You can use citation indexes to count how many times a source has been cited, which is one measure of scholarly influence. You can also use citation indexes to see which books/articles have cited the source in question.
By tracing a source forward and backward through time, you are tracing a thread of the scholarly conversation on this topic.
These databases are a good place to start looking for articles. JSTOR, Proquest, and Google Scholar let you find articles written by academics in various fields, e.g. history, political science, etc.
You might find some anthropology articles by using these databases. But to ensure that you're finding enough relevant articles in anthropology, you'll also need to use the anthropology-specific databases (at the right).
The main sources for identifying articles and books in Anthropology and related fields.