COMS 428: Freedom of Speech: Find Articles

Overview

  • Start with the OneSearch box on the Library home page to search across most of the Library’s databases and the Library catalog for books and media. Watch our video tutorial or read the FAQ to learn more about OneSearch. 
  • Library databases allow you to search for keywords to help you identify relevant resources.
  • All of the databases listed below provide the full text for most of the articles they index.
  • For a complete list of available databases, see Databases A-Z or Find Articles by Subject.

Article Indexes/Databases

Good Databases to Start With:

Communication and Mass Media Complete (EBSCOhost)
Indexes and abstracts over 600 journals and trade publications; includes full text for over 240 journals. CMMC incorporates the content of CommSearch (formerly produced by the National Communication Association) and Mass Media Articles Index (formerly produced by Penn State). Subjects covered include communication studies, journalism, mass media, speech, linguistics, communicative disorders, deaf studies, advertising, and related areas of interest to practitioners and educators in these fields. Dates of coverage vary by journal.
Film and Television Literature Index
Indexes over 350 U.S. and international film and television periodicals, including popular magazines, scholarly journals, and trade publications. In addition, selected content is chosen from thousands of additional publications that contain relevant content. Dates of coverage vary.
LexisNexis Academic
LexisNexis Academic is a full-text database containing news, legal, biographical, and business information. U.S. Legal includes law review journal articles, U.S. and state Supreme Court and Appellate Court cases, U.S. District court cases, U.S. and state codes and constitutions; and the Code of Federal Regulations. Easy Search (default) searches large groups of the most popular sources, including recent court cases and law review journals, in addition to newspapers, news broadcast transcripts, company information, and Blogs.
Gale Power Search
Simultaneously access 11 Gale databases to locate magazine articles, academic journal articles, news, reference books, Web sites, and multimedia resources. Includes "Viewpoint" (pro/con) essays and topic overviews on controversial issues from Opposing Viewpoints in Context in the "books" results.

Additional Databases

Academic Search Premier (EBSCOhost)
Provides full text for nearly 4,600 periodicals, including more than 3,900 full-text peer-reviewed journals.  This database offers information in nearly every area of academic study. Allows limiting search results to peer-reviewed scholarly journals. 
International Political Science Abstracts (EBSCOHost)
Includes current indexing and abstracts of nearly 900 journals in political science, from 1989 to the present.
JSTOR
Comprehensive archive of back issues of core scholarly journals in the arts, business, humanities, sciences, and social sciences.
Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (EBSCOHost)
Freedom of Speech, Banned books, censorship, etc. are critically important to librarians. Indexes more than 600 periodicals in library and information science, plus books, research reports and proceedings. 1960s- present.
ProQuest Newspapers
Full text for 500+ U.S. and international news sources. Includes coverage of 150+ major U.S. newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the Chicago Tribune, plus hundreds of other news sources and news wires. Click the More Search Options link from the main search screen to reveal choices for limiting by Document Type, such as editorial, speech, and review.

Developing a Search Strategy

  1. Once you have chosen a topic, write it down in the form of a question or brief statement:
    What is the relationship between SAT scores and college success?
  2. Underline the key words and phrases that are most specific to your topic.
    What is the relationship between SAT scores and college success?
  3. Write down each key word or phrase, and underneath it, list synonyms or related terms.
    Use a dictionary or thesaurus to find additional keywords. For example:

    SAT

    • scholastic aptitude test

    college

    • university

    success

    • achievement
  4. Think about the singular, plural, and other endings of words and write down the root of the word.
    • SAT
    • scholastic aptitude test
    • college, colleges -- college
    • university, universities -- universit
    • success, successful, succeed -- succe
    • achievement, achieve, achiever -- achieve
  5. Write down your key words and phrases along with their synonyms in the form of a Boolean search statement. Use the root word, and truncate it with an asterisk (*). Note: Different databases use different truncation or wildcard symbols. Check the database's help page. For example:

    (SAT or scholastic aptitude test) and (college* or universit*) and (sucee* or achieve*)

Boolean Operators

Boolean operators are words (or, and, not) used to connect search terms to expand (or) or narrow (and, not) a search within a database to locate relevant information. Boolean operators are also called logical operators or connectors.

It is helpful to diagram the effects of these operators:

Or Relationship Image

women or females

Or retrieves records that contain any of the search terms. It expands the search. Therefore, use "or" in between terms that have the same meaning (synonyms) or equal value to the search.

And Relationship Image

women and media

And retrieves records that contain all of the search terms. It narrows or limits the search. Therefore, use "and" in between terms that are required to make the search specific.

Not Relationship Image

image not weight

Not eliminates records that contain a search term. It narrows or limits the search. Therefore, use "not" in front of a term to ensure that the search will not include that term. Warning: Some databases use "and not" instead of "not." Check the database help screen.

Truncation

  • Most databases allow for a symbol to be used at the end of a word to retrieve variant endings of that word. This is known as truncation.
  • Using truncation will broaden your search. For example,

    bank* will retrieve: bank or banks or banking or banker or bankruptcy, etc.

  • Databases and Internet search engines use different symbols to truncate. In general, most of the Library's databases use the asterisk (*) ; however, the exclamation point (!) is used in LexisNexis. Check the database help screen to find the correct truncation symbol.
  • Be careful using truncation. Truncating after too few letters will retrieve terms that are not relevant. For example:

    cat* will also retrieve cataclysm, catacomb, catalepsy, catalog, etc.

    It's best to use the boolean operator "or" in these instances (cat or cats).

Access Databases from Off Campus

Only current CSUN students, faculty and staff can access our databases from off campus. To access the databases from off campus, click the name of the database. You will then see a screen asking you to log in, using your CSUN User ID and password (the same ID and password you use to log in to the portal).

For more information, see Accessing Library Resources from Off-Campus and the Library's Copyright Statement (in particular, the Appropriate Use of Oviatt Library's Electronic Resources section).

Check for Full Text Using Find Text

If the article isn't available full text in the database you are searching, click the Find Text button to see if we have access to the full text through another database or in print. A new page opens that will have one or more of the following links:

  • Full text available via [database name]: Click to access the full-text online. If the link takes you to a publication-level page, you can navigate to the article by first choosing the correct year, then the correct month or volume number, then the issue, and then selecting the article from the displayed table of contents.
  • We have this. Check availability in CSU Northridge Catalog: We have the article in print. Click to view the catalog record for the journal or magazine. You'll need to note the call number and then go to the fourth floor to get the article.
  • Request document via Interlibrary Loan: We do not have the article online or in print. You can request the article via interlibrary loan (takes approximately ten working days).

For more information, see About Find Text.