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Information Resources and Services for:
GWS 380: Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies Colloquium

Fall 2010
This guide points out some traditional resources that may be useful for your projects, particularly databases that can provide useful research-based books and articles. There are also some useful Web tools that may help you organize and discover online sites worth knowing about. Any questions? Feel free to chat with a librarian or send me an e-mail at fister @ gustavus dot edu. For more details about how to use libraries and the Web for research, see the course website.

Professor: Peg O'Connor
Librarian: Barbara Fister

Table of Contents:

Locating Useful Books and Articles
  • Books!
  • WorldCat
    Use this database to order books from other libraries using the yellow "find it!" button. Thousands of libraries worldwide have their catalogs included here. Though you can search by a general topic, it's particularly efficient if you already know a book title or author. You can borrow from both public and academic libraries, so this may be a way to get books that reflect popular culture.
    1000 CE-present; updated daily
  • Google Books
    Want to find a specific phrase or name in books? Want to find the page number for that quote you forgot to write down? Try Google Books. Google is in the midst of an ambitious project to digitize books from publishers and in libraries. Those that were published before 1923 are in full text; those still potentially under copyright can be searched, but most cannot be viewed in full. It offers an interesting way to locate very specific words, phrases, and citations, particularly in older books. Using the advanced search you can limit a search to books that are full text or published within a range of years. Amazon also has the searchable full text of hundreds of thousands of current books, which can be helpful when you are trying to find a specific passage or a reference you forgot to note down.
  • Articles!
  • Academic Search Premier
    This is a workhorse database that includes thousands of journals in all disciplines, magazines, and newspapers. Use the limiters on the left-hand side to modify your results. Some articles are not full text; use the yellow "find it!" button to find out if it's in another database, in print in our library, or to request it from another library.
    1975-present; updated daily
  • Communication & Mass Media Complete
    This is a good bet for research on mass media and cultural studies. Some of the materials are trade publications for the broadcasting and entertainment industries, but many key scholarly journals are also included, many offering articles in full text.
  • Google Scholar
    This search engine points toward scholarly research rather than all Web-based sources. It is stronger in the sciences than in the humanities, with social sciences somewhere in between. One interesting feature of Google Scholar is that in includes a link to sources that cite a particular item. If you are using Google Scholar on campus, you will find articles available through the library's subscription databases linked. To view these links when searching off campus, use our Google Scholar Off Campus Link. Not all of the articles in Google Scholar are free; the library can obtain many of them for you through interlibrary loan.
  • MLA International Bibliography
    Though this database is primarily for literary criticism, it includes books, book chapters, and articles about film and cultural studies.
    1923-present; updated 9 times yearly
  • SAGE Premier
    Search the full text to over 500 scholarly journals published by SAGE in a range of disciplines, including many social sciences titles. Many journals include full backfiles - back to 1960s or earlier. To search articles by discipline, click on the "Browse" tab, then click on the "Articles by Discipline" tab.
  • Social Sciences Citation Index (Web of Knowledge)
    This database includes history, gender studies, psychology, sociology, and much besides. You can also include the arts and humanities in a search. One feature lets you find out who has cited a particular author; it also lets you search for articles that cite many of the same sources.
    1997-present; updated weekly
Web Tools and Tricks
  • Keeping Up With RSS Feeds

    To avoid having to visit sites daily to see if something is new, you can create a subscription and everything new come to you. Among options are to set up RSS feeds on a toolbar of your browser (though then you are only going to have them on one computer) or use an online reader such as Google Reader. Within a reader, you can set up folders to sort your incoming news into categories.

  • Keeping Up With Google Alerts

    To have searches performed automatically for you, with new results delivered to your mail inbox, set up Google alerts for news sources, blogs, websites, or all of the above.

  • Keep Track of Websites and Sources

    Too many bookmarks? Wish your bookmarks could travel with you? Use a social bookmarking tool to save and tag the websites that interest you, and see what sites others have tagged. One popular site for this purpose is Delicious. You may opt to have your saved links be public or private - or can automatically feed them to your Facebook profile. If you'd like to store references to books and articles in your own personal database - and have them formatted for you automatically when it's time to write your paper! - try RefWorks (a library subscription, but one you can use after you graduate) or Zotero (a free open-source browser plug-in).

  • Visualize Patterns in Text

    Okay, this is mostly just fun - but it has some research value, too. If you paste text into Wordle, you can see how often particular words appear. This can be helpful for analyzing a speech or processing comments gathered through fieldwork.

  • Good Web Sites
  • American FactFinder
    Provides a wealth of information about populations and places in the United States, drawing on census data. The powerful search facility can be used to pinpoint tables of data and to create maps based on the variables you supply. Mapping tools enable creation of thematic maps from national to street level.
  • American Memory
    A database containing full text documents, spoken word and sound recordings, still and moving images, maps, and sheet music as a digital record of American history and creativity. From the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions.
  • Intute: Social Science 2006
    A selective, annotated catalog of thousands of Web sites in the social sciences, hosted in the United Kingdom. Users can browse by topic and region or search by keyword. Each entry has been reviewed and is annotated. The focus is on quality sites that provide information directly, rather than link to other sites. An excellent resource for international social science data.
  • ipl2: Information You Can Trust
    Formed by a merger of the Internet Public Library and the Librarians' Internet Index, this site seeks out quality websites in all subject areas and provides annotations. It's a good place to browse or search for hand-picked, high-quality websites on a topic of your choice.

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