Welcome to the APSU Library! Below is
information that you should find useful for Women's Studies courses. The following
information is intended to assist you in determining what your information needs
are, finding the information you need, and evaluating the information you
find. Links to various library services and resources are provided throughout this document.
You will need to follow each link to find out about that particular resource or
service. Through the Ask A Librarian
you can request assistance via email, chat, or telephone. You also have access
to a librarian via telephone (221-7346 or 1-800-250-1890), via email librarian,
or in person by coming to the Library. You may also contact me,
Berg, for assistance. My contact information is listed below.
Initially, you may need to understand more about
the research process. The APSU Library has a guide available that will explain
and take you through each step of The
Research Process. You may want to take the time now to go to the
research process link. One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is
"What types of information do I need for my research
project/paper?" You have access to many types and formats of information
through the APSU Library. So, how and where do you find
the information you need? The APSU Library is the place to start.
What does APSU Library have available?
A good way to think of the APSU
Library is as an information portal. The Library's website is a bridge to
vast amounts of information both inside and outside APSU. Use the Library's website to find
out what is available (http://library.apsu.edu). The Library owns or provides
access to a wide variety of materials.
is the Library's online catalog. It lists items that are available
both physically in the Library and
items that you have access to through the Library. You can check Austin to
see if the Library owns a particular book (either in print or in electronic
format), a journal title (not a specific article), videos, selected
government publications, websites and other materials. The Library subscribes to a number
of general and specialized databases
that provide you with bibliographic citations to resources, and in some cases
the full-text of the resource. Subject
pages (arranged by discipline) have been developed so that many of the
information resources for a particular discipline are grouped together in one
place. Note: since Women's Studies tends to be cross disciplinary,
you may need to consult subject pages other than the one for Women's Studies. Now that we have determined that the place to look for information
is the Library, we need to find out how we find the needed information.
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Searching for information
You will find the following search protocols
useful when searching for any kind of information.
Start with a specific topic. Broaden or narrow it as
necessary. For example you might begin your research by searching for Women's
health services. Depending on your specific topic you may
need to broaden your search to Medical care or narrow it to maternal
Use Boolean operators (AND,
OR) to help construct your
search strategy. Boolean operators assist you in combining search
concepts and defining your searches. The AND operator narrows
your search. The OR operator broadens your search. Examples:
employee rights AND women would retrieve resources
containing information about both employee rights and women. sexism OR
sex bias would retrieve information about
Limit by format and material type when searching databases.
Many databases allow you to limit your searches by material type and format such as journal articles, refereed publications, research, literature
reviews, and many others. Check in each database you use to see how to
limit by publication type and format.
Use the references at the end of an article or book chapter
to find other resources. The references used by someone else in their
research are extremely valuable to you. By consulting those resources,
you may find information that you may not have known about and that
will improve your research.
Check subject terms assigned to an article to see if there
are more accurate or specific terms for your topic. Whenever you search
a catalog or database, always look at the subject terms that have been
assigned to the resource. You may find a better or more accurate
subject term for your topic and improve your research.
If you are having trouble finding information about your topic,
think of other terms to describe your topic. Example: another way
to describe suffrage is voting rights.
If the database or index you are searching
has a controlled
vocabulary or thesaurus, use it! In many cases your search will be much more
accurate than if you use keywords. By using the thesaurus in a
database, you are using the language used by the indexers and abstractors.
However, having said that, there are cases when a keyword search will
provide better results. For new or current concepts and issues, you may have to use keyword searching
because the new terms may not have made it into the controlled vocabulary of
Databases index a variety of
information including articles, book chapters, book reviews, letters, primary
sources retractions, editorials, and others. Some databases you will use contain
only bibliographic citations, some include an abstract, and others include the
full text of a resource. I will describe some of the subject databases you
will use in your research for this class in the next section.
Databases are produced by many different vendors
and each vendor has their own search software. Wouldn't it be
wonderful if there were a uniform search platform? The search protocols
that I mentioned in the previous section will help you to search each database
effectively regardless of the vendor.
Many database vendors provide abstracts for many
of the publications they index. Be sure to read them carefully. They
can save you a lot time. An article may seem to be perfect from the title,
but may discuss something irrelevant to your topic. The abstract helps you
determine if the publication is meaningful to your research topic. The
abstract is NO substitution for consulting the complete article or study.
Consult the specific databases listed below to
determine which one or ones you need to use for your research topic. You
may need to consult the list of all
databases to decide if there are other databases that will assist in your
As an APSU student you have access to databases
available through the APSU Library both on campus and off-campus via remote
access. Consult the Remote
Access guide for assistance.
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Women's Studies International
covers the core disciplines in Women's Studies to the latest scholarship in feminist research. Coverage
includes more than 489,600 records and spans from 1972 and earlier to present.
This database supports curriculum development in the areas of sociology,
history, political science & economy, public policy, international relations,
arts & humanities, business and education. Over 2,000 periodical sources are
Women and Social Movements in the United
States brings together books, images, documents, scholarly essays,
commentaries, and bibliographies, documenting the multiplicity of women’s
activism in public life. This resource examines perspectives on women’s social
movements from colonial times to the present.
