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ANTH 315:
Tips for library research

Try these databases to make sure you find academic articles in peer-reviewed anthropology journals:
  • Anthropology Plus: the most anthropology-specific database, but only the first stop for multi-disciplinary topics. Combines two resources - Anthropological Literature from Harvard and Anthropological Index from the Royal Anthropological Institute in the UK.
  • SOCIndex: On EBSCO, the same platform as Academic Search Complete, but focused on sociology and social sciences, including anthropology.
  • Academic Search Complete: large, multidisciplinary and easy to use; includes lots of full-text articles.
    TIP: you can search all 3 EBSCO brand databases above at the same time by selecting "choose databases".
  • Google Scholar: a simple and powerful way to broadly search for scholarly articles, reports and books. If you are a novice searcher, however, it may not be easy to decipher the list of results. **For off-campus use set your Scholar Preferences.
  • AnthroSource: developed by the American Anthropological Association (AAA), this specialized source includes current issues of AAA peer-reviewed journals and archives of all AAA journals; limited indexing and search capabilities; full text of almost all publications.
  • Indigenous Studies Portal - (Iportal). Search or browse by subject.  Once you have found articles look them up in Sofia to get the full text.  
  • JSTOR: provides full-text access to backfiles of important scholarly journals in many disciplines. Use the "Advanced Search" screen to limit your search by discipline. WARNINGS: The latest 3 years or more are NOT usually available.


  • For Quick Tips on how to enter search terms in most of these databases, see this one-page SEARCH STRATEGIES CHEAT SHEET.
  • You can click on the Scholarly/Peer-reviewed journals checkbox in most of the databases above to ensure that the citations you choose are acceptable peer-reviewed articles. See also Evaluating Sources.
  • Use the Findit@Concordia button within the databases to try and access the text of the articles. 

If you have found an interesting citation that is not very recent, use the "Cited by" link available  in many databases (especially in Google Scholar) to find similar and more recent articles**

The main task of articles in review journals and scholarly bibliographies is to review the literature related to a  broad research area or topic. They include extensive bibliographies which can lead you to many other sources on your research question. Try these:


FORMATTING GUIDES -- Bibliography and In-text Citations:


ZOTERO is a free and popular citation tool
(and our new alternative to RefWorkswhich will be phased out by April 2020)
To begin:

  1. Register for a free account
  2. DOWNLOAD the appropriate Zotero program for your computer and Connector for your browser
  3. Learn more via our Zotero help page or workshops


Your professor's instructions should always be the first criteria in determining what qualifies as an appropriate academic source. If you feel you need additional guidance in this area, however, you might find some relevant tips in the guides below.

When evaluating the quality of a variety of material, the following library guide might provide some help:

at Concordia:
BEYOND Concordia:
  • The Sofia Discovery tool can simultaneously search the catalogues of all Quebec university libraries, and of more than 10,000 libraries worldwide. Under the Library facet on the left, simply select: Bibliothèques universitaires du Québec or Libraries worldwide.
  • Google Books. Unlike simple library catalogues, this tool searches inside the pages of books. Once you have identified a useful book here, you can search for the print or ebook at Concodia using our Sofia Discovery tool.

*Warning: Though books (or book chapters/essays) can prove to be useful sources for your literature review, it will take more judgment and evaluation on your part to determine if they qualify as part of your peer-reviwed research. See the Help Evaluating section of this page for guidance. 

Virtually all of the tools listed on this page can help you find material about the research method(s) such as participant observation, interviewing and more.

But you should also try out our new specialized tool:



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