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Research Guide to Middle Eastern Studies: Finding Journal Articles & Databases

An introductory guide to research in Middle Eastern Studies.

How to Find Journal Articles

For our example search, we want to search for journal articles that discuss Religion in Middle East for a paper assigned in a Middle Eastern Politics class. To begin, we will start at the Sacred Heart University Library homepage at

To start our example search, we will select one of the “Key Databases” from our list to the right. For this search, we’ll use JSTOR. To access the database, we need to go to the “Browse Databases” box on the right-hand side of the library homepage and select “all Databases A-Z” to take us to an alphabetical list of databases from the library.

From the "Databases A-Z List," click on the letter "J."

From the menu below, we will select the link for JSTOR at the top of the list of databases

The JSTOR main page presents a one-box basic search. For our search, we want to use the advanced search option. Click on the link for “Advanced Search” and then click on “Advanced Search” again from the pull-down menu.

The “Advanced Search” page allows us to search with multiple keywords linked by what are called Boolean operators. Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT are used to combine or exclude items in an advanced search. Using Boolean operators can yield more focused results from your search query. When using AND, you are searching for only results that include both keywords inserted into the separate search boxes. OR will yield results that include at least one of the keywords in the search boxes. NOT allows you to exclude a particular term from the search, like having a search for cats that excludes dogs (cats NOT dogs). For our purposes, we want a search that yields results combining “Middle East” AND “Religion,” so we can retrieve results that only include both keywords.

Additionally, we can select things like item type (Articles) and language (English) .

Finally, we can use the "Journal Filter" toward the bottom of the page to narrow our results to specific disciplines. For our research, selecting "Philosophy" or "Religion" will give us results that are specific to journals that specialize in publishing Middle Eastern studies, Religion, Politics, etc. research.

This search yields 7,576 results.

From here you can sift through the results, read and download articles, and generate pre-formatted citations for your bibliography. Click "Cite this item" and a window pops up that presents copyable, formatted citations in MLA, APA, and Chicago style for the selected article, as shown below.


Additionally, after clicking on the title on the results page, you can "Download" the article and "Add to My Lists" after creating a MyJSTOR account. 


Key Databases

Multi-disciplinary resource with full-text articles from nearly 4,500 journals including 3,600 peer-reviewed titles, many from 1975 forward. Searchable cited references for 1,000 titles, including titles relevant to Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies. For assistance searching Academic Search Premier, see the video below.

Academic Search Premier   

The DOAJ includes several open-access, full-text scholarly journals focused on Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies. Full-text journal articles can be searched across all journals, which are browsable by title and subject. For assistance searching the directory, click the DOAJ logo below to access their helpful FAQ page.


The following titles are a selection of open-access journal titles in Middle Eastern Studies:

International Journal of Islamic Thought

ISSN: 2232-1314 (Print)

Subject: Philosophy. Psychology. Religion: Islam. Bahai Faith. Theosophy, etc.



ISSN: 2077-1444 (Print)

Subject: Philosophy. Psychology. Religion: Religions. Mythology. Rationalism: Religion (General)


Electronic Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (EJIMEL)

ISSN: 1664-5707 (Print)

Subject: Law: Islamic law


Middle East : Topics & Arguments

ISSN: 2196-629X (Print)

Subject: Political science: Political science (General)


Directory of Open Access Journals   

Multidisciplinary resource, which houses a significant number of resources of interest to Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, with full-text articles from thousands of scholarly & peer-reviewed journals. For help with searching JSTOR, click on the icon below


Multidisciplinary database providing full text and indexing & abstracting for more than 12,000 total publications, plus 440,000 photos, maps & flags and more than 17,500 company profiles. The collection includes journals dedicated specifically to Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies.

For assistance using the advanced-search functions of an EBSCO database like MainFile, see the video below.


Thought Mapping

If at first you don't succeed, don't be discouraged. Searching databases can be a tricky business. You may need to use synonymys or identify how a particular author is referring to concept. You may want to try different combinations of search terms and use both keyword and subject searches. Your librarians are always here to offer assistance. Please feel free to contact us!

Une caravan en marche


The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Art & Architecture Collection, The New York Public Library. (1877). Une caravan en marche: illustrations des Séances de Hariry (XIIIe. siècle) Retrieved from

Recommended Databases for Middle Eastern Studies

Academic Search Premier - This, our largest, multi-disciplinary database provides full text for more than 4,700 journals, including full text for more than 4,000 peer-reviewed titles and indexes nearly 13,600 journal titles.

ATLA Religion - Index of articles, books reviews, and other works on Biblical studies, world religions, church history, and religion in social issues from over 1,500 journals and other works from 1949. Some sources date from 1818.

Global Issues In Context - Offers international viewpoints on a broad spectrum of global issues, topics, and current events, with rich multimedia - including podcasts, video, and interactive graphs.

History Reference Center - History database with full text from more than 1,620 reference books, encyclopedias and non-fiction books, full text from more than 150 leading history periodicals, plus biographies and historical documents, photos, maps, & videos.

Project Muse - A leading provider of digital humanities and social sciences content; since 1995, its electronic journal collections have supported a wide array of research needs at academic libraries worldwide. MUSE books and journals are from leading university presses and scholarly societies.

World History In Context - Full-text articles on U.S. history from 120 journals and over 2,000 reference works. Also contains over 59,600 primary documents; and biographies, photos, maps, and videos.