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Gender Studies Research

This guide provides a starting point for researching gender studies using Library resources.

Keywords in Gender Issues

Gender Issues topics are often interdisciplinary, requiring keywords that describe the gender aspect of the topic as well as keywords related to other disciplines (for example, history, politics, literature, etc.). Search databases and the library catalog with the following general words and phrases related to gender issues, and add keywords from other disciplines as relevant. 

Search Tip: Use quotation marks to search two or more words as a phrase, and use an asterisk to search for all words with a common root (for example, femini* will find articles containing the words feminist, feminine and femininity).

Please note that while some of these terms may be outdated, many are still used in online databases and in library catalog subject headings.

  • gender relations, male-female relationships, gender roles, sex roles
  • women, femininity, older women, married women
  • men, masculinity, older men, husbands
  • lesbians, bisexual women, gay men, sexual minorities
  • gender identity, gender differences, sex differences, genderqueer, cisgender, trans*, non-binary, gender-fluid

Other search strategies to use:

  • Combine keywords from multiple disciplines: "gender roles" and "histor*" (history, historical)
  • Use specific personal, corporate or geographical names, events, movements or official texts as part of your search: Andrea Dworkin, United States, "Third Wave feminism," Title IX, etc.

Growing your Keyword List

Places you can look to expand your list of keywords:


  • "Suggested Topics" given on results pages when searching databases. These terms are the "official" ones used by particular databases to describe concepts.
  • Subject headings assigned to individual books in the library catalog. Click on the subject links at the bottom of the information listed for a single book in the library catalog, and a list of related subjects will display.


  • Author-supplied keywords. Authors often list a few keywords on the first page of an article, above the abstract.
  • Abstracts or summaries. Even if the journal article is not suitable for your topic, you may find keywords or common terms used in that field of research that you can add to your list.
  • Literature reviews. Journal articles often open with an introduction or literature review summarizing previously published papers on the subject. You can look for terms and phrases that have been established in the scholarly conversation on that subject.


  • Tables of contents in nonfiction books tell you what the chapters are about. 
  • Indexes of books are organized alphabetically by topic. You can use index entries as keywords.
  • Bibliographies appear at the ends of books and list citations for the sources that the authors have used.

Reference & Research Help Fall 2023

Reference & Research Help Contact Information
In-Person Visit us at the Reference Desk during our hours.
Phone 781.891.2300
 Text 781.728.0511
 Live Chat
Research Help Hours (Spring 2024)  
Sunday Monday - Wednesday Thursday - Friday Saturday
1:00 pm - 9:00 pm 8:30 am - 9:00 pm 8:30 am - 5:00 pm Closed
All Hours are in Eastern Time. Hours are subject to change on holidays or for unforeseen circumstances. For up-to-date information, check the online calendar.

Research Consultations: Research Help by Appointment

Research Consultations are scheduled one-on-one meetings with a reference librarian. You can also schedule these consultations for a small group. Consultations usually last 30 minutes and take place during Reference Librarian Hours as listed above. 48 hours advanced notice required.

Research Guides

Research Guides are resources created by Bentley Librarians to guide you through research. These guides will contain a map of best bet resources of where to find information and search tips to make the research process easier. A research guide may include a list of relevant databases to search in, suggested search terms, recommended book titles, lists of websites, and more. Browse our list of Research Guides to see if one has been created for your class, a subject area, or a topic you are researching.

Frequently Asked Questions

Bentley Librarians keep a database of some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (and answers!) by the Bentley Community. Browse our FAQs to see if your question has already been answered!