MUS 2500: Introduction to Theology through Congregational Song (Bjorlin)

Finding Articles

What Databases should I use?

Use databases to search for articles on campus and off.  When you are prompted for a username and password, enter your usual North Park information.

Using Databases

  • Databases can help you find the full-text of an article (if it is available) when you have a complete citation.
  • Databases can also help you find complete bibliographic information when you have a partial citation.
  • Databases can be access in two ways from the Brandel Library home page:
    • First, click on "Online Resources" tab at the center of the page
      • This brings up a list with various disciplinary categories and combinations.
        • Biblical and theological databases are listed under the "Humanities" heading.‚Äč
    • Second, click on "Research Resources" on the left hand of the page, then on "Online Resources" which will bring you to the same list of disciplines as above.
  • ATLA (American Theological Library Association) Religion Database is the primary database for Bible, theology, and religion.
  • New Testament Abstracts and Old Testament Abstracts are also helpful in identifying relevant articles, but provide only a brief abstract of the article, not a full-text of the article.
  • Databases contain indexed articles (and sometimes essays in books) and ATLA contains the full-text of many of the articles and essays it indexes.

Getting Articles

You can get journal articles in three ways:

  • Online - through the Brandel Library's databases and online journal subscriptions.
  • WorldShare Interlibrary Loan - request a specific journal article and the library will work to send you a PDF of that article.
  • Print - The Brandel Library's print journals are on lower level of the library for you to read, scan, and photocopy.

"Scholarly" vs. "Popular"

Use the following criteria to decide if a publication is popular or scholarly.

Scholarly journal articles:

  • written by experts in the field for an informed reader 
  • make careful, substantial use of scholarly sources in notes and/or bibliography 
  • reviewed by scholars outside the publication staff ('peer-reviewed') before publication
  • longer than articles in a popular magazine
  • Examples: Church History; Journal of Ecclesiastical History; Archive for Reformation History

Popular magazine articles:

  • aimed at the general public
  • usually shorter in length
  • use fewer sources and use them less substantially
  • published more frequently (weekly or monthly) 
  • Examples: Christianity Today; Covenant Companion; Christian History

Most databases provide a way to limit your search to or sort your results by "peer-reviewed" (the review process for publishing most scholarly articles).