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ANT430 Special Problems in Biological Anthropology and Archaeology (We Exist in Space - Biological Analysis through Geographic Space)

This guide support students in their research in the interdisciplinary science of biogeography in anthropological contexts (geographic dimensions of biological data, the basic forms of spatial data analysis, and its relationship to the study of common que

Reviewing the literature

Finding and reviewing the literature in your area is the first step in participating in the conversation of scholarship. This video from the NCSU Libraries tells you how you add to the story by carrying out a thoughtful review of the literature:

How do you turn a network of articles into a coherent literature review? This UofT Writing Guide can help you get started:

The Literature Review: A Few Tips On Conducting It by Dena Taylor, Health Sciences Writing Centre

As Dr. Taylor noted:

Writing a literature review lets you gain and demonstrate skills in two areas:

  1. information seeking: the ability to scan the literature efficiently
  2. critical appraisal: the ability to apply principles of analysis

A literature review must do these things:

  1. be organized around and related directly to the thesis or research question you are developing
  2. synthesize results into a summary of what is and is not known
  3. identify areas of controversy in the literature
  4. formulate questions that need further research

The following organizer may help you to map your research question into searchable terms:

Peer reviewed articles and the process of scholarship

Scholarship is an extended conversation between researchers, and the scholarly literature in each discipline tells the story of of the inquiry that fuels the conversation. Peer-reviewed journal articles are the main mechanism researchers use to communicate original research and new ideas. Before publication, research articles usually go through the peer review process. To find out how this happens, watch this video from the NCSU Library:

How to Ensure an Article is Peer-Reviewed

Instead of worrying about whether a source is peer-reviewed or not, it is best to check the Ulrich's Periodical Directory, or UlrichsWeb. The process is described in this Ulrichsweb Guide.

The video below can also help you to learn how to use Ulrichsweb:

Just search for ulrichsweb in the LibrarySearch box to find the database record:

Ulrichsweb record

Researchers speak about peer review

While there have been acknowledged abuses and failures of peer review, many researchers still believe it is the best (if flawed) process we have. Take a look at these reflections on peer review as a research tool from scientists and information professionals interviewed during Peer Review Week 2019:

Sources used on this page

Gibson, C., and Jacobson, T. (2014). Framework for information literacy for higher education (Draft). ACRL. Retrieved from:

NCSU Libraries. (2009). Anatomy of a scholarly article. Retireved from:

NCSU Libraries. (2014). Citation: A very (brief) overview. Retrieved from:

NCSU Libraries. (2014). Literature reviews: An overview for graduate students. Retrieved from:

NCSU Libraries. (2014). Peer review in 3 minutes. Retrieved from: