Citing subject codes

If you have used HRAF’s subject-indexing system in an Advanced Search, we suggest identifying the Subject Description and the OCM identifier from the Outline of Cultural Materials (OCM).


  • “To rate corporal punishment of children, the coders were asked to search for the ethnographic passages coded by the HRAF staff for “Techniques of Socialization” from the Outline of Cultural Materials (OCM 861) [Murdock et al. 2008]. If there was little or no information from that subject category, the coders were instructed to look at the other categories on socialization included under the major subject heading Socialization (860). Because we were correlating ratings of corporal punishment with other variables from the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample (SCCS), we also instructed the coders to adhere to the time and place focus specified in the SCCS (Murdock and White 1969; White 1989).” N.B. This example is adapted from Ember and Ember 2005.
  • “We employed the Probability Sample Files, a subset of eHRAF World Cultures, for our study of human-pet dynamics. “…we obtained all data from OCM 231: ‘Domesticated Animals’ “For each of the 60 societies…we read through all of the text under OCM 231 and extracted the following information from those narrative pieces. We recorded the presence of dogs, cats, or any other animals corresponding with our definition of pets.” (Gray and Young 2011).


Ember, Carol R., and Melvin Ember. 2005. Explaining Corporal Punishment of Children: A Cross‐Cultural Study. American Anthropologist 107(4): 609-619.

Gray, Peter B., and Sharon M. Young. 2011. Human–Pet Dynamics in Cross-Cultural Perspective. Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People & Animals 24(1): 17-30.

Murdock, George P., Clellan S. Ford, Alfred E. Hudson, Raymond Kennedy, Leo W. Simmons, John W. M. Whiting. 2008. Outline of Cultural Materials. 6th revised edition with modifications. New Haven: Human Relations Area Files.

Murdock, George P., and Douglas R. White. 1969. Standard cross-cultural sample. Ethnology. 329-369.

White, Douglas R. 1989. Focused ethnographic bibliography: Standard cross-cultural sample. Cross-Cultural Research 23(1-4): 1-145.