Ten Key Databases for New Students

While you should familiarize yourself with the complete list of available databases (see listing organized by by topic and by title), the following short list of ten will meet many of your needs, so get to know these resources first.

  • WorldCat is a key resource for almost any topic. It includes information about millions of books, ebooks, and journal articles about an enormous range of topics in scores of languages. WorldCat includes materials owned by DTS libraries and by thousands of other libraries around the world. The default setting is to limit results just to what DTS owns. WorldCat has clickable links to almost all our ebooks and to many of our online journal articles. WorldCat also provides information about each print book we own, including classification number, shelving location, and current availability (whether it on the shelf or checked out). Your personal WorldCat account allows you to renew books you have on loan, view due dates, place holds, etc. Our Introduction to WorldCat describes and explains how to use it.
  • ATLA Religion database. The American Theological Library Association Religion database is very important. It indexes journal articles and book reviews from most major English language theological journals and from some especially non-English journals. It also indexes essays/chapters books. But it is not a good source for books. ATLA covers literature on Bible, theology, church history, pastoral ministries, Christian education, world missions, and non-Christian religions. It has clickable links to the full-text of many online articles. Our Introduction to ATLA describes and explains how to use it.
  • Old Testament Abstracts and New Testament Abstracts provide abstracts (brief summaries) of journal articles and book chapters about the Bible, biblical languages, and history and archaeology of the biblical era. These two databases began as print-based indexes, and the databases do not include all the information from the oldest print volumes. These databases link to only a small number of online resources. Our Introduction to OTA/NTA describes and explains how to use them.
  • Religious and Theological Abstracts focuses on Christian theology (biblical studies, dogmatics, church history, pastoral ministries, Christian education, missions, etc.) but covers other religions, too. It provides informative abstracts for about 300,000 scholarly journal articles. Our Introduction to RTA describes and explains how to use it.
  • JSTOR includes about 3,000 full-text scholarly journals in the fields of history, archaeology, classics, the arts, literature, education, language, and more. There is some coverage of theology/religion and the ancient biblical era.
  • Taylor and Francis Online provides access to more than 1,000 social science and humanities journals, including Anthropology, Archaeology, Arts, Humanities, Behavioral Science, Business, Management, Economics, Criminology, Education, Geography, Planning, Urban Studies, Environment, Media, Cultural and Communication Studies, Politics, International Relations and Area Studies, Public Health and Social Care, and Sociology. Limited coverage of religion.
  • Sage Online provides access to about 700 social science journals, including Anthropology, Communication and Media Studies, Criminology, Education, Family Studies, Language and Linguistics, Management, Psychology and Counseling, Social Work, and Sociology. Includes some important theology journals.
  • EBSCO Academic Search provides access to many thousands of journals. AS is especially strong in the sciences but it does include some religious literature.
  • ERIC (direct) and also ERIC (via EBSCO). As of March 2017, ERIC cites and abstracts over 1.5 million items in the field of [secular] education, of which about 1 million are journal articles and 500,000 are unpublished ERIC documents, plus a few books and theses. Does not cover religious education per se. Utilizes ERIC thesaurus for subject headings. ERIC links about a third of its records to the full-text documents through EBSCO.
  • PsycINFO as of March 2017 lists 4 million citations to technical scientific literature in the field of psychology and psychological aspects of related disciplines including anthropology, business, medicine, education, law, linguistics, and sociology. Thorough coverage of clinical psychology and counseling. Remember to use the MEDLINE database if you need access to psychiatric literature and the ATLA database if you need to find literature about counseling from a religious perspective or in a religious context.
  • Most of the ejournals available from the library are included in the journal listing. Use this resource if you want to know if a specific journal is available full-text online or in print. See How to Access Journals for a brief tutorial.