Introduction to Anthropology
For your research assignment for this class, you are asked to write a 5- to 7-page paper focused on the following theme:
Research how one present-day non-"western" culture has adapted or failed to adapt to the rapid social and environmental changes of the modern world. Detail not only how this has happened, but why and what might be done to ensure the culture's survival in the future.
In your final paper, you must use at least five peer-reviewed, high-quality sources.
Use the Tredway Library catalog, ALiCat, to search for books. If you're not finding what you need, repeat your search in I-Share, a catalog of books from the libraries of nearly 80 college & university libraries throughout Illinois. You can request books from any of these other libraries and usually get them within 5 business days. If you leave yourself a few days to receive books from other libraries, you're more likely to find the sources that are most appropriate for your topic.
Hints for using ALiCat & I-Share:
1. The basic search screen will likely be too basic - click on "Advanced Search" to see additional search options that will lead to better results.
2. Stack your keyword search terms to combine them with "and." Example: Inuit AND hunting
3. If you find a relevant record, click on the title to see more detailed information. Notice the links next to "topics"; each of these is a hyperlink that will take you to other books about that subject.
4. Browse! You may start to notice that several books you've found in ALiCat are located close to each other on the shelves; books are organized by subject, so head up to that section of the stacks and take a look at other books that are nearby on the shelves.
"Peer-reviewed," "scholarly," "refereed," "academic"...these words can be used interchangeably. They mean that a resource has been thoroughly reviewed by scholars and that the information it contains is of high quality. "Academic" sources can include books, journals, critical reviews, analyses, and original research articles.
To quickly get to shortened list of databases that are appropriate for research in anthropology, start at the library homepage and select the yellow "Databases" tab, then "Anthropology..." Read the descriptions of the resources listed to determine which might contain scholarly articles about your particular area of interest within anthropology.
Four specific suggestions:
▪ Anthropology Plus (note: This database can be accessed only through the "EBSCO Databases in Anthropology" link.)
- Try combining the same search terms you used in ALiCat (typically the name of your group and the issue you're exploring).
- Note the suggestions under "Subjects" beneath each result, and/or explode the "Subjects" menu on the left side of the page, to figure out the terminology the database uses when referring to your group of people
- Click on "advanced search" under the search box at the top of the screen.
- Searching for "all of the words" allows you to search for multiple ideas at once (you don't need to type "AND").
- After you run your search, it may be helpful to narrow using the "focus by" links on the right; if not, return to the advanced search page and refine your search by adding more terms.
- Go right to the "advanced search" screen.
- Below the search area, check the box by "Article," narrow to "English" using the drop-down menu, and limit to appropriate disciplines (e.g., Anthropology).
▪ Academic Search Premier
- After you get your results for your first search (try combining the same keywords you used in ALiCat), notice the links under "Source Types" on the left; click "Academic Journals" to focus on peer-reviewed, academic sources.
- If your results are too broad, use the links you'll find by clicking "Subject" and "Subject: Thesaurus Term" to focus your search a bit more.
- You can find your "current events" sources here, as well! Just choose "Newspapers" and "Magazines" under "Source Types" on the left.
The databases listed above (and others on the "Anthropology..." page) will be good resources for anthropology-specific articles, but your research may also be informed by scholarship in other areas, including history, sociology, religion, etc. You can find additional databases in these areas by choosing the appropriate link from the "Articles" menu on the library homepage.
**How can you be sure that an article you've found is scholarly?**
If you choose "peer-reviewed" or a similar option when searching in an online database, you can be confident that the results you find are going to be scholarly. But what if you're in a database where it's unclear how to narrow to scholarly results, or the database doesn't let you do that at all?
▪ Check Ulrich's ("Databases"-->"Databases A-Z"-->"U"). Enter the title of the journal and click "search." If it is peer-reviewed, it will have an icon that resembles a referee's jersey.
If you're still unsure or if you have problems verifying the journal in Ulrich's, feel free to ask a librarian or your professor.
**Help! There's no link to the full text!**
In most cases, just because there's no full-text link right there, that doesn't mean you can't get the article, often right away! Here's how to get your hands on the full text of any article you find:
1. If there's a full-text link in the database you're in, just click on it!
2. If you don't see a full-text link, go to the library homepage and click the "Journals & Magazines" tab. Enter the journal's title to see if the full text is available somewhere else.
3. If Augustana doesn't own the article you're looking for, click on "Interlibrary Loan" under "Research Tools" on the left side of the homepage. It's free, and you'll usually get the article within 3-5 days.
Need help? Ask a librarian! Visit our help page.
Created by Anne Earel, Reference Librarian. Updated March 2014