The purpose of this guide is to answer the most frequently asked questions about the library research you need to do for your ANT100 assignment.
Still have questions? You have options!
Photo by Prof. I. Kalmar. Used with permission.
You can find scholarly articles on Google. You might run into a couple of problems, though:
Using the library to find a scholarly article in anthropology means using the Library's online scholarly databases to search and access the Library's online scholarly articles. You can do this from home by signing in with your UTORID when prompted.
1) Many library databases allow you to select scholarly articles. Some allow you to specifically select only peer-reviewed articles.
2) Not all scholarly journals are peer-reviewed. You can double-check your journal in Ulrichs Periodical Directory (Ulrichsweb), to see if it's peer-reviewed (= refereed).
3) Not everything in a scholarly journal is an article. Make sure you don't pick a book review, an editorial, a news item, etc. Get to know the major clues for recognizing a scholarly article: it reports on research; written by a scholar (university or research institute generally listed); bibliography/references; structure (e.g. often opens with an abstract); technical or disciplinary language.
There are two parts to finding good articles: 1) using smart keywords; and 2) knowing where and how to search.
Good searching starts with strong keywords. Use your assignment (see sample at right) and assignment readings to get started.
1. Use phrase searching.
Put quotes around two or more words to search them together as a phrase, like "participant observation".
2. Use truncation.
Putting * after a root word (or part of a word) searches on every word that starts with the root.
e.g. ethic* brings up ethics and ethical
3. Be selective.
Using too many keywords is not actually helpful to your search. The circled words on the previous page contain several related words, like gangs and street culture. Don't use them all - choose.
4. Searching is trial and error. If you don't like your results, change your keywords. You can:
There are several places you can start your search for scholarly articles - what works best for your particular search may again be a matter of trial and error.
1. From the library homepage you can:
a. Use the "Start your search" box.
This lets you search across the Library's ca. 40 million scholarly articles from all disciplines, as well as books, videos, maps, music.... For more info see:
b. Use "Subjects A-Z" to find anthropology databases that allow you to do a more narrow, focused search.
2. You can also use Google Scholar, a subset of Google focused on scholarly materials. Although this is another huge, multidisciplinary database, the Google relevance algorithm usually surfaces good articles on a topic.
Sometimes the clues are obvious:
What to do if you're not sure:
You don't have to read an entire article from beginning to end to know if it's relevant. Check out the following video for some tips on how to read an article for your purposes.
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