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World Religions

A guide to help students explore the religions of the world.

Useful Subject Terms


Religion - Dictionaries


Christianity ​



Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Jehovah's Witnesses

Other specific denominations can also be searched









Article Databases vs. Free Web

Simply put, databases were created to help you find credible information easily and quickly. 

Students love databases because they are as easy to search as the Web: you simply type your search terms into a box and press a button that says search. Also, databases are available from any computer connected to the Internet, and can be accessed virtually any time of the day or night. This is very convenient for students with full schedules, jobs, and families.

Instructors love databases because the quality of information contained within them is often superior to what students find on the Web. Databases connect researchers to edited, evaluated, and published sources.

Learn more about the difference between using article databases and the free Web in this short video below:

Library Databases for Religious Studies

Use the databases below to locate articles from magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals (including peer-reviewed titles). 

Peer Reviewed / Refereed Journals

What is a journal?

  • Scholarly journals exist to disseminate new & important information within an academic discipline or professional fiel.
  • Journal articles are written by experts who work within these disciplines and fields
  • Journal articles are aimed at an audience of other experts within that discipline or field
  • Journals often contain studies and experiments

Picture of an issue of JAMA Picture of an issue of JSWP


How can I identify a journal?

Look for: 

  • Author credentials such as advanced degrees and professional/academic affiliations
  • Articles that are often substantially longer than articles in magazines and newspapers
  • Heavy use of discipline-specific vocabulary and concepts. 
  • Extensive bibliographies of cited sources.

Where does peer review fit into all of this?

Peer review is a process that some  scholarly journal publishers use to ensure the articles they publish represent the best scholarship currently available. Peer-reviewed journals are sometimes called "refereed" journals. When an article is submitted to a peer-reviewed/refereed journal, the editors send it out to other scholars in the same field to get their opinion on the quality of the scholarship and its relevance and importance to the field. This means that when an article is finally published in a peer-reviewed publication, there is a consensus among experts that the information communicated in that article is of the highest quality.

Not all scholarly publications are peer-reviewed, though it is very common for professors to request peer-reviewed articles to ensure you are exposed to the most credible information within your discipline.

Journals sound intense!

The specific nature of journal articles, combined with the use of specialized vocabulary, means they are not always easy to read for the non-expert. It it is recommended that students have some basic knowledge about their topic before delving into scholarly information. This basic knowledge might be gleaned, for instance, from some of our Background Information databases.


Learn to Filter Databases to Find Peer-Reviewed Articles

Learn to filter databases to find peer-reviewed articles

Use the videos below to see how easy it is to find academic journal articles in two of our most used databases.

Use EBSCOhost Databases to Find Academic Journal Articles


Searching for Academic Articles in Gale Databases