Skip to main content

Research Guide to Women's Studies: Finding Journal Articles & Databases

An introductory guide to research in Women's Studies.

How to Find Journal Articles

For our example search, we want to search for journal articles that discuss maternity leave in developed countries for a paper assigned in a History of Christianity class. To begin, we will start at the Sacred Heart University Library homepage at

To start our example search, we will select one of the “Key Databases” from our list to the right. For this search, we’ll use JSTOR. To access the database, we need to go to the “Browse Databases” box on the right-hand side of the library homepage and select “all Databases A-Z” to take us to an alphabetical list of databases from the library.


From the "Databases A-Z List," click on the letter "J."


From the menu below, we will select the link for JSTOR at the top of the list of databases


The JSTOR main page presents a one-box basic search. For our search, we want to use the advanced search option. Click on the link for “Advanced Search” and then click on “Advanced Search” again from the pull-down menu.



The “Advanced Search” page allows us to search with multiple keywords linked by what are called Boolean operators. Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT are used to combine or exclude items in an advanced search. Using Boolean operators can yield more focused results from your search query. When using AND, you are searching for only results that include both keywords inserted into the separate search boxes. OR will yield results that include at least one of the keywords in the search boxes. NOT allows you to exclude a particular term from the search, like having a search for cats that excludes dogs (cats NOT dogs). For our purposes, we want a search that yields results combining “maternity leave” AND “developed countries,” so we can retrieve results that only include both keywords.


Additionally, we can select things like item type (Articles) and language (English) .



Finally, we can use the "Journal Filter" toward the bottom of the page to narrow our results to specific disciplines. For our research, selecting "Feminist & Women's Studies" AND/OR "Social Sciences" will give us results that are specific to journals that specialize in publishing Women's Studies (feminist & gender studies, etc.) studies research. Other disciplines can be utilized for interdisciplinary searches. For example, this specific search, we may want to include "Political Science" and "Social Science" because maternity leave encompasses politics (laws, policies, etc.) and social issues (poverty, gender equality, work-life blance, etc.).



This search yields 357 results.



From here you can sift through the results, read and download articles, and generate pre-formatted citations for your bibliography. Click "Cite this item" and a window pops up that presents copyable, formatted citations in MLA, APA, and Chicago style for the selected article, as shown below.



Additionally, after clicking on the title on the results page, you can send an article permalink to your own email, as seen in the steps below.


Step 1.    



Step 2.


Key Databases

Multi-disciplinary resource with full-text articles from nearly 4,500 journals including 3,600 peer-reviewed titles, many from 1975 forward. Searchable cited references for 1,000 titles, including titles relevant to Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies. For assistance searching Academic Search Premier, see the video below.

The DOAJ includes several open-access, full-text scholarly journals focused on Women's Studies. Full-text journal articles can be searched across all journals, which are browsable by title and subject. For assistance searching the directory, click the DOAJ logo below to access their helpful FAQ page.


The following titles are a selection of open-access journal titles in Women's Studies:

Wagadu : a Journal of Transnational Women's & Gender Studies 
Wagadu : a Journal of Transnational Womens and Gender Studies
ISSN: 2150-2226 (Print); 1545-6196 (Online)
Subject: Social Sciences: The family. Marriage. Woman: Women. Feminism
ISSN: 0702-7818 (Print); 1715-0698 (Online)
Subject: Social Sciences: The family. Marriage. Woman: Women. Feminism
Journal of International Women's Studies
ISSN: 1539-8706 (Print)
Subject: Social Sciences: The family. Marriage. Woman
Journal of Women's Entrepreneurship and Education 
JWE : Journal of Womens Entrepreneurship and Education
ISSN: 1821-1283 (Print)
Subject: Social Sciences: Commerce: Business | Social Sciences: The family. Marriage. Woman
History of Women in the Americas
ISSN: 2042-6348 (Online)
Double blind peer review
Subject: Social Sciences: The family. Marriage. Woman: Women. Feminism
Women in Judaism : a Multidisciplinary Journal
ISSN: 1209-9392 (Print)
Subject: Social Sciences: The family. Marriage. Woman | Philosophy. Psychology. Religion: Judaism

Multidisciplinary resource, which houses a significant number of resources of interest to Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, with full-text articles from thousands of scholarly & peer-reviewed journals. For help with searching JSTOR, click on the icon below

Multidisciplinary database providing full text and indexing & abstracting for more than 12,000 total publications, plus 440,000 photos, maps & flags and more than 17,500 company profiles. The collection includes journals dedicated specifically to Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies.

For assistance using the advanced-search functions of an EBSCO database like MainFile, see the video below.

If I Had a Hammer

Library of Congress Subject Headings

The Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) comprise a thesaurus of subject headings and can be utilized in database or library catalog searches. The following are not a comprehensive list of LCSH, however, it can be a useful example of how to design your searches.


Hawaiian Women

UF Hawaiian, Women (former heading)

BT Women -- United States


Heroin industry   

BT Drug traffic Heroine worship USE Women heroes—Cult Heroines USE Heroines in literature Women heroes


Farm Trucks

Women's liberation films USE Feminist films 


Female assassins   

BT Assassins

Female athletes

USE Women athletes Female authors

USE Women authors Female bisexuals

USE Bisexual women Female blue collar workers

USE Women blue collar workers Female bodybuilders

USE Women bodybuilders Female bullies

USE Bullies Female castration

USE Ovariectomy Female change of life

USE Menopause Female child molesters

USE Women child molesters Female choirs

USE Women's choirs Female choruses

USE Women's choirs


Feminist films 

UF Feminist cinema Women's liberation films -- Women's liberation films USE Feminist films 

BT Motion pictures


Immigrant Families

Immigrant women USE Women immigrants 


Palestinian Americans

Palestinian Arab women USE Women, Palestinian Arab 

Palestinian Arab women authors USE Women authors, Palestinian Arab 


Scandinavian wit and humor 

BT Scandinavian literature

Scandinavian women authors USE Women authors, Scandinavian

Scandinavian women poets USE Women poets, Scandinavian 



A Sample of Journals Available at SHU

Title Journal of feminist studies in religion [electronic resource].
Pub Info

Baltimore : Scholars Press, 1985-


Title Journal of gender studies [electronic resource].
Pub Info [Abingdon, Oxfordshire] : Carfax Pub., part of the Taylor & Francis Group


Title Journal of international women's studies [electronic resource].
Pub Info

Bridgewater, Mass. : Bridgewater State College, [1999?]-



Title NWSA journal [electronic resource] : an official publication of the National Women's Studies Association.
Pub Info Norwood, N.J. : Ablex Publishing, 1988-2009.


Title Women's studies quarterly [electronic resource].
Pub Info Old Westbury, N.Y. : Feminist Press, 1981-