Skip to main content

COVID-19 Update: Although the Gould Library building remains closed, the library staff continue our commitment to support the teaching and research needs of the Carleton community. Information on remote access to library resources and services will be updated regularly on the Remote Resources and Guidance for Library Users page and this FAQ. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need additional assistance.

SOAN 262: Anthropology of Health and Illness

For Professor Pamela Feldman Savelsberg - Winter 2020

Snowball Bibliographing

Besides finding journals via indexes and databases, another great way to approach exhaustivity when surveying the literature on a topic is to take advantage of the scholarly practice of citing sources. To do this, take the articles you have found that most closely address your topic or elements of your topic and look at their bibliographies or references lists. Read through the titles and track down the most relevant and important references to become more familiar with the literature they used to form their argument.

As useful as this approach is, it cannot take you forward in time. In other words, in the same way that you know who an author cited in writing their book or article, you might want to find out who has in the meantime used this literature in their work. To create a list of journal articles that have cited a particular article, use the Social Sciences Citation Index.

From the databases page, click "Social Sciences Index," then on the subsequent page, click "Web of Science." On the next page, click the button labeled "General Search." Search for the article of interest. If you find it, there will be a label that says "Times Cited" and a linked number. Clicking that number will result in a list of articles that have used this article in their research. There is a similar functionality in the Sociological Abstracts database. This process can be tricky, so contact me any time to ask for help.

When the Library Doesn't Have What You Want

When you need to read an article, working paper, or book but you can't find it in the Libe's collections, you have more options than pulling out your wallet. The Inter-Library Loan (ILL) service makes it possible for the library to borrow materials from other libraries for you to use.

Look for links to ILL or Illiad (which is the name of our ILL software) from article databases, which will lead you to a request form. You can also go directly to ILL from the library web site (home page > login/your accounts > InterLibrary Loan), where you can also check the status of your requests. Articles take a few days and books around a week. You'll get an email when your item is ready.