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A Women and Gender Studies Library Guide


Welcome to the Women's and Gender Studies library guide

The guide provides support for students taking classes in the Women's and Gender Studies program at West Virginia University.

Research practices in a Women's and Gender Studies

Recommended actions

  • consider the lack of women’s voices in scholarly and other sources, such as primary sources, literary works, datasets, and the role of intersectionality in these gaps
  • identify alternate sources or ways of reading sources against the grain
  • consider relevant information may exist, but be hard to find because of subject heading and keyword search limitations, such as dated or biased terminology in library systems or changing terminology within WGS
  • review information sources thoughtfully to identify potential biases, gaps, silences, and underlying assumptions about intersectional gender roles
  • feel empowered to investigate difficult critical questions about intersectional structural inequities often obscured in information
  • incorporate diverse information sources with individual experiences to create personalized knowledge
  • delve into a question knowing each answer raises more questions, and follow leads via feminist thinking to deeper discovery

invisible knapsack

Your WVU Libraries invisible knapsack

library materials and services only accessible with your WVU ID authentication credentials 

Set yourself up to succeed 

Invest some time in setting up these tools to make your library research process easier 

  • authenticate with your WVU LOGIN credentials when using the library online 
    • it will prompt you
  • get in the habit of using the library chat box whenever you feel stuck
  • configure Google Scholar to access WVU Library holdings
  • add the Unpaywall and LibKey Nomad extensions to your browser
  • set up your Interlibrary Loan account 
    • you'll be prompted to activate your account the first time you try to login
  • look for the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for articles you want to read and use LibKey to search 
    • tip: if you know the information for the article but not the DOI, try pasting the article information/citation into Goggle and view the results to locate a DOI
    • a digital object identifier is a string of numbers, letters and symbols used to permanently identify an article or document and link to it on the web
  • when you read an article, examine the references used or quoted and obtain them from the library
  • reach out to your instructors if something isn't clear
  • book a library study room for immediately after class and study the content when it is fresh in your mind
  • use a citation manager for your sources and bibliographies


Complexities of language, context, and content

  • many historical records, books, libraries, and their collections including the Library of Congress, include few works reflecting the perspective of people with little power or in minority groups
  • descriptions and methods of organizing materials reflect colonial and post-colonial, dominant power structures
  • libraries often preserve historical records for study that present negative representations and stereotypes of the peoples discussed in documents containing language that may be offensive and upsetting to users
  • library collections often contain disturbing materials about history including atrocities
  • encountering disturbing content can become overwhelming
  • if you feel overwhelmed, please disengage from the material
  • if you need support, you may wish to consult sources of mental health support