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The following library and Internet resources are geared toward the research needs of CSUN students taking Communication Studies 454: Communication & Technology.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Encyclopedia of Communication and Information
- Gale Virtual Reference Library (over 100 online encyclopedias, almanacs, and specialized reference sources)
- Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project (reports and statistics on Internet use)
- Public Opinion Polls and Surveys
- SAGE Reference Online (online encyclopedias for communications, media, science, technology)
- Statistical Data Sources
- It's a good idea to formulate a search strategy before using a periodical database.
- The following databases use Boolean Logic (AND, OR, NOT) and truncation/wildcards symbols (*, ?, etc.) for combining 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
The following list of databases search for magazines, scholarly journals, and/or newspapers among other general or multi-subject sources.
- 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. Can also be searched simultaneously with Communication and Mass Media Complete.
- 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.
- LexisNexis Academic
- LexisNexis Academic is a full-text database containing news, legal, biographical, and business information from over 12,000 publications. Note: The Easy Search forms do not use Boolean (AND, OR, NOT) operators and search large groups of the most popular sources, including news, legal, people, companies, and countries. The All News search form 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.
Communication and Technology Related Databases:
The following databases search for mostly scholarly or sometimes trade publications in communications and technology fields.
- 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. Can also be searched simultaneously with Academic Search Elite, Film & Television Literature Index, and other EbscoHost databases.
- Computer Database (Gale)
- Indexes 659 computer journals with full text articles for about half, 1980-present. Use this database to find computer-related product introductions, news, reviews, and research in areas such as hardware, software, electronics, engineering, communications, Internet, virtual reality, multimedia, and the application of technology.
- Film & Television Literature Index (EBSCOHost)
- 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.
- Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (EBSCOHost)
- Issues such as freedom of speech, censorship, Internet filtering, and technology's effect on communication are covered in the library and information science journals, which are indexed and abstracted in LISTA. Can also be searched simultaneously with Communication and Mass Media Complete and Academic Search Elite.
- Sage Journals Online
- Full text access to journals in the social sciences, humanities, and sciences, including almost 20 communication and media studies journals.
- ScienceDirect (Elsevier)
Index with abstracts to over 1,700 scientific journals published by Elsevier; with full-text access to over 1,400 journals.
- Wiley Online Library
Full text access to over 1,200 journals covering life, health and physical sciences, social science, and the humanities.
- Wilson OmniFile Full Text Mega
Cross searching of General Science Full Text, Applied Science & Technology Full Text, Biological & Agricultural Index, plus Art Full Text, Business Full Text, Education Full Text, Humanities Full Text, Library Literature & Information Science Full Text, Readers' Guide Retrospective, Readers' Guide Full Text, and Social Sciences Full Text; and Index to Legal Periodicals Full Text.
These databases can be used to find various aspects of technology and communication from different perspectives or theories.
- ABI/INFORM and ProQuest Business Databases
- Access to almost 3000 full- text business journals, many full text newspapers/newsletters and company reports, from 1971 to present. Good for articles on organizational communication, public relations, media business, and related areas.
- 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.
- 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.
Books, Media, & 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 materials not held by the Oviatt Library, request an Interlibrary Loan or search WorldCat to see if other local libraries have the books you need.
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
- Son of 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.)
- Why Cite? Avoiding Plagiarism
- Interactive Tutorial on How to Avoid Plagiarism (Flash) from Rutgers University
Prepared by Katherine Dabbour, Communication Studies and Journalism Librarian