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Jessie Ball duPont Library

Anthropology 106: Introductory Physical Anthropology and Archaeology

A guide to basic information resources on Introductory Anthropology and Archaeology, Anthropology 106.

Anthropology Databases

The databases below are among the best to use when performing research in Anthropology. For an expanded listing of possible resources, see the Anthropology listing in the Electronic Databases by Subject. If the article’s full text is not immediately available, use the Journal Finder to help you locate the full-text. (Just type in the title of the journal to see where it is available.) If we do not have access to it, you can request the article via Sewanee ILL, our interlibrary loan program.

Preferred Databases

Find Primary Research Studies

Finding peer reviewed articles is often as easy as clicking a checkbox in a library database, but only some of those peer reviewed articles contain primary research studies (also called empirical research studies).

What is a primary research study?

  • A scholarly publication that reports on research done by the author(s).
  • Discusses the authors’ research methods.
  • Analyzes the authors’ findings (data), usually presented in charts and graphs.

Here are some search tips for finding primary research studies:

1. Use the library databases.

You can still use the same databases to find primary research studies as you would use to find any other peer reviewed sources. Primary research studies are published in academic journals and the library databases help you sift through those journal articles.

2. Try adding “research” or “study” to your search terms. Add this in a separate box from your other search terms.

3. While adding these terms to your search may help, the best way to distinguish a primary study from any other peer reviewed article is by looking at the abstract and the article itself.

  • In the title--look for a description of the research. This will usually involve a what and a where:
    • Neanderthal Use of Callista chione Shells as Raw Material for Retouched Tools in South-east Italy: Analysis of Grotta del Cavallo Layer L Assemblage with a New Methodology” (Bonus: this article mentions methodology in the title, a good indication that these authors are presenting their own research.)
    • Hominid remains from Amud Cave in the context of the Levantine Middle Paleolithic”
  • In the abstract--look for any mention that the authors have done an empirical study or any discussion of the authors’ own data. Look for a what and a where that tell you the focus of the research. Once you find those, you can try to find out whether the author(s) did this research themselves.
  • In the article--look for a methods, results, and/or discussion section, data tables, maps of the site, photos of the site, etc. These are not guarantees that this is a primary research study, but they are a likely indicator. If the author is only analyzing data from other sources, then the article is not a primary research study.

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