How to guide for all women's, gender, and sexuality courses. Find information from many different kinds of sources -- worldwide research organizations, NGOs, peer-reviewed journals, books, ebooks, experts, etc.
Included in this guide are many types of information sources, traditional and new and evolving. To thoroughly research a topic in WGSS, you need to have skills in assessing the reliability of the information you are looking at.
Scrutinize all resources you are considering:
Who did the research? What are their qualifications? This is Authority. In other words how qualified are the people or organization that produced the information.
How inclusive or exclusive were the researcher(s) in their research question and study design?
How large (or small) was the participant group? Who may be left out? Is it unbalanced for the topic?
In their analysis, was there possible bias or questionable conclusions? Were there relevant groups or elements NOT included (race, gender, class, age, sociocultural, socioeconomic, etc.)?
What was not considered -- what did they ignore, overlook, or leave out?
Developing your abilities to find, evaluate, use, and cite good quality sources and Web sites is an absolute necessity. Many organizations' web presences (like U.N. Women and the Institute for Women's Policy Research) contain current research and data and publish only on the web. Take a quick look at the Eldis Key Issues web site and try to identify even one that does not involve WGSS. Email me if you find one. :-)
Broaden your sources types, where you search, and whose voices you listen to. Print and online books, articles from journals, newspapers, and magazines, conversations with experts, first person accounts, a variety of Web search engines, and, if applicable, social media.
Image depicts the convergence of History, Political Science (suffrage), Criminology, and Women and Gender Studies. Original image came from the Library of Congress and can be found at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/mnwp.160035.