SA 257: Understanding Quantitative Research in Sociology and Anthropology

This guide will assist you in finding books, journal articles and quantitative data.

Contact info

For Library research help, please contact Moninder Lalli, Librarian for Sociology / Anthropology by email or Ask a librarian.

Literature search  

Start Your Research Here - This page gives you an overview of the research process, or in other words how to find materials for your essay.


Selected encyclopedias

Use encyclopedias, handbooks or textbook for overviews, definitions, and to identify key authors or concepts.  

Journal articles

How to find journal articles tutorial. 

What is a scholarly (or peer-reviewed) journal?

If the full-text of the article is not available within the database then use the "Get@SFU" link to find it or to initiate an inter-library loan request.

Article and news databases

Sociological Abstracts: major database for all aspects of Sociology.   The database "thesaurus" has "descriptor" (or subject) words related to "quantitative" research methods, see below: 

  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Quantitative Research
  • Quantitative Studies
E.g. To find quantitative research related to poverty
(poverty OR poor OR "low income")
su(quantitative)    <------  You can limit the word "quantitative" to "Subject" field (use the pull-down menu)

Social Sciences Full Text

The database "thesaurus" uses the descriptor" word, "quantitative research" for the following concepts:

  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Quantitative Research
  • Quantitative Studies
  • Statistical Analysis
E.g. To find quantitative research related to poverty
(poverty OR poor OR "low income")
SU quantitative research    <------  You can limit the phrase "quantitative research" to "Subject" field (use the pull-down menu)

Anthropology Plus - index for anthropological journals.

The database's "subject" index indicates that the following "quantitative" terms are used as subject terms:

  • quantitative analysis -- anthropological aspects
  • quantitative analysis -- methodology
  • quantitative methods
  • quantitative methods in anthropology
  • quantitative research
  • quantitative research -- mathematical models
  • quantitative research -- methodology

Canada Commons (formerly, Canadian Electronic Library from desLibris) - for public policy documents from Canadian institutes, think-tanks and research groups.

CBCA Complete -  Canadian content. News and popular magazine articles as well as academic journal articles.
  Limit results to "scholarly" articles

Canadian Newsstream -- full-text of Canadian newspapers

Research methods databases

  • Sage Research Methods Online
    Search or browse a wide variety of sources on research methods, including ebooks, articles, reference sources, and videos. Also includes research tools and instructional content.
  • SAGE Research Methods. Datasets

    Collection of teaching datasets and instructional guides covering a range of research methods. By picking a dataset and working through the accompanying guides, students can learn data analysis by practicing themselves.

For a more complete list of  Sociology databases

Find books in the Library

Library Catalogue search guide

Search the SFU Library Catalogue: Advanced keyword

Combine different concepts using AND
Combine same concepts using OR
Use quotation marks to search for a phrase
Use brackets for synonyms
Use asterisk (*) for different endings of words

Note:  For Catalogue Search, when combining concepts, use CAPITAL letters ( "OR", "AND")

Look at the titles in the "results list" and for those books that look relevant, click on their subject headings.


Selected books

Browse by subject

Browse by subject (change the default "Browse by title" to ""Browse by subject" using the pull-down menu)

Find data

British Columbia


Statistics Canada

Data and statistics provided by the Government of Canada, covering the population, resources, economy, society, and culture of Canada. : Includes: data tables, statistical analyses and reports, survey methodologies and documentation, and census information

The 2017 APS is a national survey of First Nations people living off reserve, Métis and Inuit aged 15 years and over. The 2017 APS represents the fifth cycle of the survey and focuses on transferable skills, practical training, use of information technology, Aboriginal language attainment, and participation in the Canadian economy.

The 2017 APS collected unique and detailed data on employment, education, and health which are not available from any other source. For example, although the 2016 Census of Population collected data on certain aspects of labour market participation, the 2017 APS addresses additional topics such as job satisfaction, multiple employment, past job attachment, and willingness to move to improve career opportunities. [Statistics Canada]

United States

Writing help

See the Student Learning Commons for expert and friendly help with academic writing, learning, and study strategies.