Communication Studies

This is a guide for students doing research in Communication Studies

Library Research Guide


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 Communication Studies:

Use journal title limit to select communication journals in Proquest Research library

Other Useful Databases:

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.

Communication and Mass Media Complete

  • The first line is: "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 is "politic*".
    • The asterisk allows it to be a longer word, so we will get politics, political, politicians, etc.
  • The "AND" on the left means that we need something from the first line AND something from the second line

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! Interlibrary Loan usually gets materials very quickly, but it can take 1-2 business days for articles and 3-10 business days for books (or longer if you are off campus).

Click on “Not Available? Request from Interlibrary Loan” from the Get It menu or “Interlibrary Loan” on the library home page. For more information, see our Interlibrary Services page.

Interlibrary Loan link on Get It menu