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REL110: Judeo-Christian Journeys (Beverly): Finding Sources

Finding Books

Don't forget, you don't need to use the whole book. Want to use just a chapter? Let us scan it for you. Fill out this form and bring it and the book up to the front (circulation) desk and we'll scan it and email it to you.

UD Catalog

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Advanced Search

Need a refresher on how to use the catalog? Check out this video.

Finding concepts in religious texts (ie. Bible, Koran)

A concordance is a book that lets you search for a word/concept in the Bible, Koran, or other religious text. Here are some concordances UD has:

New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance (to the Bible): Reference Collection, call # Ref BS 425 .S8 1995

Oxford Companion to the Bible (e-book; includes listing of Bible passages plus explanation of each concept)

A Concordance of the Qur'an: Reference Collection, call # Ref BP 133 .K37 1983

Finding Background Sources

Looking to read up on a topic, idea, or theme? Credo is the perfect place to start. Keep in mind that current topics most likely won't be inlcuded, but religion-related topics have been around for quite some time. The encyclopedia articles in these databases will give brief overviews of topics. If you are brainstorming ideas for your paper, these will help.

In The News

If you are focusing on an idea that is related to your hometown (such as your church), you might want to try looking at your local newspapers and/or news sources.

Finding Articles: Suggested Databases

Finding an article full-text from a citation

  1. Determine what kind of source it is. Is it a book chapter? A journal article? (Easiest way to do this is to look for a volume or issue number. Then you know it's a journal article!)
  2. If it is a book, look in the catalog to see if we own it. If we don't, you need to Interlibrary Loan it. Do so by checking the "Libraries Worldwide" link on the left, and clicking "Request Copy."
  3. If it is an article, use the Journal List to search for the journal title to see which database it is in. If we don't own it, use Find It to request the title. If it's not in a database, use Interlibrary Loan to request the article.


Search Tips

  • Placing quotes around your keywords or phrases will ensure that the database or library catalog finds those specific words or phrases in the results.
  • Start with the library catalog & general databases first (Academic Search Premier & JSTOR), then move onto the more specialized databases if you need more sources.
  • If you find a book that is an overview of your topic (such as a book about different people in the bible), use the index in the back of the book to find material about your topic (specific people, stories, themes, events, etc.)
  • Make sure to double check your spelling if you're not getting results The databases won't pull results if something is misspelled.
  • The more words you search for the fewer results you'll get. So if you don't have enough results, take a search term away...don't add more!
  • Create a list of keywords you've used that work, so when you search the next database you remember words and phrases that found results.

Keywords and Subjects aren't the same thing?

Keywords are simply those words you type into the search box to get the results you want. Just like in Google, you don't type your whole question, just the important words or terms that will help you get the answers. Remember to consider synonyms when you create your keyword list.

So what are subjects then? Subjects are a specific word or phrase some librarian has assigned to a particular topic. Basically it's a tag we attach to articles or books. Why would we do that? Because that way when you search for that specific word or phrase you get EVERYTHING that has been tagged with that term. You can find these subjects (or subject headings) in the library catalog and most databases (except JSTOR). Usually they live along the left side bar or in the middle of the record (when you click on a specific book or article).

Keyword v. Subject Example

Want a real life example of keywords? Let's look at nicknames and Facebook.  Let's say a bunch of your friends decide to upload photos on Facebook. Now each of these friends calls you by a different nickname. So they tag you in them by whatever they call you. In order to see all of these pics, you'd have to search for each of your nicknames to find them.

Subjects on the other hand are like your actual given name. Or at least your Facebook official name. Now when you actually tag photos on Facebook, you know you're forced to tag them with their "actual" name. And while it may be less personal or descriptive, you do get all the photos of you when you use the offical name tag.