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American Sign Language: Journals and Databases

This guide will cover research resources for American Sign Language (ASL) in reference books and e-books, books, journal articles, and Web resources

General Databases

The following are general library databases with some full-text articles from journals and other periodicals covering many subject areas.  They are not specific to any one field, but are multidisciplinary and worth consulting along with the subject-specific databases listed above.

  • ProQuest (Research Library) indexes over 4,700 journals, magazines, and newspapers many subject fields from approximately 1970 to the present, and includes full-text articles from over 3,300 journals.
  • Academic Search Premier from EBSCO has citations and abstracts from over 8,500 journals (4,600 with full-text articles) from 1975 to the present.

Databases for Journal Articles on American Sign Language

The following databases are useful for finding journal articles and other research sources various aspects of language, linguistics, TESL, and the psychological and social dimensions of language.  Many contain full-text articles, or have links to full-text or to document delivery request forms via Article Linker (the button). 

You will need to log in with your OSU email address and O-Key password to access these databases off-campus.  Click HERE to log in.

  • Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts (LLBA) from ProQuest covers all aspects of the study of language including American Sign Language and other sign languages, language teaching and acquisition, nonverbal communication, and other related topics. Indexing covers over 1,200 journals and other publications, with links to full-text of articles in hundreds of journals. Coverage is from 1973 to the present.
  • PsycINFO This database is published by the American Psychological Associations and provides comprehensive indexing and abstracts of the international psychological literature from the 1800s to the present. Documents indexed include journals, articles, books, dissertations and more. 90% of the 3,000+ titles indexed in APA PsycINFO® are peer-reviewed. Coverage: 1806 - current
  • MLA International Bibliography includes journal articles, books, book chapters, and dissertations on literature, folklore, as well as many aspects of linguistics and language.  Use American Sign Language as as subject term.  It covers ASL and foreign language teaching, and the history of languages.  There are many full-text journal articles and the database goes back to the 1920s.
  • Eric (via EBSCO) + Professional Development Collection covers all aspects of education including ASL, interpreting, instruction for the deaf, deaf schools, and other educational topics.  It has many full-text journal articles and links to PDFs for reports and other professional papers made available through the ERIC document clearinghouse.  HINT:  In ERIC, for articles on ASL, type the code DE "American Sign Language" (or Sign Language) in one of the search boxes, and then add additional keywords.
  • Project Muse has full-text journal articles in many fields of the social sciences and humanities, including language and linguistics and ASL.  Coverage ranges from the mid 1990s or the early 2000s to the present.
  • JSTOR has full-text articles from back issues of selected sign language and linguistics journals ranging from the 1950s to the 2000s.
  • Digital Dissertations/Dissertation Abstracts from ProQuest has the full text of doctoral dissertations in many different fields from universities in the United States and beyond.  OSU dissertations from 1961 to the present are included, and the database has dissertations from many universities from the late 1990s to the present.