D.Min. 971 - Explorations: Information Research Module

This module within D.Min. 971, worth 40% of the course, is available entirely at this site.

Background to the Assignment

Introduction to Journals and Article Citations

Research for articles in journals can be challenging. So why bother with searching academic databases for journal articles at all?

  • Because they often have cutting edge material
  • Because they are often very specific to particular issues
  • Because they are short and thus easier to handle than books
  • Because most scholarly articles are available only through library databases (not through Google)
  • Because professors see the value of  journal articles and often dock student papers that ignore this resource.

Article Citations

There are minimum requirements to identify a journal article in Turabian Humanities (=Notes & Bibliography).  Here is a sample citation:

    Turabian Humanities (sometimes called Notes & Bibliography)

Nicholson, Amanda, Richard Rose, and Martin Bobak. "Associations between Different Dimensions of Religious Involvement and Self-rated Health in Diverse European Populations." Health Psychology 29, no. 2 (March 2010): 227- 235.

[If your citation looks like the following example, you have the wrong Turabian format (Reference List or Author-Date format): 
Nicholson, Amanda, Richard Rose, and Martin Bobak. 2010. "Associations between different dimensions of religious involvement and self-rated health in diverse European populations." Health Psychology 29, no. 2 (March): 227-235.

 [Don't use Author-Date format. The date needs to be at the end of the citation, not right after the author, if you are using the Turabian Humanities/Notes/Bibliography format.]

A Short Introduction to Relevant Databases for Seminary Student Research

The most basic tool for searching for articles is Library OneSearch, accessible from the library home page (http://www.twu.ca/library/). This tool covers all the journal article content to which TWU subscribes.

Be sure you set the search tab for "Articles" and consult the extensive tutorial on Library OneSearch available at:  http://libguides.twu.ca/LibraryOneSearch.

We have individual databases as well. These may be more focused on the subject area you are dealing with. Access them through the Databases link in the main search box on the library home page - https://www.twu.ca/library/.

Some useful databases for seminary studies:

Atla Religion Database with atlaSerials PLUS - This is the biggest and best of the religion databases. A helpful tutorial is located at: https://vimeo.com/160815488/62fbc92114. Please be sure to view it. If you are searching for articles related to biblical passages, this video will help: https://vimeo.com/channels/atlatutorials/457071543

  • this is the largest  journal database on religion in the world.
  • it not only indexes religious journals but also essays collected in published books and even some books.  Four designations are common - article (for a  journal article), essay (for an essay in a book), book (for a reviewed book or a book that is a collection of essays) and review (for book reviews; avoid including reviews in research bibliographies).
  • it provides quite a lot of electronic full text.
  • Atla Religion Database is quite sophisticated in searching.  It has a good subject heading system divided into "Subjects" and "Names as Subjects."  To find these features, click on the "Indexes" button at the top, then click on the drop-down box next to "Browse."  You can also use the "Narrow by subject" feature to the left of the results citations.
  • Atla has a "Scriptures" search (top of the Atla page) function. This will get you articles on a particular Bible passage.
  • There is an "Advanced Search" feature which can be useful to search across several fields in the data records for articles.   


  • a storage database for full runs of key journals back to their beginning.
  • the search interface is pretty basic and lacks a lot of features. For example, it has limited subject headings. For a tutorial, see https://vimeo.com/637148140/fa0e9bf17c
  • this database covers many topic areas, so it is limited in coverage of any one topic.
  • JSTOR generally lacks articles from the most recent 5 years so it should not be used for topics where you need more recent articles.

JSTOR has updated its citation and export features since the above tutorial. You can access citations and export to a bibliographic manager through the Cite this Item link to the right of a citation, or export a group of citations to a bibliographic manager by clicking the boxes next to the citations you want and using the export link:

Religion Database (ProQuest) - Formerly ProQuest Religion

  • a smaller database than Atla, but it contains a fair amount of full text.
  • search is considerably less sophisticated than Atla.  You can do a keyword/Boolean search or switch to "Advanced Search."
  • it is strongly recommended that you use the limiter for "scholarly journals," since this database covers quite a large number of more popular religious magazines.  You can either preset this on the first screen or choose the "scholarly journals" link above your list of results once you have completed your search.
  • This database's "subject headings" are just broad categories and are thus not like a traditional subject heading system.

Old Testament Abstracts / New Testament Abstracts

  • two great sister resources for articles on biblical passages but they are not as useful for general Bible topics because they have no subject headings.
  • the Scripture search button is much more practical to use in most cases with this database than a keyword search (Scripture button located at the very top of the screen - NOTE that it searches differently from the Scripture search in Atla).
  • contains some linked full text from other EBSCO databases.
  • not useful for topics other than biblical studies. 

