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Anthropology 8: Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion

Resources to help students research their topics.

Source Types

Description

  • Background sources (also known as reference sources) are tertiary and contain information we "refer" to, such as dictionaries and encyclopedias. These are good sources to use to get started - when you need ideas for how to narrow your topic, or could use more words to describe your needs (such as when thinking of keywords to put into a search box.)

What do they contain?

  • Entries (though sometimes articles & videos!)

How often are these sources published?

  • Once, annually, or every few years

Found in:

Alternative places to look:

Description

  • Books are full length sources that can be on a topic by one or more authors, or anthologies, which contain several chapters/sections written by different authors that are often compiled by an editor.

What do they contain?

  • Chapters, sections, essays

How often are these sources published?

  • Once, annually, or every few years

Found in:

Description

  • Magazines, journals, and newspapers, are types of "periodicals" - as in, they are published periodically throughout the year. There are many different intended audiences.
    • Magazines are generally intended for a broader, public audience.
      • Examples: People, Vogue, and The Atlantic.
    • Journals are often intended for a scholarly audience (scholars, academics, researchers, etc.) Many of these journals go through a peer-review editing process. Peer-reviewed articles go through a rigorous publishing process: they are written by an academic, submitted to the journal, and then circulated to experts in the field for checking before being published.
      • Examples: New England Journal of Medicine, The William and Mary Quarterly.
    • Newspapers are usually written for a broader, public audience. They capture the news of the day.
      • Examples: San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, the Guardian.

What do they contain?

  • Articles

How often are these sources published?

  • Magazines - usually monthly & quarterly (seasonally)
  • Journals - less frequently; can be monthly, but more likely quarterly
  • Newspapers - usually daily

Found in:

Description

  • Media sources come in a variety of audio and visual formats. Some of these can be helpful for research - like podcasts, documentaries, and web clips.

What are some examples?

  • Audio - such as CDs, MP3s, podcasts, and material on streaming websites
  • Video - such as DVDs, MP4s, YouTube videos, and material on streaming services (like Films on Demand and Netflix)

How often are these sources published?

  • Continuously

Found in:

Description

  • Websites are online spaces that host a multitude of content. The collection of content for a website is within the same domain. (In the example below, sfdph.gov is the domain).
    • Examples:

What do they contain?

How often are these sources published?

  • Continuously

Found on:

  • The "open web." Search engines "crawl" and "index" items found in the open web, such as webpages, blog posts, infographics, PDFs, and other material that people post to the web. The open web contains materials not behind a paywall (such as when an online journal website asks for payment to show you an article). Databases are technically behind a paywall, because they contain material that is accessed after the library pays a subscription fee.

OneSearch

OneSearch LogoUse OneSearch to search for books, eBooks, articles (from magazines, newspapers, and journals), streaming videos, DVDs, CDs, images, and more, all in a single search. OneSearch cross searches most CCSF Library Databases at the same time. OneSearch can be accessed from the Library website! Want to see how it works? Check out our video demo.

Recommended Resources for Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion

Databases are searchable containers of the source types listed above: books, magazines, journals, and media, but not webpages (which you search on the open web). Databases are owned by a few different companies, and the library pays for access to make relevant sources available for your research. The sources in the databases are rarely available for free on the open web.

When doing research for papers in Anthro 8, we recommend the following options:

Films on Demand: Religion and Ritual

Still image showing men dressed in white, singing, from video called Ayahuasca Expansion of Consciousness available from Films on Demand database


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