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This LibGuide is intended to provide resources to understand and research the structural inequities and systemic racism that have impacted BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color)


Research process

The research process is not linear, but is iterative. If you're new to university research, take a look at the Research Basics guide.

Finding Terms

Controlled language - Many databases have a thesaurus which will tell you what terms that database uses to describe a concept. You may be able to check by spelling in alphabetical order (Term Begins With) or by relevancy. Others have a simple subject term list.

Revelevancy ranked thesaurus search in Business Source Complete     Thesaurus term begins with search in Business Source Complete

Anti-racism is generally used with a hyphen, but you may see antiracism, especially if an author has used that spelling.

Anti-racism and antiracism spellings both used in one entry  

Academic Search Complete, Business Source Complete, ERIC, MLC International Bibliography, PsycINFO, and SocINDEX with Full Text are some popular databases with a thesaurus or subject list. You may also be interested in guides for specific racial and ethnic groups, such as Keywords African American Studies.


Search strategy

For databases, instead of typing in a search question, pull out the concepts into separate groups, include synonyms and related terms, and combine them with Boolean terms.

Question: How has racism effected retention of African American employees in the in the workplace?

Concepts (with synonyms or related terms):

  • RACISM (discrimination, prejudice)
  • WORKPLACE (job)

Boolean search:


You can search any subject database and find results that are more specific to your discipline. However, there are some databases that focus more on race issues.