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Subject Guides

Women's Studies

Web Searching

Your online guide to finding resources for your research

Effective Web Searching

The amount of information on the Internet is already huge and is growing rapidly all the time. Search engines such as Google can be helpful in some instances but have serious limitations for scholarly research. You will need to plan your searches carefully and precisely to avoid obtaining too many results.

Top tips:

1. Use professional and governmental websites e.g.

UN Women

2. Use specific Internet portals for Women's Studies e.g.


3. Always make sure you evaluate websites that you use:

Accuracy: can you rely on the information provided on the website?
Authority: who has written the webpages and do they have the necessary knowledge or qualifications to do so?
Currency: are the pages up-to-date and regularly maintained?
Objectivity: Is there any inherent bias in the pages that you need to be aware of?
Coverage: Does the website provide enough information or will you need to look at a range of websites?

Internet Portals and Gateways

Google Searching



An alternative to Google. Unlike Google and other search engines, DuckDuckGo does not collect or share your personal information.

Libraries, Publishers and Databases

  • ARIADNE - a German-language bibliographic database of 10000 records (mainly articles) from the holdings of the Austrian National Library in Vienna, focusing on "international and women's studies literature".
  • Core Books in Women's Studies - from the (U.S.) Association of College and Research Libraries' Women's Studies section. "These Core Lists of books in women's studies are intended to assist women's studies librarians and collection development librarians in building women's studies collections. Because the lists include only books currently in print, they also serve as a guide to teaching faculty in selecting available course readings. The focus of most of the lists is on women in the United States. Each list consists of 20 to 75 titles, and the most important five to ten titles are starred. The lists are updated each January. Titles no longer in print are dropped, and newly published titles added."
  • gender Inn: Women's and Gender Studies Database - bibliographic database (with thesaurus) hosted by the University of Cologne, "providing access to over 5000 records pertaining to feminist theory, feminist literary criticism and gender studies, focusing on English and American literature." In English and German.
  • Glasgow Women's Library - established in 1991, it grew out of the women's arts-orientated project, Women in Profile (1987), to ensure the visibility of women in the programming of the Glasgow, European City of Culture year (1990). The Library now offers a number of opportunities including helping women with their reading and writing, creative courses, a young lesbian and bisexual women's peer support project, a community garden and a lending library and helpdesk accessed by over 1,800 members.
  • International Women's Issues tutorials - "a group of interactive tutorials that teach concepts and techniques for effective searching and retrieval of online information on International Women's Issues." From the University of Wisconsin system libraries.
  • - Includes Feminist Academic Press Column - originally published as the University Press Column for Feminist Bookstore News, this review site covered titles of both general/trade and academic interest from university and academic presses but has been frozen since 2003. Also includes Women in Print - A listing of women's, feminist, lesbian presses and bookstores in the US, last updated in 2004.
  • University of Wisconsin Women's Studies Librarian's Office - includes recommended bibliographies, plus regular extras such as Feminist Collections: a quarterly of Women's Studies resources - "news and reviews of the latest print and audiovisual resources for research and teaching in women's studies". The Resources for Research pages incorporate a very substantial directory of resources covering electronic journals, women's organisations, course materials and other Internet resources.
  • Women's Studies Database - searchable collection of documents and links maintained by the University of Maryland, including government reports, conference information, directories, mailing lists etc. See in particular the collection of bibliographies on a range of subjects relating to women's studies.

Electronic Forums and News Sites

  • Feministing - Young women are rarely given the opportunity to speak on their own behalf on issues that affect their lives and futures. Feministing provides a platform for us to comment, analyze and influence.
  • Gender-Related Electronic Forums - "a frequently-updated listing and description of more than 500 e-mail lists that focus on women- or gender-related issues". List maintained by Joan Korenman at University of Maryland Baltimore County, USA.
  • The Women's Enews news service - "Women's Enews is a project of the Women, Policy and Media Program of NOW Legal Defence and Education Fund. Women's Enews distributes to major media outlets, journalists, policy makers and ordinary citizens about issues of special concern to women." Also provides a service specifically for journalists and other researchers: a data base of experts on topics of interest to women called WE-Sources. The news service usually features 5-6 articles at a time.
  • Women-focused magazines and newspapers on the Web - from the University of Wisconsin Women's Studies Librarian.

Groups, Societies, and Institutions