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Researching & Writing Literature Reviews in Religious Studies: Staying Current


1. Search Online Library Catalogs: The easiest way to remain current of the latest books that have been published on a topic is to search library catalogs for new books that have been added to the collection.  

  •  Search GIL-Find, the Georgia State University library catalog.
    • Choose Advanced Search, enter your search terms, and a date range. 
  • Search Universal GIL-Find to locate books owned by libraries within the University System of Georgia. 
    • Use the drop-down menu to change the search from "Georgia State University" to "The University System of Georgia"
  • Search WorldCat, a free online resource that allows you to search for books owned by libraries throughout the world.
    • Choose Advanced Search, enter your search terms (use one word per search box), use the limiters to narrow your search. From the results list, resort the order of the results by using the "Sort by: Date (Newest First).

2. Search Commercial Websites: Online booksellers can provide you with a list of books not owned by your local libraries.

    • Choose Advanced Search, enter your search terms, and limits, and run your search. Then resort your results by publication date.

3. Read Book Reviews: Use the citation databases available through the library's website to locate books reviews published in scholarly journals.  You can do this in one of two ways:

  • Use the ATLA database.
    • Use Advanced Search. Type the title of the book and the author's last name. Choose"Review" from the list of Publication Ty'pes.
  • Choose a database from the list of Religious Studies databases.
    • Use Advanced Search, enter your topic keywords in the search fields, limit your search to Book Reviews (or Reviews), and a date range (optional).

Journal Articles

1. Search Library Databases: Use the online library databases for the most recently published articles.

  • Choose a database from the list of Religious Studies databases.
    • Use Advanced Search, enter your topic in the search fields, use limits to narrow your search to a specific date range, language, and document or item type. Resort the results list to place the most recently published articles at the top of the list.

Other Ways to Stay Current

1. Journal Publisher Alerts: Publisher alerts generally include the tables of contents of recent journals and in some cases links to the full text article. These are often e-mailed to you before the journal issue is published. Some publishers will also notify you of new materials published in your area of interest.

2. Database Alerts: Some article databases (such as the ATLA database) allow you to set up a search alert, which emails you “alerts” every time a new article is added to the database based on a set of search terms you've set up. 

  • Example: Using the ATLA database
    • Create an account from the database home page (under the "Sign In" link in ATLA); log in using your account login;  conduct a search; from the results list click on the "Share" button, choose "Email Alert" and follow the online instructions. 

3. Google Scholar: Google scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature without having to use a library database. If used on-campus, Google Scholar will allow you to access the full text of articles to which the library subscribes.

  • Google Scholar
    • The results list will indicate whether articles in scholarly journals are available full-text through the GSU library or other sources. Look for "PDF" or "HTML full text" links to the right of the ciation. Use with caution as Google Scholar may provide access to articles that have not gone through a peer-review process.