North American Women's Letters and Diaries collection
includes approximately 150,000 pages of letters and diaries from Colonial times
to 1950, including 7,000 pages of previously unpublished manuscripts. The
material is drawn from more than 1,000 sources, including journal articles,
pamphlets, newsletters, monographs, and conference proceedings. Represented
are all age groups and life stages, a wide range of ethnicities, many
geographical regions, the famous, and the not so famous. More than 1,500
biographies enhance the use of the database.
is a current bibliography of articles about women's and gender history,
including related topics such as prostitution, witchcraft, housework,
sexuality, birth control, infanticide, the family, gynecology, and
masculinity. Articles published in English, French, German, Dutch,
Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish are selected from 160 European, American,
Canadian, Asian, Australian and New Zealand journals. The ViVa database
contains bibliographic records describing more than seven thousand articles
published from 1975 to present in historical and women's studies journals.
provides full-text access to back issues of selected academic
journals in the following areas: African American Studies, Anthropology,
Asian Studies, Ecology, Economics, Education, Finance, History, Languages &
Literature, Mathematics, Philosophy, Political Science, Population Studies,
Sociology, and Statistics. JSTOR does not include current
MUSE includes current issues of nearly 200 quality journal titles from
some 30 scholarly publishers, covering the fields of literature and criticism,
history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political
science, gender studies, economics, and many others. Links to back issues from
JSTOR are available for some titles. These direct links only work from
on-campus (access JSTOR from the Jump to Database box if off-campus).
lists citations and summaries of most articles and the
entire text of many articles in journals, magazines, and newspapers. All
subjects are covered. Periodicals included cover the social sciences,
humanities, science and technology and national news (The
New York Times is indexed in InfoTrac).
Austin is the APSU Library’s database of all the materials
located in the Library and the Music Listening Lab.
Austin contains over 200,000
records describing books, periodical titles, audiovisuals such as videos,
cassettes, CDs, and LPs, a limited number of government publications as well as
selected web sites. Items in Austin may be searched by author, title, or subject.
Austin also contains records for materials that professors have placed on reserve
for their classes. The records are searchable by Instructor name or Course
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Does the APSU Library have the
periodical I need?
The easiest way to determine if
the APSU Library has the periodical you need is to search by the Find Periodicals
link located under the
link on the Library's homepage.
You may type in the name of a specific periodical title or browse an
alphabetical list of titles to find out if the APSU Library owns a title.
Evaluation of Information
Material that you find in
has been selected for the APSU Library by librarians and subject faculty using
formal selection criteria and professional reviews. Resources indexed in
subject databases have met certain
criteria set forth by the database publishers such as subjects covered,
publication type, and others. You will have to evaluate this
information further to determine if it is appropriate for your research purposes.
There are various criteria to assist you in evaluating materials for your
research project. Here
are some links that will help you to evaluate journal articles and books.
to Evaluate Journal Articles
to Evaluate Books
I'm sure that most of
you are aware that there is some very good information, some very bad
information and much in between available on the Internet. How do you tell
which is which? As with all information that you examine for your
research, you must evaluate its usefulness and relevance to your particular
project. You must ask yourself questions such as who is responsible for this
website? Are they an expert in the field? Is this information relevant to
my research? Is sponsor of this website a commercial entity or an
educational institution or an organization or what? Is the information
current? Can the information be verified in other sources? Here are
a several links that will help you to evaluate websites.
to Evaluate a Web Page
Criteria for Evaluating Web Pages
You may need some resources for your project that
the Library does not own. If that is the case, you need to use the
Library's interlibrary loan service (ILL). We can borrow materials that you
other libraries worldwide. Just fill out the online ILL
form and submit it electronically. Some of you may request dissertations or
theses that you find in the databases mentioned above. Many times these
documents are only available from the institution which granted the degree and
can be hard to borrow through ILL. That said, please don't hesitate to
submit the request. We may be able to borrow it. The most important
thing to remember about ILL is to plan ahead! While we have the
technology to receive articles via the internet, we still use regular (snail)
mail for books and other resources. Not all libraries that we borrow from
have the technology to send articles via the internet and still use regular
mail. Plan ahead.
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Once you select the sources to
use in your research project/paper, you will need to put them in some type of
order and format. You will use MLA format to document the resources used
in your paper/research project. There is an online style guide for Citing
Sources in MLA Format that you will find helpful. Not every type of
resource is covered by this guide. You may need to refer to the MLA
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th edition, for resources not
covered by the Library's guide. There are two copies of the MLA
Handbook (Ref Desk LB 2369 .G53 2003) at the Information Desk.
I have given you a lot of
information. I don't expect you to remember all of it. There is help
available to you in a variety of ways. The Ask
A Librarian service provides help via email, chat or via telephone. You may also
contact me personally (see contact information below). I am available via telephone, voicemail, email or in
It is probably best to give me a call to see if I am in my office before
stopping by. Please don't spend hours looking for
something and get frustrated. Ask for help. That's why the Library