Friday, July 25, 2008

New Database: Philosopher's Index

Sawyer Library is happy to add Philosopher's Index to our array of available databases to serve the research needs of the Suffolk community. It is produced by the Philosophers Information Center and is the most current and comprehensive bibliographic database covering scholarly research in all major fields of philosophy.

Entries include author-written abstracts and the database content covers all areas of scholarly research published in journals and books, including contributions to anthologies and book reviews. It includes materials published since 1940 within the fifteen fields of philosophy: aesthetics, axiology, philosophy of education, epistemology, ethics, philosophy of history, philosophy of language, logic, metaphysics, philosophical anthropology, metaphilosophy, political philosophy, philosophy of science, social philosophy, and the philosophy of religion. The database indexes 570 journals from 43 countries with content representing a variety of languages.

Since it is a "bibliographic database," it provides citations and summaries, but no full-text. But the good news is that we provide this database on the EbscoHost platform (which just made it available to their clients). Therefore, we are able to seamlessly link to all kinds of journal articles that appear in Ebsco databases like Academic Search Complete and Humanities International Complete, as well as to journals we subscribe to or which are available through JSTOR. And you will also spot, below results items, additional links to the online catalog and to our eJournal Locator, which will allow you to locate even more articles that we own in additional electronic, paper, and microform formats.

For example, if I do a quick (and clearly, not very precise) keyword search for Descartes, I get almost 5000 entries. If I choose the "limit your results" option in the right frame, and restrict my results to those with "Linked Full Text," I still get over 200 items to which Ebsco can directly link.

Keep in mind that these are only the items that Ebsco can pull directly from their own files. Many of those other 4800 items would also be available, but I would need to click the "360 Link to Full Text" or "Check Library Catalog" links beneath an interesting results entry to explore these options.

If you are doing research into philosophy or even researching ethical issues related to other fields like stem cell research or corporate responsibility, the Philosopher's Index might provide useful leads for your research.

[FIND The Philosopher's Index on our "Databases by Subject" List in the "Literature, Arts and Humanities" category.]

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