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Simpson | Stafford | Special Collections

Religion: Locating Articles

A research guide to finding books, articles, and other resources in Religion

Using Databases

Databases provide access to published material in:

  • magazines
  • newspapers
  • scholarly journals
  • books
  • and other valuable information sources.

Magazines vs. Journals

Magazines are periodicals that are generally popular in nature, unlike journals, which are usually more scholarly and specialized.  Here are some differences between the two:


Magazine: Glossy; pictures often in color.
Journal: More serious look; few pictures, if any.

♦  Content

Magazine: Current events; general interest. 
Journal: More specialized; research topics.

♦  Audience

Magazine: General public.
Journal: Scholars and researchers in a particular field.

♦  Style

Magazine: Written for the average reader.
Journal: Written for others in the field; shows research.

♦  Foot / Endnotes and Bibliographies

Magazine: Few notes, if any.  No bibliographies.
Journal: Includes notes and sometimes bibliographies.

♦  Advertisements

Magazine: Many ads, often in color. 
Journal: Few or no ads.  If any, they are usually for books.

Citing Your Sources

While writing research papers, you may need to:

  List your sources in bibliographies or works cited, and

♦  Provide either footnotes or endnotes.

Here is a link to the UMW Libraries' Guide to Citing Resources.

Religion Databases

L'Annee Philologique (1924 to date)
Indexes articles and books in classical studies and related disciplines. Print issues are shelved under the call number PA 31 .A56.
ATLA Religion Index (approximately 1818 to date)
Furnishes citations to and abstracts (summaries) of journal articles and books on church history, biblical studies, and other topics relating to religions of the world.
Philosopher's Index (1940 to date)
Furnishes citations and abstracts to journal articles, books, and book reviews.
Religion and Philosophy Collection (coverage varies; mostly 1970s to date)
Furnishes the full text of some 300 journals, including more than 250 peer-reviewed publications.

Other Useful Databases

Academic Search Complete (approximately 1880s to date)
Provides abstracts and full-text articles from more than 10,000 books, scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, and reference works on a wide variety of topics.
Covers United States and Canadian history from earliest times to the present. Includes abstracts of articles (summaries), and full-text articles.

American Antiquarian Society Historical Collections (1691-1877)
Provides digital access to more than 6,500 American magazines and journals published between 1691 and 1877.  (Because all issues of bound volumes were digitized, some periodicals beyond 1877 are included.) 

Biography and Genealogy Master Index
An index to millions of biographical sketches in hundreds of reference books and other sources. To use the index, 1) Look up your name. 2) Note the various titles that contain information on the person. 3) Use the Libraries' online catalog to locate the reference works. An excellent place to begin biographical research on living and deceased persons from around the world.

Dissertations and Theses Full Text
"Offers full text for most of the dissertations added since 1997 and strong retrospective full text coverage for older graduate works."
Gale Literary Sources  (Previously known as Literature Resources from Gale)
Provides access to critical and biographical information on living and deceased authors from around the world.
Indexes nearly 1,200 periodicals.
Humanities Full Text (indexing: 1984 to date; select full text: 1995 to date)
Indexes some 600 journals in the humanities.
  Since 1995, Issues and Controversies has covered the most "prominent and hotly debated issues of the day," offering in-depth analyses, pro-con articles, and bibliographies.
  Covers the "most contentious issues in American history" by providing "background, outcomes, and contemporary points of view," as well as invaluable primary documents.

JSTOR (archived publications from the 1800s to the last 1-5 years).
A full-text collection of scholarly journals in a wide variety of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. To focus your search, use the Advanced Search and the "narrow by discipline" and "language" limiters.
A comprehensive, international index to articles and books on language and literature.
Project Muse (coverage varies; mostly 1995 to date)
Provides online access to more than 400 scholarly journals in the humanities, arts, and social sciences.

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