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Religion Graduate Student Orientation Tutorial : Finding Articles

Leveraging the Differences Between Database Types

Bibliographic databases serve a a variety of purposes.

Broadly, they can be divided into 2 categories based on function:

  • catalogs (providing bibliographic access to items held by a particular library)
  • indexes (providing bibliographic access to journal content)

Indexes can be further divided based on function:

  • subject specialist indexes
  • archival indexes
  • citation tracking indexes

Scripture Citation Limiters

Very helpful for targetting article content addressing specific passages.

Available in the following:

ATLA Religion Database

Catholic Periodical and Literature Index

Old Testament Abstracts

New Testament Abstracts

A Project

You are working as a GA and your professor has asked you to compile a bibliography of scholarly secondary sources she can use to support a book proposal on the comparative "Spirituality of Howard Thurman and A.W. Tozer."

Search the following databases and save your results to a Thurman/Tozer file (which you will create) in Zotero:

ATLA Religion Database


America History and Life

Further Discussion: did one subject pose a greater resource challenge than the other? what do you do if you can't find anything on your topic? what do you do if you need to find everything on your topic? how can you determine whether or not you have located all available material on a topic?

Tracking Scholarly Influence

One measure of scholarly productivity is the quantity of articles published in peer reviewed journals.

Another metric is scholarly citation of an author's published work by other scholars. Databases that track scholarly citation provide defacto evidence of the weight other scholars attach to an author's scholarly contributions.

  • Pick a Religion scholar you know and search the following databases to see how many times their works are cited by other scholars in peer reviewed journals:

Web of Knowledge

Google Scholar

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