Philosopher's Index User Guide

Philosopher's Index, covers materials published from 1940 to present. The database includes materials from journals and books in philosophy and related topics, and covers the areas of ethics, aesthetics, social philosophy, political philosophy, epistemology, and metaphysical logic as well as the philosophy of law, religion, science, history, education, and language.

Use the Quick Search or Advanced Search methods for searching in Philosopher's Index.

Quick Search:
In the text entry box, type search terms separated by a Boolean operator (and, or, not, or near), then click "Search." For example, epistemology and feminism will find items which include both terms. Terms may also be truncated to search multiple terms in one search, e.g., epistemolog? will retrieve epistemology, epistemologies, etc.

Advanced Search:

  1. The Advanced Search allows for increased search capability. Search up to three words in each line of a search strategy with a combination of three sets of terms within specific fields of the record - combine terms and fields (additional rows for search terms may be added). Enter a single or multiple words in the text boxes. Choose Anywhere to search for the words in all fields of a record. If desired, choose a specific field of a record to limit the search (Abstract, Author, Descriptors, Title, Source, Keywords, etc.). ALERT: Within each set, terms typed in any of the three text boxes are combined with an or operator only.
  2. To search an author's name, use the last name first name or last name first-second initials (e.g., smith john or sutherland wj) as name entries vary.
  3. Combine sets of terms: use the drop down menu of operators, and, or, or not.
  4. Searches can be limited to a specific date range, to journal articles only, English language, or to the latest update. The latest update refers to the records most recently added to the database.
  5. Click the Search button.


A search can be limited to various indexes/limits offered. Select an author, specific descriptors, a known journal title, and/or a publication type by using the options given. Browse through the lists to make choices when needed. The same index options can be accessed under "Search Tools."


Search History:

To see previous searches, click on "Search History" on the menu bar at the top. Each query will appear as a line in the "Search" area of the screen. Click on the link next to any search phrase in this list to display the list of results for that query.

Combine previous searches by checking the boxes next to queries to be combined, then click on the "combine" button: use and to narrow the search or or to broaden the search. Selected lines from the search history may be edited or deleted.

Displaying/Locating Search Results:

At the top of the results display, the number of results for the query will be noted; entries will be displayed in a brief format. Move through the pages of search results by clicking on the appropriate arrows. To view the complete record of an individual entry, click on "View Record" from that entry. The complete entry will have full bibliographic information, assigned descriptors, and other field information. To return to the results list in brief display, click on "Return to Results." To make a marked list of articles wanted, check the box for each item, then "Update Marked List." To retrieve only those selected items, click on the "Marked Records" link in the upper right.

From within an entry, click on "FindIt" to check whether the UWM Libraries carry the book or journal title; if the journal is available full text in another online index, a link will appear. For those journal titles not available online and for all book titles, follow the link to PantherCat, the online catalog. Do not check the catalog for the article name or book chapter name.

Limit Search Results:

Limit the results by type of publication by clicking on the appropriate option above the results list.

Print / Save/ Email & RefWorks Options:
To print/save/email multiple records, mark each record selected.
Click the Save/Print/Email Records link.
Choose a specific format in which the records will be printed. Options include: short (title, author, source), full, or full without refs. If this is not selected, the default display is full record.Citations can be saved in several formats: the default format is PC.Fill in the email address where the citations should be sent.Export to RefWorks.
Click the Print button.Click the Save button. Choose File--Save As from the browser menu, then choose a:\ drive from the drop down menu.The 'from' email address can be the same as the address entered in the 'to' address box. Only records for published works will be processed.
Click the browser print icon or select File � Print from the browser menu to proceed with printing.Click Ok.Click the Email button after both email addresses have been entered.Follow the instructions for RefWorks.


Help is available at any point during the search by clicking on Help in the menu bar on the upper right side of the screen.

Exiting the database:

Click on in the menu bar on the upper right side of the screen to exit the database.

llb: 04/24/2008

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page contact: Linda Brothen