How to find journal articles :

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Open a web browser (safari, firefox or other) and type in the url for your local library homepage (example:

Click on databases or database finder.

Databases work like google except instead of pulling up websites they pull up journal articles.

Some useful database titles are listed below. Either look up the databases listed below alphabetically or use the subject finder (usually a down arrow).

Scroll to women's studies, sociology, psychology or justice administration (law). You can view a list of databases here.

Some good databases are PsycINFO, Academic Search Elite, Sociological Abstracts and Contemporary Women's Issues.

Read the description listed under each of the database titles. Choose the one you think is best for your topic and click on its title.

You should see a search box. Enter the search term "rape" or else "rape or sexual assault" without quotations.

A list of article titles should appear. Click on one of the titles for more information. If you see a link that says "full text" - click on it and the full article should pull up. At this point you can either print it out ($) or copy paste the text into an email message and send it to yourself.

If it does not have full text online then find the paper copy. Write down the journal title, year published, volume, issue number, page numbers and article title. Note: Journal articles are found by the journal title rather than the article title. You will search for the journal by title, then the year it was published, then volume, issue and page number. In that order.

It should look like this:

"Available from LibraryAU: Wasco,-Sharon-M; Campbell,-Rebecca; Howard,-April; Mason,-Gillian-E; Staggs,-Susan-L; Schewe,-Paul-A; Riger,-Stephanie
TI: A Statewide Evaluation of Services Provided to Rape Survivors.
SO: Journal-of-Interpersonal-Violence. 2004 Feb; Vol 19(2): 252-263
WEBLH: Check for holdings"

Either click on "check for holdings" or type the journal title into the online catalog .

Search for an item in libraries near you: >>

Locate the correct year, volume and issue of the journal. Write down the call number and ask a librarian where the periodicals are located in the library (it varies).

Don't forget to use boolean search terms: and (limits search), or (expands search), * (looks for multiple endings such as assault*, assaults, assaulted). You can also use these to search the internet. You may also be interested in finding a bibliography on your subject. If you can't find the journal ask the librarian to order it through interlibrary loan.

Further information:

What is the difference between a scholarly journal and a popular magazine?

Use the citation builder for your bibliography.

Databases to search:

Contemporary Women's Issues
"A database of full text contributions on a broad range of women's issues, extracted from over 600 sources world wide, including more than 100 periodicals. Coverage starts with 1992." This database often has full text online articles. Includes both popular and scholarly journal articles. The search function is extremely well organized. I recommend this database for almost any subject related to women (such as marriage and religion etc.)

"GenderWatch (enlarging the scope of Women 'R') is a full-text collection of international journals, magazines, newsletters, regional publications, special reports and conference proceedings devoted to women's and gender issues"

Women's Studies International
"This is an interdisciplinary database combined from Women Studies Abstracts (1984-present), Women's Studies Database (1972-present), New Books on Women and Feminism (1987-present), Women of Color and Southern Women (1975-1995), The History of Women and Science, Health, and Technology: A Bibliographic Guide to the Professions and Disciplines (1970-1995), Women's Health and Development: An Annotated Bibliography (1995), Women, Race, and Ethnicity: A Bibliography (1970-1990), WAVE: Women's Audiovisuals in English: A Guide to Nonprint Resources in Women's Studies (1985-1990), and POPLINE Subset on Women (1964-present)."

"The American Psychological Association's PsycINFO database, with over 1,125,000 records, is the most comprehensive international database of psychology."

Social Work Abstracts
"The Social Work Abstracts database, produced by the National Association of Social Workers, Inc., contains more than 35,000 records, spanning 1977 to the present, from social work and other related journals on topics such as homelessness, AIDS, child and family welfare, aging, substance abuse, legislation, community organization, and more."

Sociological Abstracts
"Sociological Abstracts provides access to the world's literature in sociology and related disciplines, both theoretical and applied."

Criminal Justice Abstracts "Comprehensive coverage of international journals, books, reports, dissertations, and unpublished papers on criminology and related disciplines."

NCJRS Abstracts "Summaries of more than 150,000 publications on criminal justice, including government reports, books, research reports, journal articles, and unpublished research."

CQ Researcher
"Offers in-depth, non-biased coverage of political and social issues, with regular reports on topics in health, international affairs, education, the environment, technology and the U.S. economy. Each report includes a background and chronology; an assessment of the current situation; tables and maps; pro/con statements from representatives of opposing positions; and bibliographies of key sources."


Educational resources such as lesson plans. "Contains annotated references to nonjournal material issued in the monthly Resources in Education (RIE) and to journal articles issued in the monthly Current Index to Journals in Education (CIJE)."


Free Online Resources for finding articles:

Looksmart's Findarticles - search and read 5.5 million articles from over 900 publications


Google scholar - finds citations and full text journal articles from reputable publishers.


