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BOS 101: Boston Childhoods: Pushing Against Privilege


Who you cite matters text. People of color illustrations (with their backs turned) surround the text

You may already be aware that there is inherent privilege in the publishing industry. More specifically you may have noticed that the majority of published scholarly papers are written by white scholars and peer-reviewed by white peers. While these scholarly resources are valuable it does mean that  nonwhite scholars do not have the same privilege and opportunity to publish their work. Without publishing privilege nonwhite resources never make it to your search results meaning that you are missing out on an important segment of research.

One thing we can do to push against this privilege is by actively seeking other places for scholarly research. This might look like open access journals, scholarly blogs, zines, and other free scholarly resources.


Once you graduate from Simmons, you will lose access to all the library databases. As you move beyond Simmons, here is a site that curates freely available (scholarly included) resources.


There are several avenues worth exploring to get at research that is not represented in our databases due to privilege in publishing. Open Access Journals can be a really great resource.  Open Access (OA) Publishing is free and allows access to anyone. This means research is not hidden behind and expensive pay wall. Keep in mind that not every Open Access Journal is on the up and up. There are scams and shoddy research/reviews that get published in some OA journals. But there are ways for you to evaluate those OA journals


Another avenue is to find scholarly blogs. Oftentimes professors and researchers are talking about their work on blog sites. Just like with any other resource, you will need to evaluate the blog to see if it is credible or not. Here is a website to help you do that



Lastly, you can incorporate zines into your research. While you might not be able to cite them in your work (ask your professor), you can certainly read zines for background information and for that invaluable first-hand account.  Primary sources (folks writing about a topic that they are directly affected by) gives a voice to your research.