COM 275: Foundations of Communication Research: Articles/Journals/Databases

Scholarly Journals

Scholarly research: "Primary research conducted by academic researchers and distributed through academic publications with the desire to build theory" (Davis Lachlan, p. 23).

How do you access scholarly journals? Ignore the Davis Lachlan textbook p. 54, and instead, use the Databases below.

For example, a search in Communication Source database using "or" between synonyms to broaden the search ("or" gets more results and is in the word "more"). The database automatically puts "AND" between rows to combine different ideas; "and" narrows the search and gets fewer results. The asterisk at the end of communicat* is a wildcard and this will search for any variation (communicate, communicating, communication, etc.). Use the left menu to click the box for Peer Reviewed.

Communications databases

Evaluating information

The keys are to:

  1. Look for independent information about the creator/s, funding, opinions or viewpoints, and statements
  2. Spend more time double-checking facts externally rather than using time to look at the original source of information
  3. Delay clicking: spend time to skim the results after you search; read bits and pieces before choosing to click any link
  4. Use these techniques with all types of information – books, videos, articles, websites, etc.

Search tips for finding articles

  • use "quotation marks" around phrases
  • truncate - shorten a word to its trunk or root to get alternate endings - with an asterisk * (shift 8), e.g., truncat* finds truncate, truncated, truncation
  • apply Boolean connector AND to combine unlike ideas, e.g., dance AND promotion
  • apply Boolean connector OR to connect synonyms, e.g., advertisements OR campaigns

Put it all together:

  • "hip hop dance" in one box
  • AND (promot* OR advertis* OR campaigns) in the next box
  • use parentheses in single-box searching - when you don't have another set of boxes, e.g.,:
  • "hip hop dance" AND (promot* OR advertis* OR campaigns)

Use the left or right menus to narrow your results, e.g., by language, date, subject, etc.

Databases have a citation (information about an article such as the title, author, name of the journal or magazine, volume and issue (which correspond to the date), date, and pages) and sometimes they will also contain an abstract, or summary, of the article.

Databases also often cite multiple types of resources - books, essays or chapters, government documents, etc.

Some databases will also have the complete item (called the full text): you should see a link to an HTML or PDF document. Or click on Get it @ GVSU - this will check the other library databases for the full text of the article.

  • Last Updated: May 23, 2022 2:38 PM
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