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This guide is meant to point researchers in the direction of commonly-used Philosophy resources available at Illinois State University. There are also resources and search strategies to support ISU's Religious Studies minor

What's on this Page

The boxes below will walk you through how to use PhilPapers. General search techniques shown in these videos and walkthroughs should help no matter what database you use, but this content is meant to highlight this particular resource. If you need more assistance, please contact me using the information in my profile or reach out to Milner's reference desk.

Using PhilPapers

Using Philpapers Account:

First, open Philpapers (see link above). Then, click Create an Account in the top right corner of the page.

philpapers home page, highlighting create account link



A registration page will open. Enter the required information. Make sure you use your Illinois State University email address to make it easier for Philpapers to connect your profile to ISU. Then click the verify button. Finally, click the Submit button at the bottom of the page.

registration page


Once you are done entering your personal information, you will need to connect your account with Illinois State. To do so, click the gear button to the right of your name, then click Edit affiliations. This account has already been created and affiliated. The page should look like this when you connect your account to Illinois State.



A box will pop up where you add affiliations. Begin entering in the name of the University (Illinois State). As you begin to type, a list of predefined colleges will appear. Select the correct one. Next, identify your department (department of Philosophy).

affiliation page

Next choose your role (faculty, grad student, undergraduate, etc.). If you are connected with more than one institution, you can add more with the Add Affiliation button. When you are finished, click save.


affiliation page cont.


Once you have completed your profile, you have access to the full power of Philpapers, including checking if Milner Library has full text access to individual articles. To determine full text access, first choose an article. From the record page for that article, scroll midway down the page until you see Download Options. Under that section will be External Links and Through your Library.

article record page

External Links allows you gain access to the full text if Milner (or an open sources third party) has a subscription to that journal. Clicking one of the links that says via Illinois State University will take you to the full text through that subscription service.

Through your Library allows you to search through Milner's databases to see if the library has full text access from one of our larger databases. For a more in-depth explanation of how Find it works, watch this video (video link).

Below is a walkthrough that goes over some of the basic functions of using PhilPapers to browse.

From the homepage, hover over the Browse button at the top of the screen. This will show you the list of categories that PhilPapers collects. Once you've selected a category, you can either click that category to see the total number of titles listed for that one or you can browse through the list of subcategories listed within each category (see image).

philpapers page highlightin browse feature

Once you've selected a category/subcategory, PhilPapers will take you to a new page  which shows you the total number of titles available within that subcategory. Each of these pages will give you even more details. For example, within the category, "Philosophy of Gender, Race, and Sexuality," there are several subcategories, like "Feminist Theory." Within each subcategory are themes and sub-themes. These will help you find the most relevant categories for your research.

philpapers browse page

Clicking on a specific category/theme will first show you "sibling" or related themes. Underneath that list is the list of actual article titles. Clicking the title of an article will give you more information about that title. The objective of PhilPapers is not to collect the full text of articles, but rather to give lists of articles that are published within particular topics. A good number of these articles are not available as full text through PhilPapers. Clicking the "direct download" link lets you check full text availability. If PhilPapers doesn't have the article you're looking for, copy the title and paste it into Milner's article search to see if the library has a copy.


philpapers browse feature highlighting synonyms