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Social Anthropology

Welcome to the Social Anthropology subject guide - your guide to using the library resources, services and facilities for your subject.

Research a topic

A major part of your learning at university is doing your own research for assignments, projects, your dissertation, etc. This means you need to be able to do a comprehensive search for books, journal articles, and other sources relevant to a specific topic that provide a base of knowledge, help you explore a topic and allow you to form your own ideas and opinions on the topic. This is often referred to as literature searching.

On this page we have gathered together a range of online resources that allow you to do this kind of searching and help you do better research.

For more guidance on literature searching see our Literature Searching guide.

Online databases

Use these databases to search for scholarly literature e.g. journal articles, book chapters & reviews, conference reports and proceedings, etc., for your subject area.


Use these key databases to search for and access current full-text newspaper and news sources articles, including both UK and international titles.

The Library has access to a large number of newspaper databases that allow you to search for both current and archive content.

If you're going to be using "news" sources as part of your research then it is worth taking a look at our guide on misinformation, disinformation and "fake news" which gives an overview of this area and strategies to help you meet this issue.

Images and moving images

Databases for other subject areas

The academic field of Social Anthropology crosses over with a number of other disciplines. Depending on your research area it may be worthwhile looking at the databases available in other subject areas e.g. 

See a full list of subjects and their recommended databases at:

Using Google Scholar to find scholarly literature

Google Scholar Search

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Like DiscoverEd, Google Scholar can be a good place to start your search but it does not allow for advanced or complex searching as in the databases.

Google Scholar may not provide access to full-text, however, by linking to the Library you can access full-text where there is a University subscription.

  1. Select Settings from the top of the Google Scholar Home Page
  2. Select Library Links
  3. Search for University of Edinburgh. Select it from the list and Save your settings

You will now see FindIt@Edinburgh links next to items in your Google Scholar results that you can use to access the full-text.

This short video below demonstrates how to do this.