Monday, August 23, 2010

New Database: Gender Studies Database

This past spring, we added another database that expands the specialized research options of our student and faculty researchers. Gender Studies Database (GSD) is a newish database from our most familiar vendor, EBSCOhost. But it results from the acquisition of several long- established indexes from a small publisher called National Information Services Corporation (NISC). GSD combines the older Women's Studies International with a Men's Studies database, providing a wide range of gender studies materials.

EBSCO indicates that "GSD covers the full spectrum of gender-engaged scholarship inside and outside academia." But the admission that some of the content is "outside academia" can be reason for caution. Although covering activist and community and "gray" literature is perfectly valid in an index analyzing gender issues, all materials may not be appropriate for ALL research needs. GSD includes "several thousand links to freely available and indexed full-text articles and documents on the Internet," from "carefully selected and important websites." But these items may not be applicable for use in an academic paper. (If you are unsure, review all materials with your professor before committing them to your paper!)

GSD source documents include professional journals, conference papers, books, book chapters, government reports, discussion and working papers, theses & dissertations, among others. This database includes more than 869,000 records, with coverage spanning from 1972 (and earlier) to the present. To review a list of GSD's indexed sources see this list.

Although some full-text (as in the first item in the above search) will be available directly from GSD, or "soft-linked" from other EBSCO databases we subscribe to, like Academic Search Complete, you should check the "360 Link to Full Text" option (as circled in above search example) for any item that interests you that does not display an HTML or PDF Full Text icon underneath the results citation. Note, too, as in the above screenshot, that you can easily limit your results to "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals" by simply clicking a box on the opening screen, or in the left frame of your results page. If your professor says "academic journals only" to you, limit your results to avoid any of the general web materials that GSD also indexes.

The coverage of sexual diversity issues is impressive in GSD. Combine it with the earlier blogged-about LGBT Life with Full Text and you will discover a great wealth of materials related to sexuality and gender topics.

[FIND Gender Studies Database on the Social Sciences page of the "Database by Subject" Lists, right above LGBT Life with Full Text, on the second column.]

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