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Anthropology 121C: Evolution of Genus Homo

Librarian for Digital Research and Scholarship

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Zoe Borovsky, Ph.D.
Contact:
phone: 310-825-4954
https://ucla.zoom.us/my/zoepster

Research Assistance

Research assistance in the social sciences and humanities is available at the Charles E. Young Research Library. See Reference and Research Help for complete reference service options.

Connect from off campus

Resources for Anthropology researchers

Identify the resources you need

Research may begin with a question, topic, or an idea.  To contribute new knowledge to a field or discipline, researchers will often begin by reviewing what has already been published. Much of an academic library's purpose (our collection and expertise) is devoted to collecting and preserving the academic, scholarly record.  Libraries provide access to reference materials (e.g. encyclopedias, handbooks, reviews) so that scholars can quickly:

1.  Gain background by using materials that summarize existing knowledge: reference materials, indexes, and reviews. 

2.  Begin to build a list of relevant resources for that topic [a literature review] cited (or referenced) in these materials.  

Engage with us!  UCLA Librarians specialize in subjects or academic programs (e.g. Anthropology, History, Gender Studies), formats (e.g. film, maps, digital library, or archival materials), or regions (e.g. Middle East or Latin America).  Librarians work together as a community to support interdisciplinary scholarship. We often send email messages with our contact information to UCLA departments to introduce ourselves. UCLA researchers can tap into our network of expertise by contacting a subject expert or by visiting the reference desk at one of our libraries.   

 

 

Selecting methods and designing the research process

Anthropologists and archeologists use many methods to gather evidence. 

  •     Fieldwork
  •     Participant observation
  •     Visual analysis, e.g. photographs, video
  •     Interviews
  •     Survey research
  •     Literature review
  •     Document or conversation analysis, e.g. using text-analysis or text-mining software for linguistic analysis of texts
  •     Spatial databases for archeology

Primary sources for this type of research can be the researcher's own field notes, interviews, or data that they (or others) have gathered from social media.  

Sage Research Methods is designed to provide examples of each of these methods, explain the tools and data, as well as provide examples of the resulting publications.  Researchers will browse the entries by discipline: (e.g. Anthropology), consult the method map (e.g. Survey) and then use the Planning tools to design and plan a research project. 

Engage with us!  UCLA Librarians offer free workshops designed to support researchers in utilizing the tools and methods necessary for their research. Each quarter, we offer workshops on topics such as: Research Data Management, EndNote, mapping, text-mining, and statistical software packages.   While these workshops may seem focused on specific tools, (e.g. ArcGIS or databases) they are designed to showcase how library resources, expertise, services, and programs extend into and beyond UCLA campus research communities. 

Evaluate information and its sources critically

Identify

  • Interrelationships between main concepts
  • Other perspectives, viewpoints
  • Your own (implicit) bias
  • Gaps: who or what is left out? 

You may need tools to help organize, analyze, interrogate your data or resources. Many of these are available on Library Laptops (CLICC) or in UCLA Labs such as Social Sciences Computing. Others can be purchased at an educational discount through UCLA's Software Central.  

  • Commercial: Atlas.ti, Dedoose, FileMakerPro
  • Open Source: Gephi (for network analysis), Tableau (for visualization), Tropy (for research photos), OpenRefine (for data cleaning)
  • Available through UCLA BruinOnline: Box (for free unlimited, secure file storage and collaboration), Google Drive, and other Google apps
  • Directory of digital research tools: DiRT

Share findings

  1. Communicate results

    • choose a medium (essay, slides, poster, video).

    • survey ways to communicate results:  consider integrating maps, photos, graphs, or visualizations to illustrate your findings.

  2. Choose a citation style based on publication guidelines

  3. Consider publishing or archiving your data -- in accordance with your data management plan.  

  4. Use inclusive language.