com : Web Radio & Transgender Resources GenderTalk is the leading worldwide weekly radio program that talks about transgenderism in the first person. Each week we present news, information, and exciting new voices that challenge our traditional view of gender."
- SmartGirl Sponsored by the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan, SmartGirl is devoted to promoting media either designed for or made by girls and women. The site allows girls to post reviews as well as learn about social science.
- WAVE: Women's Audio Visuals in English "WAVE is a database created and maintained by the University of Wisconsin System Women's Studies Librarian's Office staff that indexes and describes documentary, experimental, and feature film and video productions by and about women. The database current
- Women Make Movies "Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitates the production, promotion, distribution and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women." Includes online catalog of titles
- Women's eNews Daily news reports about issues and events relevant to the reality of women. Focuses on the U.S. and other various countries.
Statistics on Women
- Finding Data on Women: A guide to Major Sources at Stats Can. An older guide to sources of Canadian stats on women and the condition of women.
- Gender and Work Database. York University (Leah Vosko)
- Statistics Canada - Women and Gender A starting point with links to statistics, reports and publications related to women and gender in Canada
We cite sources to acknowledge the work of others, as well as to avoid academic dishonesty or plagiarism.
The University of Toronto has made available a comprehensive set of guidelines on How NOT to Plagiarize which deserves to be read by every student.
Citation Styles in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program
At Laurentian, professors will specify the citation style to be used. To learn more about citation styles, consult Laurentian's guide to citation styles.
Zotero is a FREE web-based citation manager that will allow you to:
- Directly import references from article databases, the library catalogue, e-book collections, etc.
- Manage and organize your references.
- Create a bibliography.
- Share your references with others
- Add in-text citation and a bibliography directly into your assignment
Getting started with Zotero:
- Sign up for library workshop when available.
- View Quick Start Guide (video) or Tutorials (videos)
- Consult one of Zotero's own User Guides or McMaster University's Quick Start Guide or the Zotero Guide by the University of Ontario Institute of Technology