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Religion: RELI 505

Taken during summer orientation at the beginning of the student's entry into the Master of Arts in Theology and Leadership program, RELI 505 provides an introduction to foundational theological questions related to Christian leadership and organizational

Online Library Orientation RELI 505

Featured Journals

Core Religion Databases

About the ATLA Religion Database

What's Different About ATLA?

  • Searching for articles about specific scriptures is easy if you use the Scriptures tool on the menu bar. You can browse scriptural subject headings by chapter and verse.
  • ATLA's list of subject terms (under Thesaurus) can be more difficult to browse than in other databases, but limiting a topical search term to the subject field is still a good option.
  • Remember you can truncate some search terms by using the asterisk *. This search will find records where words starting with "ecumeni" appear in the subject field.
  • As in all EBSCO databases, you have plenty of options to refine your results.
  • ATLA is an international database, so if you only read English, be sure to limit results by language. Click "show More" under the date slider to find the language limit option.
  • Select options under Subject to help narrow your search.

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Research Tips

Types of Sources

Sources of research are categorized as primary, secondary, or tertiary, depending on how close or far the source is from the subject of study. Briefly, the types of sources divide like this:

  • Primary sources: Original evidence
  • Secondary sources: Interpretation
  • Tertiary sources: Summary and compilation


Primary Sources

Primary sources always represent some sort of direct contact with the subject or time under study. If I am studying Pompeii, the artifacts found there – ranging from jewelry to glass jars filled with fruit to the hollows in the hardened volcanic ash where fleeing citizens were buried – are all primary sources. So is Pliny the Younger’s recollection of rescue efforts and panic in nearby Misenum.

Primary sources can include original documents, such as:

  • Letters
  • Diaries
  • Speeches
  • Autobiographies
  • Official records
  • News films
  • Photographs
  • Interviews
  • Eyewitness accounts

They can also include creative works, like:

  • Plays
  • Paintings
  • Novels
  • Music

And even artifacts, like:

  • Pottery
  • Buildings
  • Furniture
  • Sculpture
  • Household items


Secondary Sources

Secondary sources are about the subject under study, but are not directly connected to it. They are usually commentaries or discussions that draw upon the information found in the primary sources and interpret it.

Examples of secondary sources are:

  • Biographies
  • Reviews
  • Scholarly articles
  • Documentaries about history


Tertiary Sources

Tertiary sources attempt to collect and summarize information about a subject. They often refer back to primary or secondary sources.

Types of tertiary sources include:

  • Textbooks
  • Encyclopedias
  • Lists
  • Timelines
  • Dictionaries
  • Catalogues
  • Bibliographies

Sources that are often considered tertiary may include some overlap with secondary sources. For instance, an encyclopedia article may offer an interpretation of an event, which would make it a secondary source.

Unfortunately there is no quick cheat-sheet for determining what type of material is a primary, secondary, or tertiary source, because that depends entirely on the context of what you are studying. For instance, the mention of Pompeii in the 19th century textbook A Brief History of Ancient, Mediaeval, and Modern Peoples is a tertiary source for the study of Pompeii, but a primary source if your subject of study is 19th century American education. 

How to Use Search Alerts in EBSCO ATLA Religion Index

Search Alerts provide automatic e-mail notification whenever new search results become available. You can also retrieve those alerts to perform the search immediately, instead of waiting for the alert to run. There are two ways to save your search as an alert.

Note: To create an alert, you must log in to My EBSCOhost to create a search alert.

If you do not log in prior to setting up a Journal or Search Alert you will be prompted to do so. If you do not have a My EBSCOhost personal folder, you can set one up by clicking on I'm a new user. It is free and signing up is quick and easy.


Creating a Search Alert

To save your search as an alert from the Share link:

  1. Run a search and view your search results.

  2. Click the Share link and select E-mail Alert from the resulting pop- up menu. The Create Alert window appears over the result list.

    Create Alert Window

  3. If you have not done so already, click the Sign in link in the alert window to sign into your My EBSCOhost folder.

  4. Set your alert parameters and click Save Alert.

    Create Alert Window

Note: When you create a Search Alert, the sort selection of the result list is honored for your alert. For example, if your result list is sorted by relevancy when you create your alert, your alert will be sorted by relevancy when it is delivered.

