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Intercultural Studies

Searching Databases with Subject Headings

In some databases, articles are tagged with subject headings that can be used to search for all articles on a particular subject. You can either note subject headings on articles you find, or you can locate subject headings by searching an index that the database provides. In ATLA, go to the "Indexes" tab at the top of any page.

ATLA database search page, with the location of the "Indexes" link in the upper left bar highlighted.


From the drop down menu, choose "Subjects All" and type the keyword that you are looking for in the box below. Then click "Browse" (NOT "Search").

ALTA Indexes page, highlighting the "Browse" button in the middle of the screen.


The database will list potentially relevant topics. If you don't find what you're looking for, try another keyword. Click the checkbox next to the topic you want to search for, then add the term to your search with the "Add" button.

ATLA Indexes page with "Subjects" chosen from the "Browse an Index" page selected and "theater" as a search term


The database will create your search. You can add more topics to your search by choosing other subject headings and using the "OR" and "AND" drop down functions.

ATLA Indexes page with the search box populated with terms chosen from the subject list.


When you click search, your results will include all articles tagged with the subject heading you picked. Use the facets in left hand column to limit your search by date, publication type, or to scholarly journals only.

ATLA search results page for the subject terms "theater" and "religion."


Subject heading searching is available in many databases, though the terminology may vary. Index Islamicus uses the same "Indexes" link, but in the Religion and Philosophy Collection, it's called Subjects:

Religion and Philosophy Collection database homepage, with the location of the "Subjects" link in the top left bar highlighted.