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- KEYWORD search to find relevant or interesting sources
- Look for SUBJECT terms in relevant books and articles; click on or search those
- READ or SKIM abstracts, ToC, introductions, and bibliographies
- Find relevant sources CITED within sources and read or skim them
- REPEAT for every topic
- Look for the scholarly conversation
SEARCHING FOR SOURCES
Anthropology Journal Articles
- Anthropology Plus (anthropology articles; broader search, no full text searching)
- AnthroSource (anthropology articles; narrower search, full text searching)
- Google Scholar (Try the "cited by” feature, Search within citations)
- Web of Science (Try Cited Reference Search / Related Articles / Shared References)
Anthropology Review Articles, Handbooks, and Bibliographies (Good for theory, background, and context)
Books (Anthropology books are at call# range: GN)
- Catalog (Search books and journals at Princeton)
- WorldCat (Search books at other libraries)
NON-ANTHROPOLOGY DATABASES OF POTENTIAL INTEREST
GETTING BOOKS AND ARTICLES PUL DOES NOT HAVE
USING THE LIBRARY OFF CAMPUS
Fall 2020 JP Presentation Notes
Finding a Scholarly Conversation
- Search for recent scholarly books or articles as focused on your topic as possible. Review or “handbook” articles and scholarly encyclopedia entries make good starting places if available.
- Stop searching and skim/read the books or articles for especially interesting or relevant parts that cite other scholars. Look for authors discussing other authors, not just publications listed in a bibliography.
- Find the cited books or articles and skim/read them for especially interesting or relevant parts that cite other scholars.
- Repeat until you start seeing connections among scholars, publications, themes, theories, etc.
- To go forward in the “conversation,” use the Google Scholar “Cited By” feature to see who has cited the most useful books or articles.
- Also try Web of Science: Cited Reference Search / Related Articles / Shared References
When Your Topic Doesn't Have Much Anthropology Lit to Review
Strategies for an Anthropology Literature Review When There Isn't Much Anthropology Literature on Your Topic:
- Analyze fewer anthropology sources more deeply. Work with what you have.
- Review any tangentially related anthropology literature .
- Broaden your context until there’s enough anthropology literature to review.
- Bring in relevant non-anthropological literature as needed (e.g., public health in medical anthropology), but don’t make that the only focus of your review. Use the anthropology as a lens to view the other literature.
- Find theoretical sources through the practical sources.
- Find scholars in conversation with each other.
- Remember: there are no bad sources, only bad ways to use them.
Reviewing the Literature
From Shan-Estelle Brown. Writing in Anthropology: a Brief Guide. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.
REVIEWING THE LITERATURE
- First Look at the Title and Identify Its Key Words
- Review the Abstract
- Examine the Structure
- Identify the Purpose
- Ask the Essential Questions:
- What is the Question, Controversy, or Problem Driving the Study?
- Who or What Group was Being Studied
- How was the Study Executed? What Method was Used? What Kind of Study was Done?
- What Questions were Addressed or Asked in the Study to Generate Data?
- What was Found in the Study? What were the Results of the Study? Why did the Scientists They they Found what they Found?
- How does this study—in its Methods as well as in the Findings it Shares—Relate to other Relevant or Potential Studies?
DEVELOPING YOUR ARGUMENT
To move from a series of summaries to an argument, ask yourself the following:
- What is my specific problem or research question?
- How does each source relate to it?
- What type of literature review am I conducting?
- Am I seeing trends in theory, in methods, within the work of specific researchers, in findings across sources? What can I say about the trend?
- What unexpected findings or patterns emerged as I read across the literature?
- Are there contradictions or telling points of disagreement in the literature?
- Where do I stand on the specific debates under way among the authors of the sources?