Philosophy Research Guide
- Find Background Info
- Find Books
- Find Articles
- Citing Sources
Find Background Info
Background sources, such as specialized encyclopedias and dictionaries, are an essential piece of the research process. They can help you:
- Gather information about your topic and understand the scope of the research
- Locate reliable sources and clarify keywords
- Pinpoint important authors, texts, ideas, and keywords about the research area (knowing what the primary phrases and concepts are will help you as you search through library databases and online sources).
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a free online encyclopedia edited and maintained by experts in the field. Articles cover concepts, theories, and schools of thought in philosophy and related disciplines. Because each entry offers an overview of a topic and includes a comprehensive bibliography, the SEP is an excellent place to start your research.
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP)
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP) is a free online tool of scholarly, peer-reviewed key topics in all areas of academic philosophy. Entries are written by experts in the field of philosophy with an undergraduate audience in mind.
Credo Reference is a multi-publisher collection of high quality reference titles covering everything from the arts to astronomy, law to literature, and science to Shakespeare. Available titles also include a range of multimedia options including thousands of high quality diagrams, photographs, maps, and audio files.
Print and e-books are valuable sources for academic research. They will help you to gain an overview of your topic and often contain in-depth information about the scholarship or history of research on a subject. Some books are written by single authors while others include essays or chapters by multiple scholars within a discipline. Don’t let the length of books intimidate you because you don’t need to read them from cover to cover. Look at the table of contents and index to find the sections that are relevant to your work.
Find Books Using GriffinSearch
GriffinSearch is a good starting place if you are looking for books, journal articles, films, and other materials available in the library. In addition to searching the Giovale Library catalog for physical materials, GriffinSearch finds e-books and articles from several of our databases. To get started, search by keyword or type in the title of a book here:
WorldCat lets you search for books, articles, videos, and other material that are available in libraries worldwide. If you are doing in-depth research on a topic and are considering requesting resources through Interlibrary Loan, WorldCat can help you discover resources that might not be in the Giovale Library collection.
Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
Interlibrary Loan is a service where patrons of one library can borrow books and other materials, and access journal articles that are owned by another library.
Utah Academic Library Consortium
Giovale Library participates in the Utah Academic Library Consortium (UALC) and Westminster College students have reciprocal circulation privileges at UALC partner libraries. Each UALC library has different circulation policies, but all require a current, valid, legal photo identification and proof of current enrollment at Westminster. Some libraries may also require other verification methods, so it is recommended that you contact the library you are interested in for details.
Popular Titles and Featured Texts
The Giovale Library provides access to a number of subject databases that you can use to find journal articles on topics within a specific discipline or field of study. The databases listed on this page are those that are most useful for finding research published in the field of philosophy. However, since research in philosophy is often multidisciplinary, you may want to visit the library’s database page to find additional resources.
GriffinSearch is a good starting place if you are looking for books, journal articles, films, and other material available in the library. In addition to searching the Giovale Library catalog for physical materials, GriffinSearch finds e-books and articles from several of our databases.
Philosopher's Index (EBSCO)
Philosopher's Index database offers author-written abstracts covering scholarly research in all areas of philosophy. The literature covered goes back to 1940 and includes journal articles, books, book chapters such as contributions to an anthology, and book reviews.
Philosophy and Religion Collection (EBSCO)
Philosophy and Religion Collection contains information about journal articles on topics such as world religions, major denominations, biblical studies, epistemology, political philosophy, philosophy of language, moral philosophy, and the history of philosophy and religion.
JSTOR is an interdisciplinary archive of full text articles from journals in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. It includes retrospective coverage of publications which means that most of the articles will be 1 to 5 years old. To search for subject specific articles, after entering your search terms, scroll down to “Journal Filter” and select a subject.
Properly citing your sources shows that you’ve done research to become knowledgeable about your topic and helps you avoid plagiarism. Explore citation resources to learn how to correctly cite sources based on style.
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Chat with a Librarian
Use the chat box below to ask the library staff a question. If chat is unavailable or we don’t respond quickly, please use the email form on our Get Research Help page and a library staff member will contact you as soon as we are available.