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ANTH 4550: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity: Journal Articles

A guide to library resources for students in ANTH 4550

Searching for scholarly articles

When you want to search for peer-reviewed or "scholarly" journal articles, it's best to start on the library website and search using the library resources. There are several ways you can search the journals in the UNT Libraries collection. 

  1. Choose one database to search within. Library databases are collections of information; many of them are collections of journals. Some contain literature from multiple disciplines and some are subject specific. AnthroPlus contains anthropology literature, while Race Relations Abstracts contains literature from multiple social science disciplines. Several relevant databases are linked below in the "Scholarly article databases" box.
  2. Search in the "Online Articles" tab on This searches within almost ALL of the library databases. Results will be multidisciplinary and plentiful.
  3. Choose just one journal to browse or search within. To find out if the UNT Libraries have full text for a specific journal, you can search for the journal title in the "e-journals" tab on

Once you have decided where you will conduct your search, you will want to read and apply the information in the "Search Tips" and "How to Develop Keywords" boxes below. Searching in the library databases requires a more thoughtful approach than crafting a search query for a web search engine such as Google. 

Search Tips

In general, when searching the library databases...

Keywords are...

  • A good way to start a search.
  • The important concepts in your own words.
  • Found anywhere in the article (title, author, subject terms, etc.).

Use Quotation Marks to Search for a Phrase...

  • Searching for "Quality of life" will bring back only results that have the words in that exact order.

Connecting the concepts (keywords)...

  • Link different parts of your topic with "AND" to get results that contain both terms.
  • Join similar ideas or synonyms with "OR" to find results that contain either of the terms.
  • Exclude concepts with "NOT" 

Search for a root word...

  • Add an * at the end of a word to search for all possible endings/suffixes 
  • teen* will search for teen, teens, teenager, teenagers

Limit to Peer-Reviewed, Refereed or Scholarly articles...

  • Peer-review is part of the publication & editorial process for academic and research journals.  Being peer-reviewed is a sign that a paper's author(s) have done a certain level of due diligence in their work and their research is complete, manages conflicts-of-interest, and is fair and objective.

Narrow the Date Range...

  • When looking for current research limit your date range to the last 5-10 years.

Still not finding anything?  Ask your Librarian!

How to Develop Keywords

When searching the library databases for articles, typing an entire sentence or question into the search field will not produce good results. Instead use keywords that describe your topic.

Developing Keywords

Identify the important nouns or main ideas in your research question. For example:

  • Research Question: What are the consequences of the spread of incorrect health information on social media?

Generate synonyms for each main term, along with words that are narrower, broader, and related.

  • Incorrect information: deceit, manipulation, lies, false, misinformation, fake news
  • Social media: online, websites, internet, social networking
  • Health: wellness, physical wellbeing, medical

Start searching in a database and connect your keywords with AND, OR, and, NOT as appropriate

  • A search for this topic could look like:
    • misinformation AND health AND social media 
    • incorrect information AND medical AND social networking websites
    • (lies OR false information) AND health AND online 

Pay attention to the results and modify your keywords as necessary.

  • Titles and abstracts in the results may help you identify new keywords
  • Keep in mind that keywords will evolve as you search. The more you search and learn about your topic, the easier it will be to develop keywords and search for more relevant articles. 

How to Create Keywords Video Tutorials

Keyword Generators

Scholarly article databases

Additional Links