Guide to the Use of Electronic Resources

To access the electronic resources it is necessary to be recognized as an authorized user, from within the Institute through the WiFi network and from outside through the OpenAthens service.

A short tutorial on using OpenAthens in Italian is available here.

We remind you that it is the user’s responsibility to ensure that the consultation of electronic databases and periodicals takes place only for research, study and teaching purposes; any use for profit or commercial purposes is prohibited. No economic activities can be carried out in competition with the publisher (resale of information contents).

Research Strategies

The databases offered by the Institute contain both full-text documents, such as articles and monographs, as well as bibliographic information, abstracts, and citations.

Once having obtained the bibliographic references of a journal or a single article, it is possible to verify the presence of the full-text copy through the “online periodicals” page.

  • The Bibliography of the History and Archaeology of Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages is a fundamental source of information for the study of the history and archaeology of medieval East Central and Eastern Europe, an area of great interference and symbiosis of influences from Scandinavia, Western Europe, the steppe lands of Eurasia, as well as Byzantium. The bibliography provides comprehensive coverage of all publications, in all languages, pertaining to this vast area of the European continent and its impact on European history from about 500 to the aftermath of the Mongol invasion of 1241. The bibliography aims to encourage further research, but also to provide guidance through an enormous amount of information available in a variety of languages and a great multitude of publications. It offers search capabilities which are particularly useful for very narrowly defined research goals, thus encouraging comparative work with materials from other parts of Europe.
  • Sources Chrétiennes Online. Sources Chrétiennes is a bilingual collection of patristic texts founded in Lyon in 1942 is edited by the Institut des Sources Chrétiennes and published in Paris by Les Éditions du Cerf. Each text is given on the left in Greek or Latin, with the French translation on the facing page. Nearly 600 works by Greek, Latin and occasionally Syriac authors have been published. Other oriental Christian (e.g. Armenian) writers have been published only in translation.
  • The Central and Eastern European Online Library (CEEOL): The CEEOL archive contains one of the largest collections of full-text documents (magazine articles, monographs and gray literature) concerning the human and social sciences published in Central, Eastern, and South-eastern Europe. The database consists of 1118 publications, 2900 ebooks, 600,000 articles and 3000 texts of gray literature. The search interface is only available in English.
  • JSTOR: Arts & Sciences - Religion and Theology - Language & Literature collections. The archive was originally created to preserve and make available the digitizations of the old numbers of academic periodicals. Today, it also includes monographs, primary sources, and current numbers of periodicals. The library offers access to the sections on religion and theology, art and archeology, languages ​​and literature. The search interface is full of options and is available only in English.
  • Patrologia Orientalis Database. The database is the digital version of the famous collection of patristic texts from the Christian East, including works recorded in non-Latin languages, which come from the geographic, cultural, or religious contexts somehow connected to Rome or the Roman Empire of the East. P.O.D. makes it possible to search both in the original language and in the translation language. The search interface is multilingual.
  • Index Religiosus - International bibliography of theology, church history, and religious studies. Index Religiosus is an international bibliography of academic publications in the fields of theology, religious sciences, and Church history. The bibliography was born thanks to the collaboration between the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) and the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL). Currently, the index counts more than 600,000 bibliographic records. The search interface is multilingual.
  • Atla Religion Database with AtlaSerials PLUS. The database includes full-text journal articles, book reviews, and essay collections covering all fields of religion. It includes over 537,000 citations of articles from over 1,633 periodicals. Coverage is extensive and thorough and EBSCO provides a highly functional, intuitive, and multilingual search interface.
  • Humanities International Complete. This database provides full-text journals, books, and other humanistic sources published all over the world. It includes more than 900 active full-text newspapers and periodicals, over 770 active peer-reviewed and full-text journals, 480 active and full-text peer-reviewed journals without embargo and indexed in Web of Science or Scopus. EBSCO provides a highly functional, intuitive and multilingual search interface.
  • Communication & Mass Media Complete. In this database it is possible to find full-text articles, abstracts, and citations from communication reviews, mass media, and other sectors closely related to the world of information. EBSCO provides a highly functional, intuitive and multilingual search interface.

The interface of each database varies according to the query software used, but the methodology of use and the research tools remain almost identical.

Through the "advanced search" interface it is possible to use the Boolean, search and thesauri operators, many useful for refining the search and finding more information useful to one's study.

The Boolean Operators are "the main instrument" to successfully navigate within an electronic archive. In fact the logical operators allow to combine in different ways more concepts in the same research.

  • AND: between two words (art AND Byzantium) indicates that you are searching for documents containing both terms;
  • OR: between two words (art OR Byzantium) indicates that you are searching for documents containing at least one of the terms;
  • NOT: between two words (art NOT Byzantium) means that you are looking for documents containing the first term and not the second one.

There are several other operators, not always usable in all databases, but very useful for refining some research fields.

  • Truncation: Truncation is a search technique in which a word or part of it is replaced by a symbol. It is very useful when using different languages or alphabets:
  • (~): Located next to the name (Dostoevskij~) it allows you to search for documents that include the different spelling or alphabet of that name;
  • (? and *): Wildcards take the place of one or more letters in a search term. The question mark (wom?n) is used to search for a single letter. The asterisk (behavior*) is used to search for multiple characters. Wildcards are used to search for spelling variants of a word through its root.
  • Thesaurus: In library science the thesaurus aims to provide a normalized and controlled vocabulary, usable in the indexing, search, and retrieval of documents. Its main feature is the ability to facilitate the search for terms by means of general categories. If there is a thesaurus, preferential access to the database should be considered, since the use of a keyword that uniquely expresses the concept to be searched provides guarantees on the content of the recovered documents.

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