The following library and Internet resources are geared toward the research needs of CSUN students taking Communication Studies 323: Group Communication.
- Choosing the best resources to use for research involves several factors, including assignment requirements, currency of the research topic, and the depth of coverage needed.
- Periodicals (magazines, newspapers, trade publications, and scholarly or peer-reviewed journals) are excellent sources of current and/or specific information for research projects. Often, they are considered primary sources for research.
- Why not use Wikipedia? View this video (Flash) from the Rutgers University Libraries on why Wikipedia is not the best source to use for research assignments.
- Periodical indexes or databases allow you to search for keywords to help you identify relevant articles. All of the databases listed below provide the full text for most of the articles they index.
- It's a good idea to formulate a search strategy before using a periodical database.
- Databases can be searched using Boolean Logic (AND, OR, NOT) and truncation/wildcards symbols (*, ?, etc.) to combine keywords and phrases to locate articles on specific topics.
- For a complete list of available databases, see Databases A-Z.
- FYI, you can also connect to the Library's databases and full-text periodicals from off campus
- Databases listed below that include this image allow you to limit search results to scholarly journal articles.
Good Places to Start for General Information:
- Gale Power Search
Simultaneously access 11 Gale databases to locate magazine articles, trade publications, 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 Resource Center in the "Books" results.
- Using Gale PowerSearch (Flash)
- Academic Search Elite (EBSCOHost)
- Provides full text for nearly 1,850 periodicals, including more than 1,250 peer-reviewed journals. In addition to the full text, indexing and abstracts are provided for all 3,237 periodicals in the collection. This database offers information in nearly every area of academic study, including communication studies. Allows limiting search results to peer-reviewed scholarly journals.
- CQ Researcher
CQ Researcher full-text reports offer in-depth, non-biased coverage of political and social issues, with regular reports on topics in health, international affairs, education, the environment, technology and the U.S. economy. Each 12,000-word report is a unique work, investigated and written by a seasoned journalist, including sections on background and chronology; an assessment of the current situation; tables and maps; pro/con statements from representatives of opposing positions; and bibliographies of key sources. Note: Since the reports are written by journalists, it is not considered a scholarly journal. Coverage is from 1991 to the present.
- LexisNexis Academic
- LexisNexis Academic is a full-text database containing news, legal, biographical, and business information from over 12,000 publications. Click on Easy Search (default) or Power Search from the General Searching toolbar, or News from the toolbar to search newspapers and other sources of news. Note: Easy Search does not use Boolean (AND, OR, NOT) operators and searches large groups of the most popular sources, including news, legal, people, companies, and countries. The News "All News" search option allows Boolean logic, searching within specific parts of a document (headline and lead paragraph, author/byline, etc.), and the ability to search more specific sources, such as "U.S. Newspapers and Wires," "Major World Publications," "Blogs," TV and radio news "broadcast transcripts," and "newswires." In addition, the News search, allows easy limits to reviews, editorials, and obituaries. Dates of coverage in LexisNexis vary by publication. NOTE: Due to publisher restrictions, Lexis Nexis Academic users may only access the latest 6 months of the Los Angeles Times. Use Proquest Newspapers for complete coverage of the Los Angeles Times online.
- 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.
Highly Recommended for Information About Groups:
- Researching Ethnic and Cultural Groups in Los Angeles
- Links to library databases, reference materials, and other resources on researching specific groups, including suggested keywords.
- AgeLine used to be freely available on the AARP web site. Unfortunately, we do not have a subscription to it. Try the other databases listed on the Gerontology resources web page as well as the other databases listed on this web page. See also AgingStats.gov for data and special reports from government agencies.
- Ethnic NewsWatch (ProQuest)
- Full text articles from more than 270 ethnic, minority and native press publications, including newspapers, magazines and journals, 1960 to present.
- GenderWatch (ProQuest)
- Contains unique and diverse publications that focus on how gender impacts a broad spectrum of subject areas. With archival material dating back to 1970, GenderWatch is a repository of an important historical perspective on the evolution of both the women's movement and major changes in gender roles.
- PsycINFO (EBSCOHost)
- PsycINFO or Psychological Abstracts, from the American Psychological Association (APA), contains nearly 2.3 million citations and summaries of scholarly journal articles, book chapters, books, and dissertations, all in psychology and related disciplines, dating as far back as the 1800s. Ninety-seven percent of the covered material is peer-reviewed. Journal coverage, which spans 1887 to present, includes international material selected from approximately 2,050 periodicals in more than 25 languages.
- Social Services Abstracts (CSA)
- Indexes and abstracts over 1,300 publications containing current research focused on social work, human services, and related areas, including social welfare, social policy, and community development.
- Sociological Abstracts (CSA)
- Sociological Abstracts abstracts and indexes the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences from 1963 to present. The database provides abstracts of journal articles and citations to book reviews drawn from over 1,700 serials publications, and also provides abstracts of books, book chapters, dissertations, and conference papers. Records added after 1974 contain in-depth and non-evaluative abstracts of journal articles.
Specialized Resources for Communication Studies:
- 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. A list of journal titles covered by CMMC is available.
- Sage Journals Online
- Full text access to journals in the social sciences, humanities, and sciences, including almost 20 communication and media studies journals.
Books, Media, and Government Information
- Books, media, and government information may be searched in the Library Catalog by author, title, Library of Congress Subject Heading or keyword. For books not held by the Oviatt Library, request an Interlibrary Loan or search WorldCat to see if other local libraries have the books you need.
- The Library Catalog lists relevant Library of Congress Subject Headings and links to books under subject headings such as, Small Groups and Communication in small groups.
- Communication is also used as a subheading under a particular group, e.g., Women-communication, African Americans-communication, Aged-communication, etc.
Facts, Opinions & Statistics
The following web sites can lead you to facts, opinions, statistics, and background information to support your research.
- American Factfinder (Population, housing, economic, and geographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau.)
- Credo Reference ("Online reference collection providing access to a selection of over 240 reference works, including encyclopedias, dictionaries, biographies and books of quotations.")
- Gale Virtual Reference Library (encyclopedias, almanacs, and specialized reference sources)
- Government Publications on Social Issues (Good for topic selection and links to government reports and data.)
- Legal Research (links to primary sources of court cases, laws, regulations, and treaties as well as secondary research materials)
- News on the Web (Links to the web sites of local, national, and international broadcast news and newspapers.)
- NewsBank Special Reports (Focus on topics of current interest, including current and background information, statistics, maps, images, web sites, and suggested search terms. Updated daily.)
- Public Opinion Polls and Surveys
- SAGE Reference Online: Communication & Media Studies
- Statistical Data Sources (Links to various government and private sources of statistical data, including how-to guides.)
In addition to the databases and Web sites listed above, the Internet can be a valuable source of information. However, remember to think critically about the authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency, and coverage of the information you find.
- Internet Search Engines - (links to favorite search engines of CSUN librarians)
- SearchEngineWatch - (comprehensive directory of search engines by type)
- Evaluating Web Pages - (criteria used to critically evaluate web pages)
Citing Your Sources
- MLA, APA, & Other Citation Style Guides
- Citation Machine - (Provides an interactive tool to help create reference citations for research papers. Includes various print and electronic resources. Note web site disclaimer before using.)
Prepared by Kathy Dabbour, Communication Studies & Journalism Librarian