Women in STEM: A Research Guide

This guide provides sources and research strategies for critical analysis of women in STEM fields. 

Databases and Search Engines for Further Study of Women in STEM

Access to these databases is through Wayne State University Library. They are recommended for researching women in STEM:

Academic Search Complete

Web of Science


ProQuest Multisearch

Education Databases (EBSCOHost)


Also recommended:

Google Scholar

Citation & Author Searching for Further Study

Did you find an article on this guide and you want to find more articles on the same topic? A good way to look for additional sources is to do some citation searching, which is a research strategy that helps you find sources from other sources.

Forward Citation Search: Start with an article that you like. How many researchers have cited that article since its publication? This search looks forward in time to see how this article contributed to the scholarly conversation. 

  • Look up the article by title in Google Scholar. Look for a link that says "Cited by xxxx" and click on it. Look through the list of articles to see if you can find more articles that are similar to the topic of the original article.
  • Common databases that will also include "cited by" links include EBSCOHost databases, Web of Science, and Scopus.

Backward Citation Search: Start with an article that you like. Go to the end of the article to see a list of references. All of those references were cited in the article. This search looks backwards in time to see what led to the research in the current article.

Author Citation Search: Researchers usually focus on a narrow area of research. If you find a good article on a specific topic by a person or group, look for other articles that they wrote. Do they have a Google Scholar page that lists all of their publications? [Example]

Subject Headings (Library of Congress)

Academic libraries in the U.S. use Library of Congress subject headings. The Library of Congress offers a guide on how to search library catalogs using subject headings specific to women in science.

For example, using our library catalog's advanced search, this is how you can use Library of Congress subject headings to do a search:

A note on search terms:

Throughout this guide, we use common and Library of Congress standardized search terms that can help you locate relevant sources. These terms (used in headers, titles, abstracts, and descriptions of sources) may imply different meanings to different people. 

When conducting and presenting your research, you get to decide what terms to use and how to define them. Being aware that the context of common/standardized terms can help you frame your topic in a way that feels accurate and respectful to you.

Statistics on Women in STEM

Science and Engineering Indicators. Provides reports, tables, topics, and indicators by state. Indicators are prepared under the guidance of the National Science Board by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES).

The State of Girls and Women in STEM

The National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) provides an infographic titled "State of Girls and women in STEM" that touches on a number of topics covered in this guide. Go to this page and find the button to "Download the PDF" document. The references at the bottom of the document may offer good leads on where to get statistics on girls and women in STEM. Learn more about the NGCP.

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