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ANTH3011: Public Engagement in Anthropology: Finding Articles

The Key to Keywords

Search Tip: Truncation

Truncation Finds Multiple Word Forms

The asterisk (*) is usually used to search words with the same root:

 Person* =  Personal, Personality, Personable,  etc.

Wildcard symbols (usually a ‘?’) replace a single letter:

Wom?n = Woman, Women

Try the Thesaurus

Need More Specific Results?

Sometimes keywords that worked well in one database won’t be as effective in another.  If you find that your results are a bit scattered, try using that database’s terminology:  the Thesaurus or Subject Terms link.  Many databases have a list of designated words that are used to summarize a topic, but they may not be obvious to you.

Locating Articles

To locate articles using Library databases, you can click on Databases from the Library homepage. Listed below are some of the most relevant databases for your research . All are accessible from off campus.

Newspaper Databases

Tips for Effective Search Strategies

  1. Searching works best when you have a research question in mind. You should be able to identify key concepts related to your research. These concepts form the basis for your search terms.

  2. Know your topic. Exploring general sources (a chapter in your textbook, an encyclopedia article or other background reading) is a good way to start. The better you undestand a topic, the easier it is to evaluate sources.

  3. What is your purpose? You may be writing an argumentative or persuasive paper. Or, your assignment may require you to analyze research on a topic. Perhaps you are developing a slide presentation based on your evaluation of key sources.

  4. Start early. Until you have done some searching and reading, you might not recognize if your topic is too broad or narrow.

  5. Don't wait until the last minute. Good resources may not be available locally. Allow yourself time for an Interlibrary Loan.

  6. Select resources appropriate  for your topic. Your professor may ask that you use only peer-reviewed journals. Other professors may want you to use a combination of texts and articles, or news sources. Perhaps you will be doing primary research using interviews or observations.

Scholarly v. Popular

When conducting research, you will usually be asked to find Scholarly Articles, or artices from a Scholarly Journal, rather than popular sources (like magazines and newspapers).

Not sure what the difference is between scholarly and popular?  Check out this short tutorial: Scholarly v. Popular

Is It Scholarly?

How can you tell if you've found a scholarly article?

Some of our databases allow you to limit your results to Scholarly or Peer-Reviewed (possibly Refereed) articles.  In some cases, this isn’t so clear.  You can either check with your professor or a librarian, or you can search for the journal name in Ulrichsweb (under Articles & Databases, on the Library homepage). 

Once you’ve found the name of the journal you’re looking for, look for a small referee’s shirt icon (), to the left of the title.  This indicates that there is scholarly (peer-reviewed, refereed…) value to the articles in this title.