Saturday 8 November 2014

A Short Guide to Finding Research About Violence Against Women & Children

While most of our BCSTH members request practical resources they can use with the women and children they serve, at times they seek research-based materials. Lots of organizations list web reports and documents, including journal articles, but sometimes you need to do more comprehensive research in academic journal articles and databases.

This short guide gives 3 sources I like to visit first for research-based materials (academic, peer-reviewed journal articles) on violence against women and children. 

But first, consider these past blog entries:

And now, here are 3 Simple Ways to Stay Up-To-Date and Find Research Literature on Violence Against Women and Children:

1. Journal Alert Services - Stay up-to-date with the latest research. Find journals of interest to you and sign up for the "Alert" to receive the current issue Table of Contentsby email (or on Facebook, or Twitter, etc.). At the very least, you'll be able to read the abstracts.

  • What Are Some Useful Journals?
  • How Can I Get Articles That are Not Available For Free? If you have searched the web and not been able to find the article you want for free, consider:
    1. In-person visit to a local university library. Most libraries allow you to use their extensive online journals for free as a community member while you are on-site.
    2. Purchase the article from the publisher (often around $30 per article), or 
    3. Subscribe to the journal if you'll be reading it regularly.
2. Search Google Scholar - If you don't have access to an academic library's databases
and journals, you can search Google Scholar for journal articles. While Google Scholar is a bit messy  - an enormous database with lots of stuff and no control - you should be able to find articles on your topic and some of them may be available for free (see above about how to get those that are not free).
  • Did you know that you can set up a search Alert in Google Scholar? New articles of interest on your topic will be emailed to you when they are published.
  • Did you know that you can save articles you'd like to keep in your "Library" within Google Scholar? This is a handy feature.
  • Did you know that Google Scholar has an Advanced Search feature? While not sophisticated, you can make your search a little more specific and find better results with the Advanced Search. 

3. Use Databases and Journals In-Person at a Local Library - If you need to do thorough and accurate research but you are not associated with an academic center, you can either outsource the research for a fee (e.g., InfoAction is a general research service), or you can visit a local university with a relevant program and spend time using their extensive databases and journals as a community member. For example:

More ideas? Let us know in the comments, or email 

To borrow library resources, read "First Time Borrowers." Please visit the BCSTH Library to learn more about resources and information services developed especially for members of the BC Society of Transition Houses, and contact us for more information.

Deb & Tina, Co-Librarians
BC Society of Transition Houses
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada