It can be really tricky to find scholarly works related to the history of a discipline. These tips are ordered from least to most advanced:
Type your keywords into the simple search box like you normally would
For example, some synonyms for history might be
If any of your synonyms are more than one word, make sure to put them in quotes so that LibrarySearch treats them as a unit.
Try reducing your keywords to their root and adding an asterisk at the end. This practice is called truncation and it helps your search be a little more flexible. For example, if you were to search histor* instead of history, LibrarySearch will retrieve history, historicism, and historical all at once.
Just make sure that you don't reduce the keyword too far or you'll get irrelevant results. At least four letters is a good rule of thumb.
Here's what truncation looks like on the list from Level 2:
For your assignment, it might be useful to see how anthropologists and other scholars discussed the issues related to your topic at the time. To do this, search your keywords like you usually would, but limit the results by date.
If you're looking for historical sources, don't forget that scholars at the time may have used terms inaccurate or offensive terms to refer to Indigenous Peoples. You might have to use terms like "native" or "Indian" to find older research.
For example, in the database Anthropology Plus, canad* ethnograph* indigenous retrieves only three articles published in the 1980s, but canad* ethnograph* native retrieves 98 published in the same decade.
Once you've found one good article or book, you can look it up to see other sources that have cited it. This can be a great way to crack a tricky topic. Several databases have this feature. For example:
"Grey literature" is a term we use for research materials that aren't exactly scholarly, but still bring a lot of value to a research project.
Don't hesitate to contact the library for help with your library research assignment.
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