PsycInfo/PsycArticles (Tutorial at https://vimeo.com/607666445/85cfffda6d)

  • These linked databases are form the first and biggest journal databases in Psychology/Counseling.  They form one database that is not entirely full text but has a lot of full text articles.
  • It has an extensive number of limiters.  It is best for you to limit to "Peer Reviewed/Refereed (Scholarly)journals.
  • You can also limit by using the Subject: Major Heading link to the left on the results pages.
  • If you can't find your subject heading there, this database also has an extensive Thesaurus (subject heading system) as well as an advanced search.  To use the Thesaurus, click the "Thesaurus" link at the top of the page, enter a likely subject into the "Browse" box, click on "Browse," and if you chose wisely, you will see the subject heading on the left with a check box beside it.  If you click on the word itself, you will get more information on its meaning, as well as related terms.  If you check the check box and then click on "Search," you will get all the articles on that subject in the database.
  • You can also find subject headings by clicking on the title of an article citation found with a keyword search and locating linked subject headings in the longer entry.
  • Searchers sometimes want to specify a type of study (empirical, qualitative, etc.). You can do this by clicking on Methodology in the column to the left on the results page.

 (This database searches similarly to PsycInfo above.  See the PsycBooks tutorial for directions on use.)

  • Full text database of over 32,000 book chapters from volumes published by the American Psychological Association and allied organizations. It also includes the full text of almost 1,500 significant psychology books published over the past number of decades.
  • It has all the search features that PsycINFO (the much larger database) has.
  • Chapters in books are similar to journal articles and can be used for this RES 502 assignment.

Business Source Complete 

For research in leadership. There are no specific leadership databases, but Business Source Complete has picked up a lot of leadership journals, thus becoming the primary leadership database.

Academic Search Complete (Tutorial here for Academic Search Complete)

  • a large, general database (i.e. covers many subject areas), so it is not strong in any one subject area.
  • it has a large amount of electronic full text in it.
  • narrow your initial search to "Peer Reviewed/Refereed (Scholarly)" and select Publication Type - Periodical.
  • try the "advanced search" to specify your search terms more.
  • try using "Subject: Thesaurus term" link on the left of the the results pages.  Keywords can be deceptive in their meaning, whereas a subject heading will identify exactly what you are looking for.

Be sure to review the Textbook material in Chapters Four and Five on searching with keywords and controlled vocabularies in preparation for this assignment, in addition to Chapter Six on journal database searching. 

To access journal databases by subject discipline, go to the library home page and click on the Databases tab at the top of the screen.

For information on downloading journal article citations to EndNote, see the EndNote guide at http://libguides.twu.ca/EndNote/.
Creating correctly formatted journal articles - The choices

1. For OneSearch and all individual EBSCO databases (like Atla and PsycInfo), use the citation feature in the database. For more information, see the guide: https://libguides.twu.ca/LibraryOneSearch/SavingCiting.

2. Use Endnote Basic/Web.

3. Use Citation Machine (http://www.citationmachine.net/or KnightCite (https://www.calvin.edu/library/knightcite/).

4. Look up the article title in Google Scholar and use the quotation marks icon under the resulting citation (can be unreliable).

Assignment #4

[Click on the file link above to download a template in rich text format (works in most word processors).  It will form an outline so you can insert your answers under each heading. You can then submit the complete document to Prof. Badke by e-mail attachment].

1. Read Research Strategies, Chapters seven and eight.

2. State your research question.

3. Do a search relevant to your question using the Library OneSearch tool (library home page, main search box, choose the "Articles" option). Limit your topic by choosing one or more subjects from the column to the left of results. Grades will be deducted if subject heading searching is possible but was not used. List the subject headings used, each on its own line.

4. List ten relevant journal articles (or essays from books)
 which you identified from your search, including author, title, journal name, volume and issue number, date, and page numbers, using proper Chicago/Turabian: Humanities format (not Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date) format. Avoid book reviews or citations to full books. 
All lists of citations need to be in alphabetical order by author.

5. Choose two of the library's individual databases (accessible through the Databases link on the library home page - http://libguides.twu.ca/articles) to search for articles relevant to each your research questions. Be sure to pay attention to the Start With these Databases information, which will guide you to the best ones. You will also be graded on wise choice of the best database for the task. The key is to find the most relevant database for  your research question.


a. The name of each journal database you used (Don't refer just to  EBSCO,  ProQuest, etc. which are company names.  Instead, give the full title, e.g. EBSCO Academic Search Complete or EBSCO Atla Religion Database)Make sure the databases you use are relevant to your topic.

b. The search terms you used, and the form of their combination (e.g. Oil AND Nigeria). Put the search terms in the exact form in which you used them, listing each on a separate line, e.g.

Oil and Nigeria, then narrowed by subject heading Petroleum industry.

Oil workers, then narrowed by subject heading Nigeria

6. For each database search done, list ten relevant journal articles (or essays from books) which you identified from your search, including author, title, journal name, volume and issue number, date, and page numbers, using proper Chicago/Turabian: Humanities format (not Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date) format.  Avoid book reviews or citations to full books. You will thus, for individual database searches, you will have a total of 20 article citations in your assignment, 10 for each database [see the assignment template for clarification].   Articles may be the same in two lists on the same topic, though they may well be mostly different.

Rubric for the Assignment

Rubric for Assignment Three.  Highest grade meets these criteria:

  1. Choice of the best databases for each topic.
  2. Creative use of terminology, including controlled vocabulary [subject headings, etc.] if available.
  3. Articles are on target to address each research question.
  4. Bibliographies are in alphabetical order by author.
  5. Format is correct.