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Anthropology Research Guide

Search Tips

  • Try different keywords and search terms using different databases and catalogs. Every database is different so some keywords and search terms work for one database but not for another.
  • Expand your search:
    • Include synonyms and plural/singular forms of keywords. Separate synonyms by OR. Separate the synonyms from the rest of the words by using parentheses.
    • Use truncation symbols (or wildcard symbols) to include variations of your search terms (e.g. scien$ will search for sciences, scientific, scientfically, etc.).
  • Narrow your search:
    • Combining different concepts/search terms with AND
    • Use the limit functions of the database. These are often located on the left side of the results page, or look in the database's Help menu to discover the limit functions it offers. Possibilities include limiting by date, language, type of article, etc.
  • Keep a record of which search terms worked and in which databases. This can keep you from repeating your steps.
  • Did you find an article you really like? Then, read the cited references (a.k.a. bibliography, end notes, footnotes) to find similar articles. This can bias your project by focusing on only one side of an issue so use caution with this method.
  • Ask for help. Ask a librarian for search tips. Also, use the help screens in the databases for instructions and tips.

Citing Your Sources

The Emory Libraries Citing Your Sources Research Guide provides information about why to cite sources, how to avoid plagiarism, how to avoid common mistakes, and a list of style manuals. Anthropologists have generally followed the American Anthropological Association Style, but as of fall 2015 the AAA style fully adheres to the Chicago Manual of Style and will no longer be updated. Anthropologists also frequently use the American Psychological Association Style (APA), or the American Journal of Physical Anthropology Style so check with your instructor or journal to find out which style you should use. 

You can also visit websites with basic guidelines on how to use common style formats. Some good websites include:

If you are using a citation manager (e.g. Endnote or Zotero), select the appropriate output style. The citation manager should automatically format your citations and bibliography, but don't forget to check it for accuracy.

Data citation is straightforward in many cases. The citation must include the title, author, date, version, and a persistent identifier (e.g. DOI, Uniform Resource Name, Handle System). Including the checksum or a Universal Numeric Fingerprint is also recommended (allows future researchers to verify data integrity). Refer to your style manual for guidelines on citation formatting.

For more information on data citation visit the ICPSR or DataCite pages.

Citation Software

Try using EndNote or Zotero software to organize your citations and instantly create properly formatted bibliographies. Emory has a site license for EndNote and you can obtain a free copy by downloading the software from Emory's Software Express site (Emory network ID required). Mendeley, Papers, and Citavi are other popular software options.

For help with EndNote or Zotero, visit the Library's Help Guides or sign up for one of the classes we offer throughout the semester.

Emory Writing Center

If you are writing a research paper and need help thinking through your topic or organizing your paper's content,  Emory's Writing Center provides thoughtful one-on-one attention and feedback at any stage of the writing process. 

Sessions with tutors are available by appointment or during walk-in hours.

Copyright and Publishing Questions

If you have questions about whether you can use particular content or about your own content, contact the Scholarly Communications Office. They offer workshops on a variety of topics related to copyright and publishing, as well as research data management and data sharing. They also offer in-person consultations (schedule an appointment here) or email with your questions (scholcomm@listserv.cc.emory.edu). 

Also get to know Creative Commons and their copyright licensing tools.

Check Peer-Review Status

If the journal itself or the database you searched does not tell you if a journal is peer-reviewed (refereed), Ulrich's Periodicals Directory can help. Search for the journal title (NOT the article title). If the journal is peer-reviewed it will have the "referee" icon next to it.

IRB at Emory

If you are conducting research that involves "human subjects" then your project might need to go through the IRB process. The Emory IRB website has several resources to help you complete and submit applications, including tutorials, instructional videos, webinars, help clinics, and more. Here are a few helpful pages for general information about requirements and the review process: