What do we already know?

Finding relevant research
+ keeping everything organized


SOCI 16B / Feb 7, 2019
Sarah Elichko (Social Sciences & Data Librarian)


Learning about some key outlets for research
 - A few major Sociology and Anthropology journals


Getting better results
 - Key tips + tools for actually finding relevant stuff


Keeping it together

 - Practices & tools for organizing your research

Understanding what you're looking for

 - Literature reviews, questions, and sources


What we'll work on today:


American Sociological Review

Social Forces

American Journal of Sociology



American Anthropologist

American Ethnologist
Cultural Anthropology

When was the latest issue of Social Forces published?

Looking over the article titles, what's an article from this issue that might be interesting for someone studying US public opinion and social policy?

A few major Sociology and
Anthropology journals:

Choosing search tools:

• Google + Google Scholar --> Wide net, but few filters

• Tripod + Databases --> Easier to focus on scholarly research
                                            Filter + sort results by multiple criteria
                                            Select results from particular journals


Finding research that's actually relevant

Choose search tools that offer you more control
Learn how to search more clearly

Compare Google Scholar + Sociology Research Databases

1. Go to Google Scholar and search for: gender healthcare

How many search results come up?
Which academic disciplines do you see represented?
What options do you have to narrow down your results?

How are your results sorted? (Can you change the order?)

2. Open a new tab. Go to Tripod > Research Guides.
    Within Research Guides, find SOCI 016B.

3. Find the Search Shortcut: Sociology Research Databases

4. Repeat your search using Sociology Research Databases

Improve your Search Results

If you...

Have a large amount of somewhat-relevant results

        • Use Anywhere Except Full Text search to focus
                         (You'll only see articles where your terms are mentioned prominently.)

Can't find results on the country you want to research.

        • Add your country as a search term. Choose "All Subjects."
                    (Example:  "united states" OR "u.s.")

Are unsure about the quality of the scholarship you're finding

       • Try limiting your results by Publication Title
       • Look for those same journals we mentioned before (American

                 Sociological Review, Social Forces, Cultural Anthropology)

Keeping it together

Zotero helps you organize your research materials and generate formatted citations for your papers.

Long term...

         • Over time, you'll build a searchable library of your

                  research interests + things you've learned about.

         • You'll save more time than you'll use setting it up.

Short term... 

         • It's required for this course
         • You'll have an easier time with your literature review.

It takes some time to set up, though...so why use it?

Get started with Zotero:

Go to bit.ly/zotero-setup
Skip ahead: Do Step 2
(Install Zotero Software)

After completing Step 2, you should have:

• Zotero Standalone installed and open
• Zotero Browser Connector installed
      In Chrome, Firefox, or Safari (your choice)

In Zotero Standalone:

Create 3 new collections (folders)

Using Zotero

Save articles, books, etc. to Zotero
  - Key point: in your browser, click the book/article icon to save
  - Step-by-step walk-through (+ other saving options)
  - Already have some PDFs? You can add them directly.

Organize your saved readings by adding them to collections

  - Collections = folders (you can have subfolders, too)

  - Drag an item onto a collection to add it  (more on organizing)

Store your reading notes in Zotero

  - Add standalone notes, or attach them to specific readings
  - You can add multiple notes per reading

Generate a Report in Zotero
  - Report = list of citations plus attached notes

Organizing Your Research in Zotero

Sort your research materials as you save them.
- Your project will evolve, so take a guess based on what you know now.


Consider making a collection for each "petal"* you might explore

- As you find sources, add them to the related collection

- You can also add notes to the collection (directly, or to readings)

Keep in mind: creating a collection is a low-commitment act!
- You can always delete it later.

- As your research evolves, you can consolidate or subdivide your collections.
- A reading can be saved to more than one collection.


* For more on literature reviewing, see chapter 4 in Luker.

• Document your process

• Save consistently

• Annotate sources

Three ways to stay organized
while doing research: 

{ ideas, searches, sources }

{ done & to-do }

{ while you still remember }

Recap: Finding research that's actually relevant

Choose search tools that offer you more control

 - Sociology databases (SOCI 16B Research Guide)

 - Tripod Library Search (tripod.swarthmore.edu)

Learn how to search more clearly

 - Filter your search results (e.g. by journal)

 - Add subject terms to narrow results (e.g. country)


Stay organized: save your results as you go.

Get research advice:
Sarah Elichko / selichk1
Appointment scheduler on research guide


How do you find the full article / PDF?

Article Abstract / Citation --> Search Tripod --> PDF / full article

Click Download PDF
(or Available Online)

If that doesn't work...

- Use Tripod's Journal Search to look up the journal / publication

           (ex: American Ethnologist)

- Request the article  (Go to Borrowing Beyond TriCo)




SOCI 016B - Research Methods (Spring 2019)

By Swarthmore Reference

SOCI 016B - Research Methods (Spring 2019)

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