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COMM 550 - Senior Colloquium

A research guide for students in Communication Studies Senior Colloquium

Finding resources - articles


To get to databases, go to the Libraries’ home page and click on databases below the Search It box. Databases will find journal, magazine, and newspaper articles (and in some cases other materials like book chapters, dissertations, conference presentations, pamphlets, etc.) 

Recommended databases for this class include:

Communication & Mass Media Complete - Our main communications database.

ProQuest Research Library - A broad, general database, but one that includes many communications journals. Limit your search by putting "communication*" in the publication title as part of your search:

Proquest Research Library communication journals

Other Useful Databases:

PsycINFO - Search psychology topics. Provides many useful search limits and a thesaurus that allows you to search for synonyms and related terms, as well as a limit for qualitative research methodology.

Web of Science - In addition to searching by keyword, subject, author, etc. for articles in over 8,000 journals, you can do a "cited reference" search to see how frequently and where an article has been cited. Web of Science includes Social Sciences Citation Index.  Scopus also does cited reference searching, as does Google Scholar (I don't recommend Google Scholar for general searching - it's too broad and doesn't give you good control over your search terms or ways to limit your search).

SAGE Research Methods Online - A reference resource that will help you understand methods and create research projects.

Because Communication Studies is so interdisciplinary, your topic might fall in a subject area that would be covered by another database. Use the dropdown "All Subjects" box on our databases page to see the subject listings, or ask a librarian for help picking one that would be good for your topic.

And a few more to be aware of:

Dissertations and Theses Full-Text – Find full-text copies of most dissertations written after 1996, and many earlier. If the full-text is not available, you may request it through Interlibrary Loan.

K-REx - K-State Research Exchange provides access to scholarly materials created by K-State faculty and students, including journal articles, conference papers, technical reports, white papers, electronic thesis/dissertation/reports (ETDR) and other digital resources.

Finding resources - books


Use the Search It box on the Libraries' home page to find books and other materials owned by K-State Libraries. 

WorldCat contains Information about books, serials, videos, and other items cataloged by institutions including K-State. It contains more than 57 million records with bibliographic information and information regarding which libraries hold the item in question. If K-State does not own the item you need, use Get It to request it through Interlibrary Loan.

Google Books lists almost every book ever published, and will often give you a preview of the contents of the book. If K-State does not own the item you need, you can fill out an Interlibrary Loan Request.

How to search

Most databases, although they look different, search in similar ways. You can search the databases in many ways to find relevant research, including:

  • If the database has a thesaurus, use it to help you find appropriate subject terms.

  • Use a keyword search for the specific subject you are interested in (race, postmodernism, leadership, etc...).

  • Use OR when you want to find either of the search terms, AND when you want both.

  • Try truncating keywords using asterisks: ethnograph* to get ethnography or ethnographic.

  • Put phrases in quotes: “case study” “feminist theory”

  • Use limits to help find the specific kind of article you want. Most databases allow you to limit to scholarly or peer-reviewed articles.

Here is an example of a search using Communications & Mass Media Complete. The first line searches for "feminist theory" or "feminist critique". The quotation marks mean that it will search for the words together as a phrase, the OR means that the records you find will have either of those phrases. The second line searches for "politic*". The asterisk allows it to be a longer word, so we will get politics, political, politicians, etc.

Communication and Mass Media Complete

Getting the articles

Many of the articles you find will be available online. If you don’t see the full text on the database you are searching, use the Get It button to see if the full text of the article is available through another source. 

If you find a citation to something that we don’t own, most of the time we can borrow it from another library. Please allow yourself enough time to do this! It takes up to 2-5 business days for articles and 5-7 business days for books (or longer if you are off campus). Click on “Interlibrary Loan” on the library home page or “Not Available?” from the Get It menu. For more information, see our Interlibrary Services page.

Search illustrating the Get It link to find the article or request it via Interlibrary Loan

ILL from Get It