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Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Research Help: Keywords, Search Terms, and Databases


Welcome! This guide is meant to serve as a starting point for doing research on various aspects of the national conversation about sexual assault. You can find common keywords or search terms, existing subject headings, and best bet databases to use as you start your research.

Search Terms and Keywords

Key Words:

  • sexual assault
  • sexual harassment
  • rape

Additional Search Terms:

  • colleges/universities
  • bystander intervention
  • higher education
  • sexual violence
  • rape myth acceptance 
  • college students
  • gender
  • sexuality
  • violence prevention
  • sexual education

Subject Headings

Common Search Terms:

  • campus sexual assault
  • sexual assault -- universities & colleges

Related Terms:

  • sex crimes
  • rape
  • assault & battery

Broader Terms:

  • campus violence
  • sexual assault

Narrower terms:

  • rape in universities & colleges


General Research

Academic Search Elite: This multi-disciplinary database offers full text for nearly 2,000 scholarly journals, including more than 1,500 peer-reviewed titles. Covering virtually every area of academic study, Academic Search Elite offers full text information dating as far back as 1985. This database is updated on a daily basis.

NexisUni (formerly LexisNexis): Researchers can quickly and easily search full-text documents from over 17,000 credible sources of information and pinpoint relevant information for a wide range of academic research projects. Extensive legal sources for federal and state cases and statutes, including U.S. Supreme Court decisions since 1790.

CREDO Reference Academic Core: Enables libraries to build deep, specific ebook collections from highly regarded publishers around the world. This Collection includes over 650 titles with particular emphasis on subject encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, and reference handbooks. Also included are over 1,000 short reference videos, nearly 300,000 high-resolution art images, and thousands of additional images across all subject areas.

ProQuest: A collection of cross-searchable databases, from dissertations to governmental and cultural archives to news.