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REL 120 | Religious Diversity in America

Professor Sayers.

Find Articles

Where you should search depends upon your topic. Best database for religion is ATLA Religion Database

If you want to focus on the sociological aspects of religion, try  Social Sciences Full Text

Searching for  the political aspects of a religion?  Political Science Complete is where you should begin. 

Interested in the history of religion?  Try America: History and Life, a database that covers American history.

Image Source:  Eanger Irving Couse. Native American Smoke Ceremony.  Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

What Is It?

Almost all of the library's databases will allow you to limit to academic/scholarly, or peer-reviewed journals. Limiting to academic/scholarly, however, is imperfect:  You'll also retrieve professional journals.  Some professors consider these scholarly; others don't.  

Ask your professor to clarify this.

How can you tell what it is you found? You'll need to look for clues. None of these clues may be consistently applied--taken together, however, they can get you close.  

  • Journal in the journal title.  You can't apply this clue blindly-- Ladies' Home Journal is not scholarly.
  • Subject specific terminology or language within the article title.
  • High page numbers.  Typically scholarly journals continuously paginate January through December.  Thus, after the publication of the first volume, you'll see high page numbers. This is an important clue--probably the one you can count on most.  Still, imperfect.
  • References or Works Cited within the article.  Again, imperfect.  Look for other clues.
  • Abstract is contained within the article (useful only if you can pull up the full-text of the article)  Again, imperfect.
  • Authors identified within the article as having come from a university, college, or research facility.  Imperfect.  Look for other clues.

Still unsure?  Check Ulrich's Periodicals Directory for the definitive word on whether your source is scholarly or general.

Image source: Syker Fotograf.  GNU GPL.  Wikimedia Commons.