In the E-mail area of the window:

  1. Subject - In the Subject field, enter a brief explanation that will appear in the subject line of the Alert e-mail.

  2. E-mail from - Defaults to: EPAlerts@EPNET.COM. You can enter a different "From" e-mail address if desired.

  3. E-mail to - Enter your E-mail Address. If you are entering multiple e-mail addresses, place a semicolon between each e-mail address. 

  4. Hide addresses from recipients - If you select this option, the e-mail addresses you enter will be placed into the BCC (Blind Copy) field of the e-mail, rather than the "To" field. 

  5. E-mail format - Select Plain Text or HTML.

In the General Settings area of the window:

  1. Frequency - Select how often the search will be run:

    • Once a day (the default)
    • Once a week
    • Bi-weekly
    • Once a month
  2. Results format - Select a results format for your alert.

    • Brief
    • Detailed
    • Bibliographic Manager
  3. Articles published within the last - To limit which articles are searched, select one:

    • One month
    • Two months
    • Six months
    • One year
    • No limit (the default)

Note: To view all available alert settings, click the Advanced Search link.

To save a search as an alert from the Search Alert/History window:

  1. Run a search and view your search results.

  2. Click the Search History/Alerts link, and then click the Save Searches/Alerts link. The Save Search Alert Screen appears. If you have not already signed in your personal account, you will be prompted to do so.

On the Save Search Alert Screen

  1. Enter a Name and Description for the Alert.

  2. To run the Alert against a different database, select the Databases from the drop-down list. (Hold down the control key and left-click your mouse to select multiple databases.)

  3. Search strategy - The search terms are displayed. (not editable)

In the Save Search As area of the screen:

  1. To save the search as an Alert that can be automatically run, click the Alert radio button. The Save Search Alert Screen appears.

  2. To select how often the search will be run, from the Frequency drop-down list, select one:

    • Once a day (the default)
    • Once a week
    • Bi-weekly
    • Once a month
  1. To limit which articles are searched, from the Articles published within the last drop-down list, select one:

    • One month
    • Two months
    • Six months
    • One year
    • No limit (the default)
  1. In the Run Alert for field, select one:

    • One month
    • Two months
    • Six months
    • One year (the default)

In the Alert Options area of the screen:

  1. Select the Alert results format: Brief, Detailed, or Bibliographic Manager.

  2. To limit EBSCOhost access to only the articles in alert (rather than the entire site), mark the checkbox to the left of this field.

    Note: When this box is marked, the folder feature will not be available to users accessing articles from the alert.

In the E-mail Options area of the screen:

  1. Indicate how you would like to be notified. Select one:

    • E-mail all alerts and notices (the default)
    • E-mail only creation notice
    • No e-mail (RSS only) - if you select this option, the remaining E-mail Properties will be hidden (because they are not necessary for RSS).
  1. Enter your E-mail Address. If you are entering multiple e-mail addresses, place a semicolon between each e-mail address. 

  2. Hide addresses from recipients - if you select this option, the e-mail addresses you enter will be placed into the BCC (Blind Copy) field of the e-mail, rather than the "To" field. 

  3. In the Subject field, enter a brief explanation that will appear in the subject line of the Alert e-mail. 

  4. Title - you can optionally enter a title for the e-mail. The default value for the Title field is: EBSCOhost Alert Notification

  5. E-mail [From] address - Defaults to: EPAlerts@EPNET.COM. You can enter a different "From" e-mail address if desired. 

  6. Select the E-mail format to use: Plain Text or HTML. 

  7. To have your search string included with your results, mark the Include query string in results checkbox. To include the alert frequency, mark thefrequency checkbox. 

  8. When you have finished making changes, click the Save button.

Related terms: alert, EBSCO Discovery Service, EDS


Editing a Search Alert

To edit a search alert:

  1. From the Advanced Search Screen, click on the Search History link below the Find field.

  2. Click the Retrieve Alerts link.

  3. Sign in to My EBSCOhost.

  4. Click the Search Alerts link.

  5. Locate the alert you want to edit.

  6. Click on the Edit Alert link to access the Save Alert page.

  7. Edit the alert.

  8. Click Save.

Note: If you would like to edit the search terms or limiters/expanders of your alert, click the Edit link in the Search History box at the bottom of the alert. 


Deleting a Search Alert

You can delete your Alert by logging in to your My EBSCOhost personal folder (once you are logged in to EBSCOhost).

