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ANTH 224: Race & Human Variation

Resources to Support Your ANTH 224 Unessay Project & More

Workshop Materials

Anth 224 Term Project: Unessay 

...the “unessay,” in which you present detailed information about four aspects of a trait or phenotype: its pattern(s) variation, biological underpinnings, environmental interactions, and social implications/interpretations.

  • Topic (before break) & bibliography (after break)
    • Requires 8 peer-reviewed journal articles or chapters from scholarly books to inform your project

Workshop Goals

  • Craft effective search strategies and identify appropriate search tools (i.e. databases) to meet your research needs.
  • Use database functionality to locate relevant peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.
  • Obtain citation information to accurately source your work and place your research into the scholarly conversation.
  • Leave today's workshop with at least 2-3 potential references. 


Part I: Workshop intro & potential topics 

Part II: Creating a logical search & search terms 

Part III: Database searching & additional search strategies 

Part V: Obtaining full text & interlibrary loan

Part V: Formatting citations & wrapping up

You will likely go through the search process a number of times, performing different searches with different keyword combinations, to address the different components of your topic.

Systematic Searching Handsearching
#1 Identify your question. Identify the key concepts and related terms. Tip:  You may want to re-phrase your question. Background reading can help you identify related terms and further define or narrow your topic.  Explore reference lists to locate other articles, books, or authors who have written on the same topic. 
#2 Find an appropriate search tool. Consider your subject matter, discipline of study, type of information needed (e.g. peer reviewed articles) Locate cited research in reference lists/bibliographies and citing literature (WoS or Google Scholar) to view past and more recent similar or adjacent research.

#3 Start with a simple search based on your key concepts. Tip: You may also have to look at literature that refers to one (not all) aspects of your research question.

Browse the table of contents of relevant journals and special issues.

#4 Use specific search strategies.

  • Use AND to join dissimilar terms.
  • Use OR to join synonyms or related terms.
  • Truncate words with * to pick up variations of that word. 
  • Use "quotation marks" for phrase searching
  • Use database limiters e.g. limit to scholarly journals. 
  • Consider searching in a specific field e.g. title (article title) or source (journal title.)
Review bibliographies or reading lists to locate recommended or key resources.
#5 Search and skim results. Look for the language and terms that researchers use and that the database assigns to articles (Subjects). Locate an expert Locate an expert the the field and browse their publications.  
#6 Switch up your searches.  Use promising new terminologyYour search may become more sophisticated.  


Original Research Article - Most often published in peer reviewed journals, original research articles report on the findings of a scientist's work or experiment.  They will almost always include a description of how the research was done and what the results mean.

Review articles - Published in peer reviewed journals, but seek to synthesize and summarize the work of a particular sub-field, rather than report on new results. Can provide helpful background information. 

Editorials/Opinion/Commentary/Perspectives – An article expressing the author's view about a particular issue. These articles can be well researched and include a lot of citations to the peer reviewed literature, or simple items without citations, but are not themselves peer reviewed.

Brief Communications or News – Science news articles can be found in a wide variety of publications.  Popular newspapers and magazines, trade publications and scholarly publications can all have science news articles.  These articles often will refer to a recent study published as a primary research article. These articles are typically short and written in language a general audience can understand.


  • Does the article have an abstract?
  • Does the article have a materials and methods section?
  • Are there references? Are they cited in the article?
  • Who is the intended audience? How can you tell?
  • What are the author’s/authors’ credentials and association?
  • Does the article present original research or is it a review?
  • Does the article indicate when it was submitted for publication and when it was accepted?


One of the best places to find out if a journal is peer-reviewed is to go to the journal's website (just Google the journal title).

Most publishers have a website for a journal that tells you about the journal, how authors can submit an article, and what the process is for getting published.

On the journal's website, look for the link that says "information for authors," "instructions for authors," "submitting an article" or something similar. Then look for the term "peer-reviewed" in the description of the journal.

Journal peer-review statement

From, “BHS 110 Orientation: Types Of Scholarly Sources” by Oregon State University Libraries & Press, used under CC BY-NC 4.0. Information.

What are the strengths of scholarly journals compared to other source types? What do you see as limitations? 


  Scholarly Journal Popular Magazine Trade Magazine Encyclopedia Website






Film Quarterly

Entertainment Weekly


The Routledge Encyclopedia of Films

Rotten Tomatoes

Stated Purpose

“Film Quarterly has published substantial, peer-reviewed writing on cinema and media for nearly sixty years, earning a reputation as one of the most authoritative academic film journals…”

“… your one-stop source for the latest and most trusted entertainment news and commentary.”

“Filmmaker, a publication of the IFP, covers the world of independent film from the point of view of the working filmmaker and the independent film enthusiast.”

“The Routledge Encyclopedia of Films comprises 200 essays by leading film scholars analysing the most important, influential, innovative and interesting films of all time.”

“As the leading online aggregator of movie and TV show reviews from professional critics, Rotten Tomatoes offers the most comprehensive guide to what's fresh.”

Example Article Title

“We Can Make Something Out of Anything”: Sally Potter's Thriller and London's History of Queer Feminist Film Spaces”

Patty Jenkins responds to James Cameron's Wonder Woman Diss

The Seven Arts of Working in Film: A Necessary Guide to On-Set Protocol

Mad Max (1979)

The Stephen King Scorecard


$46/year (4 issues)

$25/year (50 issues)

$18/year (4 issues)

$153.30 ebook; $219 hardcover



Academics & professionals

General public

People in the field or industry

Academics & professionals

General public


Experts or specialists (PhD). Unpaid.

Journalists, staff writers, or freelance writers. Paid.

Staff writers, industry specialists, or vendor representatives. Paid.

Experts or specialists. Paid.

Staff writers, freelance writers, anyone (user generated content). Paid and unpaid.

Editorial Review

Journal editorial board and peer reviewers. Unpaid.

Professional editors. 


Professional editors. Paid.

Professional editors. Paid.

Professional editors; possibly no editorial review. Paid.

References /Works Cited

Almost always



Almost always


Time to Publication

3- 6+ months 

Weeks/ months

Weeks/ months

12+ months 

Minutes – hours

Table concept adapted from

Keyword and subject heading searching are both useful approaches to locating relevant sources. You may find that using a combination of keywords and subject headings brings you the most success. 

  • keywords - words that describe the main concepts of your research 
    • for exp. ecosystem anthropoceneafrican american foodwayszora neale hurston folklore
  • subject headings - controlled vocabulary that describe a topic and subtopic in a standardized, consistent way

Library of Congress (LC) subject heading classifications are most commonly used, however article databases, such a JSTOR, may use their own subject headings. Find subject headings by viewing the full details of the source, use the database's subject list/ thesaurus if available, or look to filter your search results by subject. 

Anth 224 Google Jamboard