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Below are search tips. For best results when searching a topic, first try the By Topic search. If you don't get the results you need, try the By Book Title Word or Phrase search. If you already know the name of the scholar you seek, however, use the By Scholar Last Name search. How to conduct these searches is explained below.
You must be signed in to search the database (see Sign-In Help, for assistance). Once you are signed in, go to the Search the Database area at the top of any screen . . .
The database includes more than 20,000 publication titles and some 2,000 categories of
expertise. Religionsource has assigned each publication to one or more categories.
If your set of topic word(s) matches a category, Religionsource returns a list
of those scholars whose publications involve that expertise. (Religionsource
tries to match your By Topic search word(s) to its categories of expertise,
not to words in publication titles.)
A By Topic search works regardless of . . .
An asterisk (*) can be used as a wild card at the beginning or end of a search term (though doing so lengthens search time). The asterisk is treated as if it were any letter or combination of letters. For example, typing in . . .
A By Topic search finds all scholars that Religionsource associates with the set of topic words you used. If you get no or insufficient results, you can click Expand Search to find scholars associated with only part of the set. For example, a basic search on "Buddhist calendar" returns no results. If you then click Expand Search, you will get results consisting of scholars with expertise on Buddhists and scholars with expertise on calendars. While an expanded search may yield helpful results, it may also include results that scarcely relate to your topic (e.g., scholars whose expertise is on Buddhist statues).
If you don't get the results you need after trying the By Topic search, here are some suggestions:
Click the By Book Title Word or Phrase button. In that search field, enter simply a single word (e.g., civil), or surround a phrase in quotation marks (e.g., "Muslim women"). If you enter more than one word and do not use quotation marks, the results will include matches on each word entered. For example, a search on African American (no quotation marks) will return publications that contain the word African and/or the word American. A search on "African American" (in quotation marks) will return publications that contain, in sequence, African American or African-American.
The word or phrase you enter does not have to be capitalized. An asterisk (*) can be used as a wild card at the end of a word, but only if the word is not in quotation marks.
Searching By Book Title Word or Phrase searches most but not necessarily
all of the publication titles in Religionsource. We strongly encourage you to
first try the By Topic search.
Click the By Scholar Last Name button and enter the scholar's last
name in the search field. Enter only the last name, e.g., Green. Do not
enter Green, Adam or Adam Green. An asterisk (*) can be used as
a wild card at the beginning or end of a name. The name you enter does not have
to be capitalized.
Instead of searching you may prefer to find scholars by browsing among Religionsource's
categories of expertise. To get to the browse screen, click on Browse
& Search on the menu bar at the top of every screen. Clicking on any
of the categories listed gives you (1) a list of scholars generally knowledgeable
about that category and (2) a list of subcategories. Clicking on a subcategory
gives you (1) scholars generally knowledgeable about that subcategory and (2)
a list of sub-subcategories. Depending on the subject, you may continue to click
down through several levels of increasing specificity. For example:
If you know the specific expertise you seek, you'll probably want to enter
search words. If that doesn't bring the results you wantor if you just
want to look around for possible story ideastry browsing among the expertise
After entering your search term, select a state or Canada from While listing scholars from this US state or Canada first. Then click Search. If the database includes scholars in that geographic area for the search term(s) you used, those scholars will be listed first, with city and state or Canadian province boldfaced.
Religionsource's accommodation of a particular search term or use of a particular term in a category name is not meant to imply the most appropriate wording. To facilitate your finding the expertise you seek, Religionsource sometimes accommodates or uses a term that, although not the best, is the more widely known. Religionsource will return results if you search using the term cults, for example, even though new religious movements is a more neutral term, because in seeking experts for this topic far more journalists are likely to use cults. For this reason, we encourage you to ask the scholars we refer you to about any non-neutral nuances that may accompany your use of particular terms in news stories.
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by the American Academy of Religion, the
world's largest association of religion scholars. The AAR neither endorses nor
rejects any religious belief or practice.