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RELG392: Women in Religion

The information here will be most helpful to those of you researching Islam, Hinduism, Shintoism, Taoism, and other religions (besides Buddhism) among women in Asia. (Those of you working on Buddhism will likely also find some ideas and reminders about library resources!)

Article Databases - Books - Questions?

Article Databases

Regardless of your topic, I suggest you begin your research at the library's list of religion databases, which is here:

  • Library home --> Databases --> History, Religion, & Philosophy --> Religion

At the top of the list of religion databases you will see a link to Ebsco Databases in Religion. This allows you to select among several of the library's religion resources, or search two or more at once. The database I recommend for this class is:

  • ATLA Religion Index. ATLA is the library's most important religion database; it's skewed a bit, though, toward "Western" countries, cultures, and religious traditions. Everyone in this class should search ATLA at some point, but it's unlikely to be the most important database you use for this research project.

A couple of databases further down on the list are more likely to be your primary resources for the project.

Index Islamicus is the premier scholarly resource on Islam and the Muslim world, including Asia. Perhaps not surprisingly, you will find a lot of material here on Islam in the Middle East, so search strategically to limit your results. You might start by including "Asia" as a keyword, just to scan the material that comes up in connection with your topic. Look particularly at the subject terms; you are likely to find that relevant articles list a country or geographical region among the subject terms. Once you've narrowed your topic geographically, try the name of the country as well as the region as keywords in future searches. For example, if you're interested in India, try both "India" and "south Asia" as keywords in your searches along with keywords for your particular topic.

Bibliography of Asian Studies (BAS) is another database everyone in this class should use. It has the advantage of being focused geographically on Asia; you can (and probably should) limit to a particular country or region before you search. Most importantly, there is material here that you can't find anywhere else. Unlike our Ebsco databases, BAS isn't designed to help narrow topics or identify keywords, so you might wait to use it until you know exactly what you're looking for and what keywords you could search. For example, if you are researching the veil in Islam, you'll need to search "veil," "hijab," "headscarf," "headscarves" (among others) and even, possibly, broader terms like "clothing" or "attire" to find everything that is relevant.

Further up on the page, under "All Humanities," you'll find JSTOR, which is an archive of full-text scholarly journals in nearly every discipline. Start at the Advanced Search screen, then limit to "Articles" and some relevant subject areas--e.g., Asian studies, feminist & women's studies, and/or religion--before you search.

A relevant database not linked on the religion page is Gender Studies, which you can find by going to the library home page, then "Databases," then "Databases A-Z." This resource has the potential to be quite helpful, but be careful when you search; articles here come from many different disciplines, and many are likely to be social science-y in nature. You'll need to have religion-related keywords to stay on track with the kind of information you need.

**Help! My article isn't available in full-text!**

An article that is not full-text in one database may be available in a different one, or in print. Follow these steps to obtain a copy of the article:

  1. On the library website, click "Journals and Magazines." Search the title of the journal in which the article you want was published. The results will tell you whether Augustana has access to the publication, what date range we have, and what format so you can obtain your article.

    If you see here that Augustana does not have access to the journal and/or the date of the journal that you need, go to step 2.

  2. On the library website, click "Interlibrary Loan." Login (or create an account if you don't yet have one), choose "Article" from the menu, and fill out the form. You can also use your interlibrary loan account to order book chapters or entire books if they are not available through I-Share.

    In some of the library's Ebsco databases, there is a direct link to ILL within the article record.


You will need to use both ALiCat and I-Share for this project, so be sure to order your I-Share books early to give them time to arrive.

Be persistent as you search for books. In some cases you'll need to broaden your search, to find a book that may have a section on your topic. In other cases (especially in I-Share), you'll get results for searches that are rather specific; check the tables of contents of the books that come up to see if your keywords appear there as chapter titles.


You are welcome to email me at with questions about your research. Or, get in touch with any librarian here.

Page created by Stefanie Bluemle, librarian for history, religion, philosophy, Asian studies, and Africana studies. Updated March 2014.