To delete an alert:

  1. Click the Sign in link in the upper left corner of the screen.

  2. Click the Folder link.

  3. Your folder contents display, with a menu located on the left-hand column.

  4. Click Search Alerts.

  5. Mark the check box for each alert you would like to delete.

  6. Click the Delete Items button. The selected items are removed from the folder.


Viewing a Search Alert

EBSCOhost alerts are set to display the first 100 results. If your alert produces more than 100 results, and you want to view the remaining results, there are two ways to view all results from your alerts.

Click on the persistent link in the alert email to view all available results or view them by using the Retrieve Alerts feature in EBSCOhost.

To view all results from an alert in EBSCOhost:
  1. From the Advanced Search Screen, click the Search History link.

  2. Click the Retrieve Alerts Link.

  3. Sign in to your personal account.

  4. Locate the alert you want to view, and click on the date of the alert. Your search results will appear.



  • If you do not remember your My EBSCOhost login values, click Sign in and select either I forgot my password or I forgot my user name and passwordfor assistance.

  • If you are receiving a search alert that someone else has set up for you, only the creator of an alert can stop the alert from being sent.

  • For additional assistance, Contact EBSCO's Technical Support Department.

Tutorial from

ID: 4002

Topic: Interface Features

Services: EBSCOhost Research Interface, EBSCOhost Canadian, EBSCOhost UK, EBSCOhost Aust/NZ, EBSCO Discovery Service


Updated: April 2015

Common Errors in RefWorks’ Bibliographies

or. . . why proofreading is essential!

Bibliography Example

Andersson, Lynne M. and Christine M. Pearson. 1999. "Tit for Tat? the Spiraling Effect of Incivility in the Workplace." The Academy of Management Review 24 (3): 452-471.
In this article we introduce the concept of workplace incivility and explain how incivility can potentially spiral into increasingly intense aggressive behaviors. To gain an understanding of the mechanisms that underlie an "incivility spiral," we examine what happens at key points: the starting and tipping points. Furthermore, we describe several factors that can facilitate the occurrence and escalation of an incivility spiral and the secondary spirals that can result. 

What's Wrong?
This is the abstract from the database. If you are required to annotate your bibliography, you will need to replace this with your own annotation.

Bibliography Example

CHRISTIAN, KEVIN, D.O., ENGEL, AMY M,M.A., M.S., and J. M. SMITH. 2011. "Predictors and Outcomes of Prolonged Ventilation After Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery." The American Surgeon 77 (7): 942-7.
I like watching Gonzaga basketball, but I prefer reruns of nerdy TV shows

What's Wrong?
Author's names are in ALL CAPS. Some databases put authors or titles in all caps. You can fix this as you proofread your bibliography. To permanently correct it, edit the record in RefWorks.

Bibliography Example

Haldeman, J. (2011). The learning organization: From dysfunction to grace. Journal of Management & Marketing Research, 9, 1-9. Retrieved from
Dysfunctional school administration or bosses who are bullies are interesting topics; not pleasant to think about, but interesting.

What's Wrong?
This is an APA-style citation, and “retrieved from” and the accompanying URL aren’t required in APA citations. As stated on the Purdue OWL website: “ information in citations is not necessary because databases change over time.” It's important to know the rules for your particular citation style.

Bibliography Example

Johnson, C. E. (2007). Ethics in the workplace: Tools and tactics for organizational transformation. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. Retrieved from; Materials specified: Table of contents; Materials specified: Table of contents; Materials specified: Table of contents; Materials specified: Contributor biographical information; Materials specified: Publisher description
How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?  Sally sells sea shells by a pack of pickled peppers.  Eleven benevolent elephants were telling tales of tongue twisters

What's Wrong?
Do NOT include the table of contents!  This is a book citation exported from WorldCat. Something in the WorldCat export file often causes extra information to show up in your RefWorks bibliography. This is very useful information in WorldCat, but it does not belong in an APA bibliography! If something like this shows up in your bibliography, delete it!

Bibliography Example

Kim, D., Fisher, D, & McCalman, D. (2009). Modernism, christianity, and business ethics: A worldview perspective. Journal of Business Ethics, 90(1), 115-121. doi:
Here’s a cool Bob Marley quote.  "Although the road has been long and bumpy, it sure feels good to me". 

What's Wrong?
RefWorks does not recognize proper nouns. This is such a common error, you will probably find at least one when you proofread your own bibliography. Luckily, it’s an easy fix.


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You can browse Foley's physical shelves by heading to the following sections for each subject:

Christianity BR
Bible  BS
Doctrinal Theology  BT
Practical Theology BV
Education  LB
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