Anthropology Research Guide

Justice for the Landless, from Jan Satyagraha, India (2012) via Wikimedia Commons

Welcome! This page highlights key resources for conducting effective research in Anthropology.

If you need assistance identifying additional resources, search terms or strategies, please schedule a research consultation.

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Jennie Correia
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Reference Sources
Books, Ethnographies & Media
Journal Articles
Archaeology Resources
Medical Anthropology Resources
Writing & Citing

Finding Background Information - Using Reference Sources

Consult scholarly reference sources to get an overview of a topic, an introduction to a theory, definitions to discipline-specific terms, and more.

Finding Books, Ethnographies, and Media Materials

  • CLIO provides access to the vast resources of the Columbia University Libraries, including Barnard Library, but excluding Teachers College and some information from the Law Library. Search the Catalog for book and media materials.
  • eHRAF World Cultures features full text ethnographies that are organized into cultures and ethnic groups.

  • Ethnographic Video Online and Anthropology Online offers access to classic and contemporary ethnographic documentaries in streaming video. Thematic areas include language and culture, food and foraging, economic systems, social stratification and status, caste systems and slavery, male and female roles, kinship and families, political organization, conflict and conflict resolution, religion and magic, music and the arts, culture and personality, and sex, gender, and family roles.
  • The New York Public Library (NYPL) catalog searches the circulating and non-circulating research collections at the NYPL.
  • WorldCat searches libraries worldwide. If a title isn't available via Columbia University Libraries, you may request it via Borrow Direct or Interlibrary Loan.

Finding Journal Articles and Other Anthropological Literature

  • Anthropology Plus is the most comprehensive index to articles and books in the field. You'll find references to scholarly articles, reports, commentary, and edited collections of essays in all areas of anthropology, from the 19th century to the present.
  • AnthroSource has archived issues of the American Anthropological Association’s journals, newsletters, and bulletins.
  • Annual Review of Anthropology is great for getting comprehensive summaries of research on specific topics in the field. Look at the bibliographies to lead you to the original works cited.
  • GenderWatch includes full text from contemporary scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, regional publications, books, booklets and pamphlets, conference proceedings, and government, NGO and special reports.
  • Google Scholar is very useful for seeing if a book, article, etc. has been cited by other scholars. Search on the title, and then follow the "Cited by ..." link. 
  • JSTOR provides the full text of back issues from core scholarly journals in anthropology and other fields in the humanities and social sciences from the earliest issues to within a few years of current publication. Please note that, generally, this database does not include issues published in the last few years. You can search just the anthropology journals in JSTOR by using the Advanced Search "NARROW BY DISCIPLINE AND/OR JOURNAL" feature.
  • International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS) is amultidisciplinary database with global coverage of journals and books from the fields of anthropology and archaeology. Note that abstracts are provided for only about half of current journal articles.
  • Social Sciences Citation Index (Web of Science) is a multidisciplinary database with searchable author abstracts, covering the journal literature of the social sciences. It links publications based on citations allowing you to search the "web" of communication surrounding a topic. You also can search Science Citation Index and Arts & Humanities Index simultaneously with the Social Science Citation Index - click on "MORE SETTINGS" to select the databases you want to search.

Archaeology Resources

  • eHRAF Archaeology features subject-indexed full text of journal articles, books, and dissertations on archaeology from around the world.
  • Fasti Online is a searchable database of archaeological sites active since 2000.

Medical Anthropology Resources

  • CINAHL (Cumulative index to nursing and allied health literature) provides citations and abstracts nursing and allied health journals. It contains more than 1,000,000 records dating back to 1981 in the areas of nursing, biomedicine, health sciences librarianship, alternative/complementary medicine, consumer health and 17 allied health disciplines. It also offers access to health care books, nursing dissertations, selected conference proceedings, standards of practice, educational software, audiovisuals and book chapters. You can also find some full text material including legal cases, drug records, research instruments, and clinical trials.
  • MEDLINE, from the National Library of Medicine, is a comprehensive database of biomedical literature citations and abstracts - over 22 million of them. Areas covered include microbiology, delivery of health care, nutrition, pharmacology, environmental health, diseases, chemicals and drugs, psychiatry and psychology, biological sciences, social sciences and education, industry, humanities, information science and communications, and health care. You can access MEDLINE from many different platforms. I like PubMed, but try them all to the find your favorite!
  • PsycINFO provides citations and abstracts to professional and academic journal articles and books psychology and related disciplines including medicine, psychiatry, nursing, sociology, education, pharmacology, physiology, and linguistics. In Ovid databases, you enter search terms one at a time and combine them later using Boolean commands (AND, OR, NOT) - see the Boolean Keyword Searching Guide for help.

Fieldwork, Writing and Citing Resources

Last updated April 7, 2017

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