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Gender Identity and Sexual Identity in the Pacific and Hawai'i: Research Tools & Strategies

Information about gender identity and sexual identity in the Pacific island region, including Hawai'i. Provides suggested resources and search strategies.

Keywords & subject headings


  • Aikane
  • Akava'ine (akavaine)
  • Binabinaaine
  • Faʻafafine (faafafine)
  • Faʻafatama (faafatama)
  • Fafafine
  • Fakafefine
  • Fakalati / Fakaleti / Fakeleiti
  • Mahu
  • Mahukane
  • Mahuwahine
  • Mahuvahine
  • Pinapinaaine
  • Raerae / Rae rae
  • Takatapui
  • Vaka sa lewa lewa
  • Whakawahine

Subject heading terms (LCSH)

  • Gay men
  • Gays
  • Gender identity
  • Homophobia
  • Homosexuality
  • Lesbians
  • Pacific Islander American gays
  • Pacific Islander American lesbians
  • Same-sex marriage
  • Same-sex partner abuse
  • Sex role
  • Social work with gays
  • Transgender people
  • Transsexuals
  • Transvestism
  • Transvestites 

Basic Research Checklist

Outlined below is an overview process meant to get you started on your search.  Often the best search strategy for finding Hawaiʻi and Pacific related material follows these five steps, in this order:

1) Search Voyager (books and media);

2) Search the Hawaii-Pacific Journal Index (HPJI) (articles);

3) Search other databases specific to your topic (articles and media);

4) Search disertation and theses lists;

5) Search Google Scholar (articles) /Google books (books).

1. Voyager (for books and media)

Voyager - books and media catalogued and held at UH (Not for searching journal articles)

  • UH users Login:  
Voyager login
  • To find all relevant material in Voyager, use a combination of KEYWORD and SUBJECT searches:
  • KEYWORD searching:
    • In the Basic search mode, start with a KEYWORD search using relevant terms to your topic (suggested keywords in the box on the left), and hit search.
Voyager basic search
    • This will give you a broad sampling of materials, some of which should be related to your topic.
Voyager search results
    • Here are instructions on how to request an item from the Hawaiian and Pacific Collections

  • SUBJECT Searching:
    • Subject headings are applied to most items in the library's online catalog.

Voyager entry

    • If you already know your subject headings, use them in the Basic Search mode, as a "Subject Browse" search.  Suggested Subject terms available in the box on the left.  There is also a list of Pacific subject headings.

Voyager subject browse

    • If you are unsure of the exact subject heading, go to the Subject search mode and use relevant terms.  It will take you to a list of established subject headings that will link to books and other items.

Voyager subject heading search

    • Here are instructions on how to request an item from the Hawaiian and Pacific Collections

2. Hawaii-Pacific Journal Index (for articles)

 Hawaii-Pacific Journal Index (HPJI) (for articles about Hawaiʻi and the Pacific)

  • Hawaii-Pacific Journal Index is not a full-text database, but it does search the contents of more than 130 scholarly journals and "popular press" magazines published in or about Hawaiʻi and the Pacific. 


  • All of the searching in HPJI is by keyword.  Go to the Advanced Search mode and input relevant keywords.  Suggestions available in the box to the left.

HPJI advanced search

  • You will get a list of articles.

HPJI search results list

  • In the article record it will indicate at the bottom how to access the article.  In this example there are copies available electronically, on microfilm, and in print:
HPJI citation
  • Most of the magazines and journals indexed in the HJPI are only available in print, held in the Hawaiʻi and Pacific Collections in UHM library. 
    • For print-only journals, you  will need to go back into the Voyager database, search for the journal title in basic search mode, and then use "Get This Item" to request the specific journal the article appears in.  Here are instructions on how to request an item from the Hawaiian and Pacific Collections
    • Remember to save the publishing information (article title, journal title, issue date, page numbers).  You will need them when you request the Journal issue.

3. Databases & Indexes (for articles and media)

See also the Pacific Collection's "Selected Databases" page for other heavily used sources of Hawaii/Pacific information.

4. Dissertations & Theses

These are lists or databases that provide an index and possibly full-text access to dissertations and theses.

5. The Googles

Google searches can provide good overviews, but remeber that they will not get you everything.

Google Scholar (searching for articles in scholarly journals)

  • UH users: access from the Library webpage, click on "Go" button (provides you with automatic access to UH online subscriptions)

Library homepage 'Featured Resources' menu

  • To access UH-accessible articles, click on the link to the right
Google scholar search results
  • If you find an article in Google Scholar that the library doesn't subscribe to electronically, search in the Voyager catalog to see if we subscribe to the print version. 
  • If the library doesn't subscribe to print, they can be requested through the  Interlibrary Loan service.

Google Books (searching full text within a book)

  • Depending on copyright you may get the full book, or just a "snippet", but usually enough to tell you if it would be a useful resource.
  • Remember to check the  Voyager catalog if you want to see the print version of the book. Almost all books should be available in the Hawaiian and Pacific Collections.  Any that aren't can be requested through the Interlibrary Loan service.