"Help! The Kenyon library has nothing on my topic!" When teachers hear this cry, they suspect that the student has not yet learned to be a good library sleuth. Before you catch the shuttle to OSU, or order fifteen books on interlibrary loan, be sure you have made the most of what we do have at Kenyon. For most undergraduate papers, the resources available at Kenyon should be sufficient. Don't worry if you turn up references that you cannot find here. That will always be the case, even when you utilize a graduate research library. The point is to have enough resources for your purposes, not to read everything ever written on your subject. Be resourceful and learn to cope.
It is your responsibility to learn how to use the library and information resources. You may be introduced to some of these resources through library tutorials in connection with classes, but more often you will have to learn them on your own. Documentation on all of these is available in the library or through on-line tutorials. Take full advantage of any workshops and tutorials advertised periodically in the library or offered through Library and Information Services. The time spent in these sessions will be well repaid, and the sooner in your college career you learn to command a variety of information resources, the more efficient and proficient you will be in writing research papers.
The quality of your research, and finally the quality of your paper, rests on the quality of the sources you use. In general, journalistic sources aimed at a general readership (e.g., National Geographic, Newsweek) do not have sufficient depth of information and authority for academic papers in anthropology. Scholarly books and journals should form the bulk of your sources, although popular magazines, the press, and the internet may be useful as well.
- Consort: The On-line Catalog on Denison, Kenyon, Ohio Wesleyan and Wooster
- Print Indexes and Other Print Resources
- Some Other Print Reference Materials Available at Kenyon
- Electronic Resources
- Additional Resources
Consort can be searched by a web interface. In addition to borrowing books from the Consort colleges, you may also reach OhioLINK, which inlcudes all the major research libraries in the state. Traditional card catalogs enabled us to search by title, author, and subject; on-line catalogs allow us to search in these ways as well as by word, and to combine words in various ways. Performing word searches will provide you authors' names, and then you can search by author to see if they have written any other books related to your interest. After performing a word search with two words and finding a reference to a book that fits your topic rather precisely, look at the subject headings listed on this book's Consort record and use those words for additional searches, either for books or articles. (See the paragraph below on LC Subject headings.)
Try a word search of anthropology and bibliography to see if our library has any bibliographies that may be of use to you in your paper. Searching for anthropology and bibliography in the word search, for example, gets 26 sources. Most of these are general bibliographic sources; a few are on specialized topics such as traditional medicine and the anthropology of war. The Index to Journal Articles, also in the Consort catalog, includes journals indexed in the Social Sciences Index, the Humanities Index, and more. You can search for word, subject, author, and title. Note that this is not the same as looking at the Journal Titles option in the Consort Search Options. You must return to the Consort Gateway Menu to select the Index to Journal Articles.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
You may be looking for the wrong words! Electronic and print indexes may be using different terms for the phenomenon you are trying to understand. For example, you may be using the phrase "Native Americans," but LC indexes this subject under "Indians of North America." Are you using the search terms, "initiation ceremonies" and not turning up very much? That is because the subject is indexed as "rites of passage." Consult the Library of Congress Subject Headings books, one set of which is located in the reference section near the bound volumes of Books in Print. The librarian at the information desk has another copy. Looking through these books may help you to narrow, expand, or change the terms you are using. Then return to the On-line Catalog or other search tools with these terms in mind. (See also the tip about finding subject headings under the paragraph above about Consort.)
International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences
Ref. H40 .A2 Sometimes the articles in here are a good place to begin work on a topic, giving you the background on arguments or on historical figures.
Abstracts in Anthropology (1980-)
This provides article abstracts and it indexes anthropology journals. Find it at Table 6 in the reference area of the library. Reading an abstract of an article can save you from searching in the stacks for articles that later prove useless for your purposes. This can also save the time and money of ordering xerox copies on Interlibrary Loan that turn out not to be what you needed.
Annual Review of Anthropology
GN1.A623 and HM1.A763. These review articles, most with great bibliographies, can now be searched electronically via JSTOR. (See electronic resources below). It is often worth the effort. Review articles help you evaluate the sides of a controversy and judge the relevance of certain sources. They are a great starting point if you happen to find one related to your research topic. The Annual Review covers all four subdisciplines, but the specific topics of the articles vary from year to year.
Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory
CC75.A24. Published annually, it is analogous to the Annual Reviews listed
GN1.I58 International Bibliography of Social and Cultural Anthropology.
Ref. GN20 .I5 International Dictionary of Anthropologists.
Ref. GN42.W44 Introduction to Library Research in Anthropology.
Ref. GN17.K45 The History of Anthropology: A Research Bibliography.
Folio 301.016 An86 Anthropological Bibliographies
GN42.F7 The Student Anthropologist's Handbook: A Guide to Research.
Ref.GN1.A15 Abstracts in Anthropology. (See its subject index)
Ref.GN281.E53 Encyclopedia of Human Evolution and Prehistory.
Ref.GN281.C345 The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Evolution. (Copy in Palme)
Biological Abstracts. Third floor serial. Also available in electronic form. See All Indexes and Databates on the LBIS home page.
Psychological Abstracts. Third floor serial, also available online via the CONSORT gateway menu (PSYCINFO).
Ref. HM17.E5 Encyclopedia of Sociology.
Ref. GN307.E53 Encyclopedia of World Cultures.
JSTOR (access from the Library's home page)
Back issues of : Annual Reviews in Anthropology, Anthropology Today, Current Anthropology, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Insitutue (Man)
This is a full-text data base. I.e., you can read on line or print out the entire articles.
Periodical Abstracts (1986 - )
The full text of some journal articles is available here.
Anthropological Literature (1983 -)
This includes only the references to articles in edited books as well as 1000 journals.
Social Science Citation Index
The SSCI allows you to start with an author and article title you know to be useful or important for your research, and to learn where that article has been cited. This reveals the responses and arguments to an idea, as well as giving you a sense of how important or influential that idea has been.
Ref. 301.05 So13. Published five times each year (with periodic cumulative indices), Soc Abstracts lists under broad subject headings nearly every article published which would be of interest to sociologists. As the title implies, it provides an abstract as well as the full reference. It includes articles written outside the USA and papers presented at meetings of professional associations.
Academic Universe (Lexis/Nexis)
This important resource provides full texts, i.e., you can read and download whatever sources you turn up. This is the proverbial library without walls! Developed for the legal and business professions, it includes everything you could ever want relating to laws and precedents set at the state and national levels. It includes newspapers from around the world, an invaluable resource for courses that have an area focus. Because its searching mechanism searches the entire text of articles, not just the titles, it is a powerful devise that will turn up far too many references for you to use -- unless you learn how to delimit your searches. There are few academic journals (aside from law reviews) in this data base, but if you can use information from high quality news magazines and newspapers, and if you need to know how the courts have decided on some issue, this resource is a must.
This treasure trove of materials is not is not organized the same way as the rest of our collection, so students often do not discover it. It contains a wealth of useful things for anthropology, including census and other statistical data, information on Native Americans, the family, laws, agriculture, and more. Learning to mine this collection may take a little time at first, but will be well worth it if your project involves something about life in the United States or foreign relations.
Government publications are organized, not by author and subject, but by their corporate author, i.e., the organization that produced them--the Department of Health and Human Services, for example, the Smithsonian, or the Department of Education. (Learning to use this collection -- located in Chalmers on the lower floor-- gives you a lesson in the organization of our government!) Instead of a call number, the documents or books have a SUDOC number.
Indexes to this collection are available in bound formats near the office of librarian in government documents--first floor of Chalmers. Ask for documentation or help from her. The most useful of these indexes is the Monthly Catalog, and now you can search it electronically. GPO on Silverplatter on CD ROM is an electronic version of the Monthly Catalog listing everything the government has published in a certain period. It is available on the computer workstation in the Gov Docs area.
Primary sources include data collected through interviews, observations, recordings, excavation, surveys and other methods. Primary materials are also available in the libraries however, in the form of newspapers, magazines, letters, diaries, public documents, and so on. The Gerrritsen Collection of Women's History, 1543-1945, for example, is a microfilm resource in Olin that includes magazines (and also monographs) in many languages. Local libraries, court houses, and historical societies often house archives on specific subjects. Sometimes you can purchase an index to their archives on request. General guides to archival materials include The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (Z6620.U5 N3) (for reports on holdings since 1958), and A Guide to Archives and Manuscripts in the United States (for listings before 1958).
More and more information is available through electronic means. Electronic discussion groups on the internet (often called lists) exist on an incredibly wide variety of subjects. Not only is there an anthropology list, for example, but also specialized interdisciplinary lists that deal with a single country, or with a specific topic such as world systems theory. Some of these lists are mostly "chat," without much useful as research material. Other lists, however, post reprints of newspaper articles, position papers, or expert opinions of other kinds.
The World Wide Web makes text and graphical information available to us as a virtual library, but use it with caution for scholarly papers. Scholarly journals and books are rigorously reviewed before publication. Indeed, most require multiple revisions, and some manuscripts are never published as a result of these pre-publication evaluations. In contrast, anyone can put up a web site and claim to be an authority. Can you tell the trash from the solid stuff? Ask hard questions about the authority of the information you find. Who wrote the information? Has it recently been updated? Unless you can verify the quality of the web resources, your teacher will not be impressed. A paper based entirely on web resources is usually not acceptable, but some web resources listed in a bibliography largely made up of scholarly books and journals will raise few concerns.
Because electronic documents are not copyrighted and can be easily modified, and because the electronic format is more ephemeral than the printed word, one must be especially careful when utilizing these resources. Like all sources, these must have an appropriate citation in your References Cited page. See the models provided in the style guide. To be safe, it is a good idea to make and keep a hard copy of any electronic sources you cite in case your teacher or another reader wishes to follow up your reference to it.