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Religion: Databases

An online guide for Religion with information, links and tips for library resources.

Full-text Pathfinder

Click on the PDF link below to view and/or print a handout on finding full text articles.


Use GALILEO to find journal articles. The best database for Religion is ATLAS (the ATLA Religion Database), which provides citations, and often full text, for many religion journals. (It also provides citations for books; if you see a book you want, check our online catalog to see if we have it, or order it on interlibrary loan.)

To limit your search to peer-reviewed journals, click on the box that says "Scholarly (Peer-reviewed) Journals."

Don't search for long strings of words (such as "the miracle of the blind man healed by Jesus in the book of John"). Use only essential words, linked with Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), for example:

Jesus AND blind AND john

Examine the results, and determine what subject terms may be useful:

You can then click on the title to get the full record of the article, and click on a subject term (such as "Healing of the man born blind") to link to more articles on the same topic.

To retrieve multiple forms of a word use truncation. A search for Islam* will retrieve "Islam," "Islamic," "Islamophobia," etc.

For more detailed information on database searching, talk to a librarian or see our guide on database searching.

Note the length of the articles you retrieve; make sure they're articles, not book reviews (does the icon on the left say "Periodical" or "Review"?).

If you find a citation for a good article in ATLAS but there's no full text, look to see if there's a "Check LinkSource" link; if so, it should take you to the article in another database.  If not, see or e-mail the reference librarian, who can determine whether we have the journal on the shelf, or try to obtain a copy of the article from another library.

Other Databases

ATLAS is the first database you should try for topics related to religion. Other databases you may want to look at include:

Religion & Philosophy Collection (EBSCOhost)

Religion (ProQuest)


JSTOR provides full text for scholarly journals in many fields, including Religion, up to about five years ago. Some tips if you use JSTOR:

1. Select the Advanced Search

2. Check the boxes to limit your search to "Articles" (or you'll get a lot of book reviews) and "Religion" (you can check other boxes as well if appropriate)

3. Enclose phrases in quotation marks, e.g., "john the baptist."

4. Note that you'll be searching the full text of articles, so you may get articles that mention your search term only once. If you're not certain from the title whether the article will be relevant, you may want to search the PDF (Ctrl-F) to see how your search term appears.

If you have questions or problems, please don't hesitate to talk to the reference librarian.  For questions that can be answered briefly, or to make an appointment, you can also use the "Ask-a-librarian" feature on the library home page.  We're here to help you!

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