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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or try live chat during library hours.
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!
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)
What is AAA style?
AAA stands for the American Anthropological Association, the citation format previously used by anthropologists.
Chicago Style at CSUSM Library
ANTH Library Classes
Culture & Medicine: Healers and Healing Practices
- Understanding the research process
- Using databases to find scholarly research
- Make sure it's scholarly!
- Search strategies
- Books, too
Keep in mind:
- your research will help inform your interview.
- the healer's practices might vary from what you find in the scholarly research.
- look for patterns and make connections.
Think broadly! For example:
- reiki: try energy healing, biofeedback, massage therapy
- Tibetan sound bowls: try sound therapy, music therapy
- shaman or curandero/a: don't limit yourself to one tribe or population
- it's OK if research has been done in other countries or on different illnesses/symptom.
- make connections between the research you find, your ethnographic interview, similarities and differences, etc.
Email, chat, call, or make an appt with Lalitha or further help!
ANTH 370 Library Lab
"Ecological and Anthropological Data" group assignment:
- Identifying scholarly sources (what does scholarly even mean?)
- Searching for scholarly sources (five database search strategies)
- Interpreting scholarly sources (three questions to ask while you read)
Most helpful databases for ANTH 370
Recommended journals for cultural ecology
Note: most of these are searchable in above databases.
- American Anthropologist
- American Antiquity
- Annual Review of Anthropology
- Annals of the Association of American Geographers
- Current Anthropology
- Human Ecology
- Latin American Antiquity
- Journal of Anthropological Archaeology
- Quaternary Research