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Mass Communication Research Resources: Find Articles


Periodicals (magazines, newspapers, trade publications, and scholarly journals) are excellent sources of current and/or specific information for research projects. Often, they are considered primary sources for research.

  • Use the OneSearch box on the Library home page to search across most of the Library’s article databases and the Library catalog to get started. Watch our video tutorial or read the FAQ to learn more about OneSearch.
  • The library databases listed below allow you to search for relevant articles by keywords and locate the full articles either online, in print in the library, or via Interlibrary Loan from another library.
  • Ulrichsweb.com (directory of periodicals searchable by title, subject; help determine if a journal is peer-reviewed, where it is indexed) 
  • To see a list of the journals specific to mass communication that the Oviatt Library subscribes to, from the Library Catalog's Basic search page, select keyword and enter mass communication periodicals or mass media periodicals in the Search for: box. From the Limit to: menu, change "entire collection" to "Periodicals/Serials," and then click Submit Search. Note: any periodical title proceeded by [electronic resource] or [online] means that it is available in full-text via the Internet.
  • For a complete list of available databases, see Databases A-Z or Find Articles by Subject.

General Newspaper and Magazine Databases

ABYZ Newspapers & News Media Guide
Exhaustive directory of links to newspapers and news media web sites arranged by region and country. Indicates the type of media (newspaper, broadcast, internet, magazine, press agency) and the media focus (business, general, sport, miscellaneous), as well as the language.
African American Newspapers, 1827-1998
A digital archive of more than 270 African American newspapers published in the 19th and 20th centuries.
California’s Historical Newspapers, 1850-1922  
Digital archive of American historical newspapers from California.
Daily News (Los Angeles)
The Oviatt Library subscribes to the Daily News online from 1989 to present in various databases, and in microfilm from 1981 to present. Under it's former titles: Van Nuys News and Valley Green Sheet, the Library has it on microfilm from 1911-1976 and as the Valley News and Greensheet from 1976-1981.
Ethnic NewsWatch (ProQuest)
Full text articles from more than 270 ethnic, minority and native press publications, including newspapers, magazines and journals, 1960 to present.
LexisNexis Academic
LexisNexis Academic is a full-text database containing news, legal, biographical, and business information from over 12,000 U.S. and international publications. Enter terms in the main search box to retrieve news, cases, law reviews, and company information relevant to your search. Results can be sorted by date or relevance, and narrowed down by type of source (newspapers, company, legal, subject, geography, etc.) Click on Search the News to directly search newspapers and other sources of news. (Search the News does not allow the use of Boolean (AND, OR, NOT) operators and truncation and searches large groups of the most popular news sources, such as newspapers, broadcast transcripts, and wire services.) Click Search by Content Type and then Advanced Options to search with Boolean operators and truncationand to locate more specific types of news sources. NOTE: Due to publisher restrictions, LexisNexis 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.
Los Angeles Times
The Oviatt Library subscribes to the online version of the Los Angeles Times from 1886 to the present via Proquest Newspapers. To search the current file from 1986 to present, select Proquest Newspapers, enter search terms and any relevant date limits, click the "more search options" tab, and enter "Los Angeles Times" in the publication title search box, then click "search." The Los Angeles Times Historical database provides cover-to-cover access from 1881-1986, including the advertisements and classifieds, in .PDF format.
New York Times
The Oviatt Library subscribes to the online version of the The New York Times from 1851 to the present via Proquest Newspapers. To search the current file from 1980 to present, select Proquest Newspapers, enter search terms and any relevant date limits, click the "more search options" tab, and enter "New York Times" in the publication title search box, then click "search." The New York Times Historical database provides cover-to-cover access from 1851-2003, including the advertisements and classifieds, in .PDF format.
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, including the Daily News. 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.

Specialized Databases for Mass Communication Research

Most specific for Mass Communication:

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 journalism, public relations, mass media, photojournalism, communication studies, 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.  Includes cited reference searching to find out who has cited a particular author.
Sage Journals Online
Full text access to journals in the social sciences, humanities, and sciences, including almost 20 communication and media studies journals.
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.
Directory of Open Access Journals: Media and Communications
Freely available scholarly and academic online journals.
Wiley Online Library: Communication & Media Studies Journals
Full text database includes journals and books in mass communication and media. While all Wiley content can be searched, CSUN on has access to those titles that have the "open lock" icon unlocked padlock icon .

Additional databases:

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.
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. 
Art Full Text (Wilson)
Covering 400 art publications, including those relevant to photojournalism and graphic design. Includes indexing 1984-, abstracts 1994-, and select full text 1997- .
A digital archive containing nearly 500,000 world art and architecture images, including an extensive collection of photographs from the renowned Magnum Photo group of documentary photographers. Requires Sun Java 1.3 and Flash Player 6.
Business Source Premier (EBSCOHost)
Business research database, providing full text for more than 2,300 journals, including full text for more than 1,100 peer-reviewed titles. Provides full text back to 1886, and searchable cited references back to 1998. Coverage in all disciplines of business, including marketing, management, MIS, POM, accounting, finance and economics.
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.
MLA International Bibliography (Gale)
MLA International Bibliography, which is a publication of the Modern Language Association of America, covers literatures, languages, linguistics, and folklore. From 1926 to present, it provides author and subject indexing to over 4,000 journals, as well as books, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations, and bibliographies.
Opposing Viewpoints In Context (Gale)
Search or browse controversial issues. Features "viewpoint articles" (pro/con arguments), topic overviews, full-text magazine, academic journal, and newspaper articles; primary source documents, statistics, images and podcasts, and links to web sites. Updated daily.
Project MUSE
Project Muse includes full-text scholarly journals in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences, including journals in film, theatre, and performing arts; classics, language, and music. A list of the journals covered by Project MUSE is available.

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).

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 diagram

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 diagram

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 diagram

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.

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.

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:


    • scholastic aptitude test


    • university


    • 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*)


  • 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).