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Using our site

Direction journal is published in hard copy twice annually, in spring and in fall. The table of contents of the current issue is posted immediately on this website, at which time full-text articles of the previous issue are made available on the site. Full-text articles are available for all back issues. You may access a complete set of indexes from 1972 to the present, and do searches on titles and full-text of articles and book reviews.

Reading issues online

If you do not have a subscription to Direction journal, you can still use our site to read archived issues. The easiest way to do this is by clicking Issues and choosing the issue you would like to read. Many issues have a theme; these are displayed on the Issues page along with the year and volume information.

Once you click on a back issue, you will see the table of contents for that issue. If the full text of articles for this issue are online, there will be a small cover graphic at the top of the page. If so, you can read the entire issue by clicking on the first article, and then using the Next and Previous buttons on each article page to navigate. Of course, you can also selectively view articles. If an article has endnotes, you can click on the note numbers in the article text to jump to the respective endnote.

If you cannot click on an article, it is because that article has not yet been added to our website. As described above, the most recent issue of the journal does not have the articles online.

Locating articles

There are three primary ways to find articles on the Direction journal website. If you know which issue the article was in, use the Issues page. If you know the subject, beginning word or words of the title, or author’s last name, use one of the Indexes. If you want to look for articles containing certain words, or with certain names in the author field, use the Search feature.

To use the Issues page, see the previous section of this guide. In what follows are some tips for the other methods.

Using the indexes

When using the Indexes, first narrow your search to either book reviews or other articles. Then, click the appropriate type of index, such as By Title or By Author. For the index By Subject, you need to first select a category from the list shown.

For the author, title, or reviewer indexes, the results will start by showing the letter A. You can select another letter to move to those results. Please note that for the author and reviewer results, only the primary name is listed. If two people cowrote an article or book, the index will only sort by the first person’s name. To find all articles or reviewed books written or cowritten by a person, use the Search feature.

Once you have found the article you are looking for, you can click on it. If the article is online, this will take you to the article text. Otherwise, it will take you to the table of contents for the issue containing that article.

The most powerful way to find an article is through our Search engine. You can enter a simple search or a more complex search.

For a simple search, just type in the word or words you are looking for, and click Search. This will use the default options: all articles and book reviews will be searched; only the title, author and notes will be searched; only articles which contain all of the words you entered will be located. Up to fifty matching articles/book reviews will be returned, always sorted with newest matches first.

If you need more control, try setting some of the other search options. First, you can choose regarding words or phrases:

  • All words (the default). To be a match, an article or book review must contain all the words you entered. Sequence and proximity are disregarded. This is the best way to search for all articles and/or book reviews written by a particular person, including both those individually written and those cowritten (do not select the “Article text” option for such searches).
  • Any words. An article/book review will be identified if it contains any of the words you entered. Note that no preference is given to articles that match more than one word. For this reason, make sure you enter only necessary words, and avoid common words that would be found in many articles.
  • Phrase. This option allows you to choose a two-word (or longer) string, for example, “Anabaptist theology”. The words must be entered in the correct sequence. This feature is especially valuable for Bible references. You might search for all references to “Matthew 5” (“Matt. 5”, if in notes or parentheses), or “John 3:16”. See the list of Bible book abbreviations used in the journal. A period must be included at the end of the abbreviation: one must search for “Matt. 5” not “Matt 5”. Note that authors of articles, authors of reviewed books, and book reviewers are listed in Direction’s database last name first, unless they are a co-author or co-editor. To locate such persons as authors (or primary authors) using a phrase search, list as follows: “Toews, J. B.” But to find that person’s name in the text of an article or book review, or as a secondary author or editor, list in normal order: “J. B. Toews”.

Next, you can select what type of article information to search. By default, only the title and author will be searched (as well as the publication notes and publisher information for book reviews). You can also check the box beside Article text to search the full text of all articles that match the rest of the criteria and are online. If you are looking for a specific author, clear all the check boxes in this section except for Author(s).

In the next box, you can limit your search to certain types of articles. If you are looking for a book review, or a Hearing the Word article, choose the appropriate options here. Similarly, the next-to-last box allows you to limit your search to articles assigned to a certain subject category. Keep in mind that book reviews are not assigned to any category. The last box allows you to limit your search to a specific date range according to date of publication. Note: If the Search for box is left blank, a search will locate all articles of the type, subject category, or date range selected (up to the limit of 50).

After you have set all the options, click the Search button near the top of the page to find the results. As with the indexes, clicking an article in the results will take you to the full text of the article if it is online, and otherwise to the table of contents for the issue containing that article. When you have accessed a full-text article, you may jump to the word or words you were searching for by pressing Ctrl+F, typing the word(s), and pressing Enter.

Hopefully you will find what you are looking for! If not, you may want to contact us. We will do our best to help you find what you need.

Downloading and printing articles

Articles may be printed or downloaded for personal use only. No articles may be additionally reprinted in any form without permission of the Managing Editor,

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