Collection Development Policy Statement: Communication Studies

The collection supports and sustains the research needs of undergraduate and graduate students and faculty based on the curriculum in the Communication Studies department.

The department offers Bachelor's and Master's degrees. Four options are possible for the undergraduate degree, with two of the options being interdepartmental requiring classes in the English, Journalism, and Cinema/TV/Film departments. See the COMS Undergraduate Degree Requirements and Graduate Degree Requirements for the list of courses for which library materials are acquired.

Scope of the Collection:

Core topics:

  • Performance, language, and cultural studies
  • Rhetorical discourse and theory
  • Communication theory
  • Intercultural communication

Communication practices and methods:

  • Public speaking
  • Argumentation, debates and debating
  • Rhetorical criticism
  • Communication research methodology
  • Narrative performance

Communication contexts:

  • Rhetoric of: law, business, advertising, politics, technology; interpersonal communication, organizational communication

Communication, language, and meaning:

  • Poetry in performance
  • Communicative functions of language
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Theories of interpretation
  • Language and symbolic processes
  • Persuasion

Communication, culture, and society:

  • Freedom of speech
  • Rhetoric of popular culture
  • Mass communication and media (when more than one medium is covered and not strictly journalism)
  • Communication and the sexes
  • Rhetoric of women
  • Rhetoric of peace and conflict
  • Rhetoric of crime and punishment

Communication and community leadership:

  • Group communication
  • Directing oral performance
  • Performance and social change

Non-Subject Parameters:

Language: English will be the primary language of the collection. Materials in other languages will be considered upon request or as deemed relevant to the curriculum.

Chronological Guidelines: Current research should be emphasized, but gaps in historical studies should be filled in. Primary emphasis is placed on 20th and 21st Centuries.

Publication dates: Currently published material is emphasized, but older materials may be purchased on request or to fill gaps in the collection.

Geographical Guidelines: Greatest emphasis should be on the United States, but materials related to other countries are collected selectively as related to class curriculum, particularly related to intercultural or comparative international communication.

Materials Collected: Books, periodicals; reference materials, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies, directories, indices and abstracts are limited to those considered key to the discipline.

Collected Selectively: Electronic resources, proceedings, multimedia, and microforms. The Library subscribes to many databases relevant to the field of communication studies. See database list for communication studies.

Selection tools, utilities and review sources:


Updated June 2, 2003 by Kimberly Embleton; Revised April 22, 2008 and updated 8/24/09 by Katherine Dabbour