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Using the Open Access Digital Theological Library

Refine Search Options

undefinedAfter beginning a search and returning results, there are many options to refine those results and limit by certain parameters in the Refine This Search menu. Note that the current search refinements selected will be listed at the top of the Refine Results menu. As limiters are selected and added, the Current Search list will update. Toggle the "Keep current selections for subsequent searches" on to maintain refinements for your next search(es) - this is especially useful for keeping results limited during a search session to a certain date range and/or format.

undefinedSort by: The default sort order in the OADTL is by Library, though this is mostly only useful if you have expanded your search to include resources not held by the OADTL. Other sort options include: Best Match, Relevancy, Author, Date, Title, or Most Widely Held. 

Group related editions: To keep your results list manageable, toggle the button to green to combine matching resources that are found from more than one indexed repository. This selection will also group versions of the same resource if available, like multiple editions of an open access ebook.

Expand search with related terms: Mark toggle this button to green to allow the OADTL to include results that match terms closely related to those you searched.

Held By Library: By default searches in the OADTL return only results for items held by the OADTL. If desired, expand the search to include other libraries' material by marking the check-box for "Libraries Worldwide" instead of "Open Digital Theological Library." Additional results from "Libraries Worldwide" will not be immediately accessible, so citations will need to be submitted for interlibrary loan. We recommend leaving Held By Library as "Open Digital Theological Library."​​​​​​​


Format: Use this menu to select the format(s) of resource to limit results to. A broad limit can be set to an option like Article or Book, or narrower limits like Downloadable Article as opposed to read online.

undefinedContent Type: Use checkboxes to limit your results to resources with attributes like "Full Text," "Open Access," or Peer reviewed. If your  search results will books, you may also have the option to limit results to a broad type of book like fiction or non-fiction.

Peer Reviewed: Peer-reviewed journals are publications that include only those articles that have been reviewed and/or qualified by a selected panel of acknowledged experts in the field of study covered by the journal.

Full Text: Mark this checkbox to limit results to articles with full text, as opposed to solely citation information. Resources not available in full text will need to be requested from the library via interlibrary loan. 

Open Access: The OADTL includes over 190,000 ebooks and thousands of journals - all of which must be fully open access, without a pay wall of any sort, in order to be included. All items returned in results are accessible at the time of search, either to be viewed online or in some cases downloaded. This refinement is not recommended as it over-restricts results based on a narrower (but not clearly defined) definition of "open access." We recommend leaving this checkbox unmarked.

undefinedPublication Year: Use the pre-defined date ranges (Last 5, 10, or 25 years), or enter a date range to limit results to a specific time of publication. It is generally recommended for students to look for recent scholarship, usually within 10 years of the search year. Select "Apply Year Range" to add this limit to your current search.

undefinedAuthor/Creator: Use the checkboxes in the Author/Creator menu to limit your search to work by a particular author. This is a useful limit if you are familiar with the area of study and know the names of scholars of note. Authors/creators are listed alphabetically with a parenthetical number indicating how many results in the list were written by that individual.

undefinedDatabases: The OADTL uses OCLC's WorldShare as the database for catalog records of resources held by the OADTL. It is possible to expand this to include an additional database, but this is not a recommended selection. To expand searches to include a secondary database, the change must be made to the default options in Advanced Search. Selecting a database alters your other refinement options.

Language: Mark checkboxes to limit results to a particular language or languages. The collections in OADTL are ecumenical, global, and interreligious and include materials in all languages (as long as that content meets other collection development criteria).

Audience: Mark a checkbox to limit results to either Juvenile or Not Juvenile, if that is pertinent to your research. 

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