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GSWS Graduate Students Library research guide

This guide is an introduction to some of the tools and resources useful for graduate students in GSWS.

Contact info

As the Liaison Librarian for GSWS, I would be pleased to meet with you with your research questions. Please contact me by email, () or Ask a librarian.

Databases for journal articles, dissertations and more

SFU databases for Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Databases.  Each database has a different focus and journals that it indexes.  Start with Women's Studies International and then try others. 

You may also want to check for GSWS topics within these two reviewing journals, Annual review of anthropology and Annual review of sociology.

NOTE:  If you can't get it at SFU, in print or electronically, use our Interlibrary Loan service (ILL): Request items from other libraries.
There are no limits on the number of requests you can make and there's no charge for the service. 

Most of our article indexes have a Get@SFU link embedded in the record which allows you to find SFU library holdings for the article (print or online) or request it.

Grey literature

  • Government resources [guide]
  • Grey literature [guide]
    • Canadian Electronic Library from desLibris
      Contains the full text of public policy documents from Canadian institutes, think-tanks and research groups.
    • IGO Search
      International governmental organizations (IGOs) are organizations made up of more than one national government—examples include NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and the WHO (World Heath Organization). The governments are the members. IGO Search is a Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) that searches across IGO websites. It is a project of the International Documents Taskforce (IDTF) of the American Library Association (ALA). For more information on this project, including a growing list of IGOs included in the search, please see the IDTF wiki.

    Journal rankings

    Catalogue Search for books, reports, articles, A/V and more

    Books can provide a more in-depth look at topics. 

    Search SFU Library Catalogue and catalogues​ of other libraries

    As a part of your literature review process, start with SFU Library Catalogue and then expand your search by checking out the content of other libraries.

    SFU Library catalogue search guide

    See also Books + articles for search tips

    Image below shows how you can search using SFU Library Catalogue and select the box to "expand results beyond SFU Library collection.  However this expanded search is limited to libraries which use ExLibris (the same Integrated Library System (ILS) as SFU Library does). 

    Search other library catalogues

    Citation searching

    Web of Science   Index to articles in major journals in science, technology, social sciences with some arts & humanities content.  NO controlled vocabulary so you need to use synonyms and related terms to ensure comprehensive searching.  Enables citation searching and for "related records", article that have citations in common, even if they don't cite each other.

    • Topic alerts - set up alerts in any category or sub-specialty and receive regular updates of the latest research.
    • Citation Alerting -keep track of particular citations, to see if anyone is citing it in recent journals.
    • You can set up a citation alert whenever you’re reading a full-text article by clicking on "Save as Citation Alert."
    • Web of Sciences Cited References Searching Tutorial

    Google Scholar  Indexes the full text of articles, books, reports, academic web sites, reports, etc.  Good for cross-disciplinary and emerging fields of research.

    Search tips for Google, Google Scholar, DuckDuckGo, and other search engines [guide]

    • For Cited Reference Search.  Look at the link "cited by".
    • search for your "key" article.  Check the link "cited by" right beneath the reference to that article
    • "Citation alerts"
      • TIP: to avoid an overload of irrelevant stuff, set up an alert on the page where you list out "cited references"
        • captures a "wider" range of journals and also includes "book chapters" etc.


    Find theses

    Submit your thesis

    Current awareness and tools

    Guide: Current awareness resources


    • BrowZine - brings scholarly, academic journal content together from multiple publishers and platforms into a single place, where you can save your favorite journals, view the tables of contents, and read or save articles, as new issues are released.   Use the BrowZine App to set up table of contents alerts for your favorite journals.  Use BrowZine Web to browse recent issues of journals by subject.
    • Citation Management software:Zotero, Mendeley, EndNote, other
    • NVIVO -software to assist with organizing research (quantitative & qualitative)

    Inter-Library loans and reciprocal borrowing

    To find out if SFU Library owns a particular book or if it subscribes to a specific journal:

    SFU Library has reciprocal borrowing agreements that allow SFU users to borrow materials in person at select post-secondary libraries in BC and across Canada.  See the below agreements for more information:


    Research Commons

    Research Commons  provides support for academic writing and learning at the graduate level

    Selected library guides