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SOC 503 — Ethnography

ATTENTION: This research guide was last modified on May 05, 2010, before the January 2012 redesign of the library's home page. Information on how to access journal articles, databases, and other library resources may be inaccurate or outdated.

For up-to-date instructions on accessing materials, please visit our tutorial pages instead.

Many Hands

Contact Information

Caroline Bordinaro


Getting Started


Off-Campus Access


Scholarly Internet Resources

Getting Started

To start your research, use the resources below or begin with the CSUDH library homepage

The resources listed under the category of Online Article Indexes are available from on-campus computers or by remote access CSUDH students.  Students are automatically entered into the Library's patron database.  When you are using the CSUDH  databases from off-campus computers, you will be asked to enter your myCSUDH username and password in order to proceed.

  • Terms you need to know before searching for articles
    • DATABASE: An organized collection of information, especially electronic information.
    • ONLINE JOURNAL INDEX: A database that contains magazine, newspaper and journal articles e.g: Academic Search Premier
    • JOURNAL (also SCHOLARLY JOURNAL): Scholarly publication, articles usually reviewed by experts in the field before publication; published for an academic audience; narrow focus; deeply researched e.g.; American Journal of Psychology
    • MAGAZINE: Publication of general interest: popular interest and broad subjects (e.g: Psychology Today)
    • ABSTRACT: a brief summary of the main content of an article
    • FULL TEXT: the complete article. Click on the button to see if the Full Text is available.
    • CITATION: the basic information you need to find the full text of an article. Includes author, article title, date, title of publication, and volume/issue.
  • Search Concepts - creating an effective search
    • Take your research question and circle the "important words" (keywords).
    • Think of at least three synonyms for each keyword.
    • Use these words in various combinations to get a good result (between 10-45 results is optimal).
    • Click here for more search tips.


Books are located using the Library's ToroFind catalog. Here you can search for books by author, title or subject. In addition to finding materials available in the CSUDH Library, you will find links that allow you to directly request books from other libraries. Links are provided below for other local libraries and libraries worldwide.

  • ToroFind : CSUDH Online Catalog is used to find books and other materials available in the CSUDH Library.
  • Ebrary is a growing collection of electronic books on a variety of topics geared to academic libraries and college students. Use the link to access this database. Ebrary books available are listed in the ToroFind Catalog. If you are using this database for the first time, download the eBrary reader.

If you are unable to locate a book in the CSUDH Collection, try these links:

  • WorldCat is a catalog that you enable you to search the catalogs of libraries throughout the United States and even the world. If you click on a link for a book, it will show you libraries having a copy of a book by distance from CSUDH.  You can use the information found here to request an interlibrary loan.
  • Interlibrary Loan a book using a request form . You supply us the information, and the Interlibrary Loan Department will search for the book. Since books may be requested from libraries in other states, this can be the slowest method.
  • Library of Congress Online Catalog 

Off-Campus Access

If you are using a computer that is on campus, you can access all of our electronic databases and ebooks without any further steps. Just click on the database name in the Database List and you will be sent immediately to the search screen.

If you are off campus, you will need to log in using your myCSUDH username and password. After you enter this information, you will be able to access any of our electronic databases and ebooks just like you would on campus.


Online indexes must be accessed through the CSUDH library homepage (library.csudh.edu). Select Journal Articles & Electronic Resources; You may either browse by subject area or go to your favorite resource using the Alphabetical List.

NOTE: These are subscription online journal indexes, selected and provided specifically for CSUDH students. To access from home, please see our How to Log in to the Databases from Off-Campus guide for instructions.

  • Academic Search Premier indexes a broad range of topics and is a major resource for find articles in scholarly journals.
  • AnthroSource is a database that focuses on Anthropology and can be used to find articles in scholarly anthropology journals. Please be sure to set the term boxes to the appropriate field that you want to search. For example, the default on the first search line is "authors," but if you type in "Navajo" you probably want to change this to a "keyword" search.
  • SOCIndex provides citations to scholarly articles from a full range of sociology journals.
  • Wiley/Blackwell indexes scholarly and professional literature from a wide variety of disciplines.
  • SAGE provides peer-reviewed journal articles from the social sciences, humanities and physical sciences.
  • JSTOR is an excellent resource for finding full-text, scholarly articles in the social sciences and humanities.
  • WilsonWeb: Omni Full Text Mega includes indexing of journals with information on a wide variety of topics related to North American Indians.

Scholarly Internet Resources

Remember, not all web sites are created equally. Some sites can be valid sources of information, but others are filled with opinion represented as fact. While there isn't a 100% effective way to figure out what kind of site you're looking at, here are some guidelines to follow when using the internet for research:

  • Check Credibility - Is it easy to figure out who's behind the information? Does whomever it is know what they're talking about? Do they have qualifications in the field or some other reason to be trust-worthy in it?
  • Check Accuracy - Are the sources cited well? Is the information up-to-date? Are there any broad, sweeping generalisations that are impossible to verify?
  • Check Reasonableness - What is the page's point-of-view? Is it a corporate page trying to sell you a product? Is it a government or educational site where the main purpose is to educate people?
  • Check Support - Is it possible to double-check the information in another location?

Search Engine

  • Use Google Scholar as your search engine for scholarly articles in Google.  Please use the CSUDH link provided here so that you can find links to journals in the CSUDH subscription databases.  You will need your myCSUDH username and password to access these articles free of charge. Click here for a tutorial on Google Scholar, including instructions for setting Google Scholar to CSUDH.

Useful Scholarly Websites

INFOMINE is a virtual library of Internet resources relevant to faculty, students, and research staff at the university level. It contains useful Internet resources such as databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, mailing lists, online library card catalogs, articles, directories of researchers, and many other types of information.

The IPL2 aims to provide a well-organized point of access for reliable, trustworthy, librarian-selected websites, serving California, the nation, and the world. All links on the Index are selected and approved by librarians before inclusion.

For more information, check out our guide on Evaluating Web Resources