Native North America

Library Session: Literature Searching

Ryan Clement


who am I?

  • I'm Ryan, the Data Services Librarian
  • I use he/him/his pronouns
  • I work with the Economics, Geography, Sociology/Anthropology, & Philosophy departments
  • I help people find and use data
  • I can help with all stages of your research!
  • You can find more at go/ryan/

what are we covering today?

  • keyword searching concepts
  • literature review sources
  • questions

keyword searching

  • break your question into concepts
  • think of synonyms for the concepts: use language from the literature
  • be ready to be flexible on which concepts are most important: e.g. is geography really the most important?

boolean logic

*most databases assume "and"


  • searching the literature is iterative
  • learn from your searches
  • keep a record of your searches: start a text file

searching anthropology literature sources

evaluating sources

where does it come from?

  • is it scholarly? peer reviewed?
  • is there evidence? can you trace this evidence?
  • what is the tone?
  • is it free from errors?

who wrote it and why?

  • is the author qualified to write on the topic?
  • are their credentials visible? or can you find them?
  • why did they write this? for what audience?
  • can you find out how the research is funded?
  • does any of this show bias?

organizing your research

 and remember:

Please make sure you log off your computer!


By Ryan Clement


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