PubMed - free medical database


Full text articles on sexual assault research




Horeck , T. (2000). “They did worse than nothing”: Rape and Spectatorship in The Accused. Canadian Review of American Studies, 30(1).

Database: MasterFILE Premier

This article is an analysis of a very moving film about a woman who was gang raped in a public bar. It is a triggering article describing how the spectators regarded the attack as either entertainment or none of their business. The title The Accused brings to light the question of whether the victim or the criminal is being accused of a crime. Find the full text article here.

related links: "The film addresses the concept of sexual assault victims who are targeted as responsible for the crime, as well as the role that bystanders play in the occurrence of a serious offense...the film follows the pursuit of what seems to be an unobtainable justice."


Pauwels, B. (2002). Blaming the victim of rape: The culpable control model perspective. Dissertation-Abstracts-International:-Section-B:-The-Sciences-and-Engineering, 63(5-B).

Database: PsycINFO

This is a scholarly article examining why we blame the victim rather than the perpetrator of rape.

"Three vignette-based studies are presented that represent the
first attempt to examine rape victim blame within the context of an
explicit, comprehensive theory of blame. Study 1 examined the
hypothesis that evaluative information about a victim of rape would
have a greater effect upon victim blaming when the victim's personal
control over the rape was portrayed as somewhat elevated, rather than unambiguously low."


Dunn, P., Vail-Smith, K., & Knight, S. (1999). What date/acquaintance rape victims tell others: A study of college student recipients of disclosure. Journal of American College Health, Mar;(5), 213-219.

Database: PsycINFO

"Presents information on a study concerning the response of college students to disclosure of date/acquaintance rape victims. Relationship of the victim to the person to whom the rape was disclosed; Results of open-ended questions; Responses to disclosure."

"Date and acquaintance rape appears to be a significant problem in American society in general and accounts for approximately 80% of all rapes on college campuses; in every college classroom with 50 female students, 6 to 7 women have been victims of date or acquaintance rape within the past year.(n1) Access to "good support from the people in her life is extremely important to the rape survivor,"(n2)(p106) according to Mufson and Kranz, particularly because a lack of support may impede successful recovery from the trauma of rape. Although rape is a traumatic, destructive, life-altering experience, some researchers suggest that a significant proportion of victims do not tell anyone about being assaulted when it happens, particularly if they have experienced date or acquaintance rape, and a majority of rape victims seek no follow-up counseling.(n3) "


Hanson, R. (2002 ). Adolescent dating violence: Prevalence and psychological outcomes. Child Abuse Negl, 26 (5), 449-453.

Database: PsycINFO

"In support of the authors' hypotheses, findings from this study indicated that dating violence was associated with significantly higher rates of eating disordered behaviors (e.g., binge-eating, fasting, skipping meals, taking diet pills, vomiting, taking laxatives), lower self-esteem, higher rates of suicide attempts, and lower levels of emotional well-being. "


Heppner, M., Good, Glenn E (1995). Examining sex differences in altering attitudes about rape: A. Journal of Counseling & Development, Vol. 73 , p640.

Database: PsycINFO

This article is about rape and public opinion from a psychological view point. It examines the changing attitudes about rape in both men and women.


Another search tactic is to look on a search engine for bibliographies on rape and sexual assault. Type in: rape and bibliography.



Bibliographies on rape and assault

Return to menu

Victim Blame. Rape is never the victims fault.

The History of Rape - Rape bibliography that is very comprehensive and well organized by category. Contents by geographical area, chronological, topic, Lectures, Research

Rape, Sexual Assault, and Sexual Harassment International Bibliography of NIJ Acquisitions

Sexual Assault and Rape

Representations of rape in popular culture : Books and films

Campus sexual assault

A list of paper based bibliographies

Sexual Assault bibliography from aardvarc

Sexual Assault bibliography

Rape/Sexual Assault- 2003 from the FBI Library.

Bibliographies from the World Criminal Justice Library Network

Links to bibliographies on a variety of criminal justice topics relating to sexual abuse.


Bibliographies from the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse (MINCAVA)


Annotated Bibliography: Emotional Abuse Of Women By Their Intimate Partners


Trauma & Sexuality Seminar Bibliography


Bibliography of psychology and criminal justice/legal resources




Resources to research this subject:

Journals and articles

Search the NCJRS Abstracts Database

Google scholar or Findarticles

Finding books at the library

Online Libraries on sexual assault

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Search terms: rape crisis

Related links: Victim blame


Macdonalds, J. (2004). World Book Encyclopedia. United States of America: World Book Inc.

rape. (2006). Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved May 2, 2006, from Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service.

Smith, M. D. (2004). Encyclopedia of Rape. USA: Greenwood Press.

Sedney, M., "rape (crime)." Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. Scholastic Library Publishing, 2006 <> (February 1, 2006).



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