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Religious and Theological Abstracts: Searching RTA

A guide to the Religious and Theological Abstracts database

Searching Religious and Theological Abstracts

Religious and Theological Abstracts has two different interfaces for searching.  One is a basic, single box search for keyword searches.  The other is a multi-faceted advanced search that can search specific fields and attributes, like author, journal title, scripture citation, and date range. 

RTA Basic Search

The standard search for Religious and Theological Abstracts is a Google-style single search box.  RTA, like Google, automatically inserts an "and" between words in a search, so that it searches for articles that contain both words, and not necessarily side by side.  It also demonstrates that such a search can be made by including quotes.  RTA can also search for scriptural passages, and demonstrates how to enter them.

Advanced Search

The RTA advanced search includes a number of mechanisms for expanding or limiting your search from the start.  In the blue box, there is a line for each of the standard Boolean operators (and, or, not), with each function written out and explained.  In similar fashion, a quotation marks search is represented as well, as exact words.  There is also an option to search within the results of a previous search.

Beyond the blue box, RTA includes a number of options for search limiting, including Author, Title, Journal Title, Date Range, and Scripture Citation.

Basic Search View

Advanced Search View

Boolean Operators

Religious and Theological Abstracts, like many databases and search engines, can be searched with the Boolean operators:  and, or, not.  To learn more about Boolean operators, check out this library guide from MIT: