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Guide to the Research Process: 2c. Find Articles

This guide provides an introduction to the skills needed to conduct research.


The library website will tell you whether the Union Presbyterian Libraries own or subscribe to a specific journal title, but it will not tell you which articles are in the journal. If you need to search for titles of individual articles or the full-text of articles, you will need to search for these in databases or check the websites of electronic journals.

How to Use Electronic Databases

How to use an electronic database can sometimes be tricky because each database can have their own search system.  There is also the issue of finding the information you want and how to best use that information.  The ATLA Religion Database and ATLA Serials is probably the primier database to use as you start looking for journal articles.  Only Union students can access the databases with student id and Password.  Here is a tutorial on how to better use the database:

Learning to Use the ATLA Database

Several of our most valuable indexing instruments are provided to us by the same vendor, known as EBSCO. For this reason, they look very similar and function in a similar way. Each of them will give you access to full-text articles and citations in scholarly journals or in multi-author edited books.

Learning to Use EBSCO Databases

Electronic Journals List - Subscription

Electronic journals (E-journals) may be published only in electronic/online formats or may be the electronic/online version of a print publication. The library website has a place to look up journal titles in Union Presbyterian Libraries database collection.  Look at the seventh list under Research catagory.  Journals are listed alphabetically and give the database in which it can be found.  In addition to the database source, notice the range of dates for the journal. 

E-Journals Full Text Finder

Sources of Free Electronic Journals

Journal Databases

Depending on the database you are using, articles may be displayed in different formats:

  • Index: Includes only the article’s citation information (e.g. author, title, date, volume, etc.). Neither a summary, nor the full-text of the article are available.
  • Abstract: Includes the article’s citation information and a brief summary of the article's content. Abstracts do not include the full-text article.
  • Full-text: Includes an electronic copy of the actual article. Depending on the database, the article may be available in HTML format, .pdf format (displays the article as it originally appeared in the magazine with graphics and pictures), or both.

Online Databases - Subscription (available to Union Presbyterian students only)

Union Presbyterian Libraries subscribes to numerous databases.  Several of the databases include full-text articles.  Not all of these databases will be highly used for the M.Div. and M.A.C.E. programs.  The student is encouraged to explore the ones that will be most helpful to the research task.  Some of the top databases to begin with are ATLA Religion Database and ATLA Serials, Academic Search Complete, and Ministry Matters.   These are available on campus and off campus.  For off campus use you will need to use the Network login. 

Online Databases

A Different Kind of Database - Subscription (available to Union Presbyterian students only)

There is a database that I would like to highlight.  Unlike the other databases mentioned, this database is not for finding journal articles.  It gives access to print materials like books and commentaires that is pertinent for students attending seminary as well as church leaders serving the local church.  The library subscribes to this database and it is available for those off campus with network login.  This database has a several full-text commentaries (not all are scholarly-oriented commentaries), worship aids, lectionary resources, pastoral resources, educational resources, and more.  Take a look for yourself.  When you get to the database, use the plus sign on the left column to open up resources under that category.

Minister Matters