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WOMGEN 98s | Junior Tutorial

Spring 2020


Oxford Bibliographies Online combine the best features of the annotated bibliography with those of good subject overview  in order to help you identify some of the most important and influential scholarship on a broad topic (mass incarceration, bilingual education, outcomes of social movements and protest activities, social stratification, and so forth).

Often the issue in information-seeking isn't scarcity of material but overabundance. OBO entries can help you solve the problem of knowing what or who to read or which voices in the conversation you should give some fuller attention to. See, for example: 


Handbooks and companions  are a stock-in-trade for academic researchers. Typically, they're edited volumes, with chapters written by authorities (recognized subject experts).They synthesize current "consensus" thinking about  a particular topic, phenomenon, theory, etc., and often offer extensive bibliography.

Examples pertinent to WGS 98s themes include:

Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theory (2015)

Leading feminist theorists provide in-depth explorations of an array of subject areas, capturing a plurality of approaches. The chapters offer innovative analyses of  central topics in political, social, cultural, and medical and scientific discourse that have been transformed through feminist theorization.



Oxford Handbook of Transnational Feminist Movements (2015)

cover of oxford handbook transnational feminismIn 35 chapters, explores the historical, political, economic and social contexts in which transnational feminist movements have emerged and spread, and the contributions they have made to global knowledge, power and social change over the past half century. 

The handbook is organized into ten sections, each beginning with an introduction by the editors. The sections explore  knowledge, theory and praxis; organizing for change; body politics, health and well-being; human rights and human security; economic and social justice; citizenship and statebuilding; militarism and religious fundamentalisms; peace movements, postconflict rebuilding; feminist political ecology; and digital-age transformations and future trajectories.

Routledge Companion to Feminist Philosophy (2017)

Fifty-six chapters, written by an international team of contributors specifically for the Companion, are organized into five sections: (1) Engaging the Past; (2) Mind, Body, and World; (3) Knowledge, Language, and Science; (4) Intersections; (5) Ethics, Politics, and Aesthetics. It foregrounds issues of global concern and scope; shows how feminist theory meshes with rich theoretical approaches that start from transgender identities, race and ethnicity, sexuality, disabilities, and other axes of identity and oppression; and highlights the interdisciplinarity of feminist philosophy and the ways that it both critiques and contributes to the whole range of subfields within philosophy.


Literature reviews help you easily understand—and contextualize—the principal contributions that have been made in your field. They not only track trends over time in the scholarly discussions of a topic, but also synthesize and connect related work. They cite the trailblazers and sometimes the outliers, and they even root out errors of fact or concept. Typically, they include a final section that identifies remaining questions or future directions research might take.

Among the databases for finding literature reviews, we recommend you start with:

Annual Reviews 

Since 1932,the Annual Reviews series has offered authoritative syntheses of the primary research literature in 46 academic fields, including economics, lawpolitical science, and sociology.


TIP: If you find a review that seems on point, but rather dated (10 years or so), try searching for it (or one of the authorities it cites) in Google Scholar. Then follow the “cited by” links. You  may discover something more recent there. 




Sage Research Methods Online

The ultimate methods library, it has more than 1000 books, reference works, journal articles, case studies, and instructional videos by world-leading academics from across the social sciences. It also boasts the largest collection of qualitative methods books available online from any scholarly publisher. 

Users can browse content by topic, discipline, or format type (reference works, book chapters, definitions, etc.). SRM offers several research tools as well: a methods map;  user- created reading lists; a project planner and advice on choosing statistical tests.

See, for example, this sample list of recent publications on feminist methodologies




A full text database of unique and diverse publications that focus on the impact of gender across a broad spectrum of subject areas. The database provides abstracts and the full text of some 175 academic and scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, regional publications, books, booklets and pamphlets, conference proceedings, and government, non-governmental organization, and special reports.

LGBT Life 

Covers four hundred magazines, academic journals, news sources, that treat gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender themes. 

Studies on Women and Gender Abstracts 

A database of article citations and summaries (with links to full-text) from the international literature produced on women and gender studies.  Topics run teh (inter)disciplinary gamut: history; education; race and ethnicity; literary studies; media and culture; geography; law; social work and social care; social policy; sociology; health, medical, and psychology; and politics. Both theoretical and empirical materials are included. 

Like PhilPapers (below), each article in SGWA is classified and assigned to a specialist subject taxonomy created by experts in the field. Users can browse within these key subjects or apply these categories after the fact to streamline their keyword results.


A directory of online academic research in all aspects of philosophy.  Among its helpful features is the ability to browse a topic list that has been defined and is maintained by the site's philosopher-community. One of its current aims is to classify all its contents according to a finely-grained taxonomy. In that respect, it behaves something like the SGWA database (described above). 

A list of broad topics related to feminism makes browsing (as well as keyword/subject searching) possible. 




Academic Search Premier

ASP casts a wide net, so you might see a topic treated from a number of disciplinary angles or through a variety of theoretical lenses. While much of what ASP searches is from scholarly sources, generous amounts also come from newspaper and general interest magazines. That sometimes means more breadth than depth, so depending on your topic (and the range of sources you're including), you may want to check your search results here against what you get in a gender-focused database (like those described above). 

Arts Premium Collection

Subject areas include: Art, Design, Architecture, Humanities, Film/Screen Studies, Music, Performing Arts, and more. With international coverage, and access to the definitive indexes in these fields, the Arts Premium Collection supports academic inquiry and is a rich source for comprehensive arts literature reviews.

Project  Muse 

Originally a collection of high quality journals published by the Johns Hopkins University Press, Project Muse now includes both journals and and books from non-profit scholarly publishers, including university presses and societies.

Muse is weighted heavily toward the humanities, though its coverage of the social sciences is also robust. 

Content is current, so unlike JSTOR, there is no moving wall to contend with.  In fact, recent issues of journal titles that are embargoed in JSTOR will sometimes be available for access in Project Muse. 

Social Sciences Premium Collection 

Covers the international literature in social sciences, drawing its contents from the key databases for sociology, politics, public policy, anthropology, criminology, linguistics, and and education. 





Google Scholar Settings: One simple change can turn Google Scholar into what's effectively a Harvard database -- with links to the full-text of articles that the library can provide. Here's what to do:  Look to the left of the GS screen and click on the "hamburger" (); then click on .  Look for "Library Links."  Then type Harvard University into the search box and save your choice.  As long as you allow cookies, the settings will keep.  




If you've used NoodleTools or EasyBib in a past academic life -- or even if you've figured out the the pin and cite options in HOLLIS -- Zotero will take you to a whole new level. 

This free, open source citation management tool makes the process of collecting and organizing citations, incorporating them into your paper, and creating a bibliography or works cited page stress-free and nearly effortless.

It's worth the small investment of time to learn Zotero. A good guide, produced by Harvard librarians, is available here: