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ANTH 2104: Introduction to Archaeology


  1. Objectives
  2. What information do I need to know for the website assignments?
  3. How do I find books, encyclopedias, and scholarly articles?
  4. How do I make my searching more effective?
  5. Summary & closing


By the end of class, you will be able to:

  1. Find the ANTH 2104 library course guide for this class
  2. Identify characteristics of scholarly articles
  3. Find a reference book using the ANTH subject guide
  4. Find a book using MRU LibrarySearch
  5. Find a scholarly article using MRU LibrarySearch
  6. Find a scholarly article using a recommended database using the ANTH subject guide
  7. Improve searching efficiency

Key Points for Website Assignments

  1. At least 1 reference book

Scholarly Articles

  • Often referred to as academic, peer-reviewed, or refereed 
  • Written by experts in a particular field
  • Keep others interested in that field up to date on the most recent research and findings. 

What is peer-review?

  • When a source has been peer-reviewed it has undergone the review and scrutiny of a review board of colleagues in the author's field.  They evaluate this source as part of the body of research for a particular discipline and make recommendations regarding its publication in a journal, revisions prior to publication, or, in some cases, reject its publication.

General Characteristics

  1. Author: Expert in the field
  2. Review: Reviewed by other experts (peers)
  3. Audience / Language: Written for scholars and students; uses academic language
  4. Content: Original research and criticism; uses previous research literature for background
  5. Citations: Always

Quality refers to how trustworthy and reputable your source is.

  1. Purpose: Consider the purpose of the source.  Why did the authors write it and how do you know that?
    1. Is it fact or opinion?  Is there bias?  (Does the source favour one thing over another in an unfair way (sometimes referred to as one-sided)?
  2. Audience:  Consider the audience of the source.  Who did the authors write it for and how do you know that?
  3. Authority: Consider who wrote the source and who is responsible for the source.  Are the authors experts on the topic and how do you know that?  Who is responsible for this information - a company, a government, a university, personal?  How do you know that?
  4. Currency: Consider when the source was published or written.  How recently was it written and how do you know that?
  5. Reliability: Consider the information from the source.  Does your source provide details about where they got their information - such as references?
  6. Relevance: What does it have to do with my topic?

Finding Sources

  1. Start with the Anthropology Subject Guide

Less is More: Start with one or two words and then add one additional term at a time

  • ceremony
  • ceremony burial

Phrase searching: Use "quotation marks" around key ideas made up of multiple words

  • "ceremonial burial"
  • very useful when you have a specific phrase containing common words

Truncation: Use an asterisk * to find different endings to your keywords

  • ceremon* = ceremony, ceremonies, ceremonial
  • environ* = environment, environmental, environmentalists

Use limits: These refine (narrow) your search using different restrictions

  • Date (last 10 years)
  • Peer-reviewed (for articles)

Boolean:  OR / AND / NOT

  • use OR for spelling (archaeology OR archeology) and words with similar meanings
  • use AND to combine words and phrases (this is usually the default when searching)
  • use NOT to exclude a word or phrase (be careful when eliminating something from a search - it's easy to exclude too much)

Useful Guides and Resources

Society for American Archaeology Style Guide

3.1 Preparing the Manuscript
3.4 In-Text Reference Citations
3.11 References Cited
3.11.1 Book, single author
3.11.2 Book, multiple authors
3.11.13 Article in edited book or monograph
3.11.14 Article in edited volume in a series
3.11.9 Article in a journal
3.11.22 Web pages and electronic documents


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Chris Thomas

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