Guide Start - Scholarly Research for Anthropology
College professors will usually require some scholarly (also academic, peer-reviewed) sources.
Three things to look for:
- Was it written by experts? The authors are specialists in their field, list their educational background (e.g. PhD), and are usually affiliated with a university.
- Is it based on research? The findings are based on a study conducted by the authors, or on a review of other expert literature. There will *always* be a bibliography or works cited list of the research used.
- Who is the intended audience? Scholarly sources will use complex, expert language and be fairly lengthy. Most academic research is published in peer-reviewed journals or books, not freely available through Google.
Written by experts,
Written by journalists;
Based on research,
Based on opinions &
AKA: mass media,
Is this Article Scholarly? Use this checklist to be sure your sources are scholarly.
And check out this information timeline to understand when and how information is published.
Articles and Books
TO Guide Articles
These databases have mostly scholarly articles:
- Academic Search Premier [make sure to select the box that says "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals"]
- Sociological Abstracts
- Communication and Mass Media
- Wiley Online Library
The following databases have mostly popular press (mass media) articles:
See an article you want in one of these databases?
- Click on the "Get it! @CSUSM" link
- Look for "Full Text" in PDF or HTML format
- If we don't own the full-text, simply fill out an Interlibrary Loan request. It's free for you to use and takes about 1 - 10 business days to arrive.
- Any time you need help, reach out to the librarian listed on the right-hand side of this guide. You can also email email@example.com or try live chat during library hours.
Note: If you use Google Scholar, don't pay for articles from publisher websites! Find the full text for free through our library.
TO Guide Search Strategies
Search strategies to get better results when searching a database:
- Identify key concepts and synonyms
- Use "quotes" around phrases
- Use AND between different concepts
- Use OR between similar concepts
- Use an asterisk* to find word variations
Bonus: Use NOT to exclude concepts
Build your own search strategy (University of Arizona)
TO Guide Books
Search the Library Catalog for books at CSUSM. You might need this map to find your book-- or just ask at the Research Help Desk.
Our library is organized using the Library of Congress Classification System
Search the The Circuit for books from local libraries, including UCSD and SDSU. Delivered to our Check Out Desk in 1-3 days!
APA Style Guides
For APA style help, try these websites:
The library owns several copies of this citation guide. Please go to the 3rd floor Research Help Desk (RHD) and ask for a copy to use here in the building. The call number is BF76.7.P83.