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NEW Diverse Voices library resource list

A group of young students standing outside looking together at a mobile phone. Library Services is proud to present Diverse Voices - a collection of databases, websites and directories available through the online library which provides access to writers and resources from diverse groups who are typically under-represented in commercial publications. These resources can be used by both students and staff to broaden their research, to understand new perspectives on areas of study, and to discover views that are representative of the world we live in.

How did Diverse Voices come about?

We wanted to respond to concerns about the historic lack of diversity in traditional academic and commercial databases. For various reasons some voices are under-represented within these databases. Factors which might lead to this under-representation include:

  • geographic location (authors from the global South are under-represented)
  • gender or gender identity (research suggests that authors who identify as female are less represented than those who identify as male)
  • disability, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, socio-economic status also all play a part.

As well as providing our students and academics with access to databases and resources from diverse groups who are typically under-represented in commercial publications, we also hope that the collection supports them to become aware of the issue and to recognise the levels of diversity within their own research.

What does the collection feature?

The Diverse Voices collection features a range of different types of content, including:

  • Databases containing biographies and contacts of academics and professionals who identify as belonging to some of these under-represented groups, e.g. 500 Queer Scientists, Black Women Radicals Database, SheSource, Women in Neuroscience Repository, Diverse Databases (Editors of colour), Disabled writers database.
  • Access to full text resources written by authors from these under-represented groups, e.g. African Journals Online, AfricArXiv, WHO Global Index Medicus, LILACs.
  • Independent Voices (part of JSTOR), which celebrates the words of less mainstream groups by collating articles from the alternative press. This collection includes periodicals produced by feminists, dissident GIs, campus radicals, Native Americans, anti-war activists, Black Power advocates, Hispanics, LGBT activists and the extreme right-wing press.
  • The Alternative Reading Project (produced by students from the University of Oxford), which aims to offer different perspectives on mandatory readings, as well as on marginalised or excluded topics in mainstream academia.
  • Information written by and about these under-represented groups, e.g. Digital Transgender Archive, LGBTQ Histories, Outwords.

Many of the sources in our collection were discovered on the Finding research from underrepresented voices list collated by the University of Leeds, which features sources recommended by an international community of research professionals.

It is important to note that our Diverse Voices collection is by no means exhaustive, and we encourage students and academics to share resources that they find useful using the Equality Diversity and Inclusion resources feedback form.

What’s next?

We are in the final stages of producing a new online training session and a Digital Skills for Study (DiSS) activity which we will be offering to our academics and students. Both are intended as awareness-raising exercises to develop strategies to uncover more diverse content and points of view. It is hoped that both will be ready by the end of October 2022.