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REL 121: Introduction to the Bible: Searching the Databases

This guide was created for Rev. Eric Van Meter's REL 121: Introduction to the Bible class, Spring 2021.

Research Tools

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Databases to Start With

Database Searching

Once you select the database JSTOR from the Database List, you will be redirected to the page shown below.  This page is the Advanced Search page, and will allow you to add in various limiters to your search from the beginning.  



Next, type in your keywords and search terms.  Also, add in any limiters you would like to apply from the beginning.  Below is an example search for college students and social media.  We will add in limiters in the next step after we search only these terms. JSTOR automatically limits your searches to only materials you can access now. 



This search provided nearly 130,000 search results, which too large of a number of results to look through fully.  To retrieve fewer results that will better serve us, we will add in limiters.   


We will add the following limiters (which are show in a screenshot below):

  • Search Within Results: first generation students
    • This will add these specific terms into our search using the original search results pulled
  • Academic Content: Journals
  • Publication Date Range: 2010-2020
    • JSTOR does not have the most recent 3-5 years worth of articles, so you must extend your date range out further


Once your limiters are in place, you can begin looking through the results.  Find an article you like, and click the title.  This will bring you to the article's record and will provide additional information.  Below are some of the additional pieces of information provided. 


Download PDF: A PDF copy of the article.  If this is not here, you will need to request the article through Inter-Library Loan to access and read. 
Title: The title is always located at the top of the record, followed by the author and publisher information. 
Article Preview: JSTOR allows you to preview the article before downloading the PDF. 
Cite This Item: Citations are provided by the database, but should always be checked before used in case of errors. 
Abstract: The abstract is a summary of the article, and is written by the author.  Always read the abstract to determine if the article contains information relevant to your research. 

Follow the instructions below to help you navigate the databases hosted by EBSCO. These databases include EBSCO Mega File and Academic Search Premier. 



Next, type in your keywords and search terms.  Also, add in any limiters you would like to apply from the beginning.  Below is an example search for college students and social media usage.  We will add in limiters in the next step after we search only these terms. 



This search provided 45 search results, which is a fairly manageable number.  We could stop our search here, or we could add in additional limiters.  Additional limiters will allow us to focus our search results more, and will ensure that we are finding results desired.  If the additional limiters bring the search results to zero, we will know that our original search terms were too narrow, and we will have to broaden our search terms. 


We will add the following limiters (which are show in a screenshot below):

  • Publication Date Range: 2015-2020
  • Full-Text
  • Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals


Once your limiters are in place, you can begin looking through the results.  Find an article you like, and click the title.  This will bring you to the article's record and will provide additional information.  Below are some of the additional pieces of information provided. 

PDF Full Text: A PDF copy of the article.  If this is not here, you will need to request the article through Inter-Library Loan to access and read. 
Title: The title is always located at the top of the record, followed by the author and publisher information. 
Subject Terms: These terms are created and provided by the authors, but are great terms to use for subsequent searches.  These terms are also linked (which allows you to click on the term and be re-directed to a search result page for that term).
Abstract: The abstract is a summary of the article, and is written by the author.  Always read the abstract to determine if the article contains information relevant to your research. 
Cite: Citations are provided by the database, but should always be checked before used in case of errors. 

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