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Guide to Research and Writing for the Academic Study of Religion



Not only is it important to understand what is included in a database but it is also important to understand how it is recorded. Again, decisions are made as to what bits of information about an item need to be recorded. These bits of pertinent information are recorded in fields. In a telephone directory there are generally three possible fields, the name of the person or organization, their address, and their phone number.

Most of the databases you will be using for research, however, are much more complex and have many more fields. The information recorded for a book includes author, title, publication information and subject. 

 If your search returns too many records you may want to narrow your search by selecting a subject that is relevant to your topic of interest. When using  the library search box you can select one or more of the filters on the left of the results to narrow your search.  See especially the subject filter.   Note  for works in the Library collection if you click on the title, the detailed entry for the work will include assigned subject headings and you can click on any of them to retrieve items focussed in this subject area.  

 Note subject headings (also referred to as keywords or descriptors), are established by each database and their terminologies are often unique.