Sometimes, getting started on a research project can be the toughest part. General resources, such as an encyclopedia, are great for getting a general overview of a topic. Check out this selection of electronic reference resources for communication:
- Body Image in Girls and Young Women from the Encyclopedia of Children, Adolescents, and the Media
- Party Identification from the Encyclopedia of Political Communication
Key Communication Databases
Communication and Mass Media Complete This database includes full text for nearly 200 journals. Many major journals have indexing, abstracts, PDFs and searchable citations from their first issues to the present.
Communication Abstracts Abstracts articles from journals, conference proceedings and hard-to-find documents. Includes scientific research and government policies.
ComAbstracts From the Communication Institute for Online Scholarship, this is a database of the abstracts of primary literature for communication studies.
ComIndex Also from the Communication Institute for Online Scholarship, provides complete coverage of over 50 scholarly journals.
Article Database Search Tips
- Use synonyms, brainstorm and mine found resources
- Notice controlled vocabulary, index, descriptor and subject terms. Take good notes!
- Use truncation to search for all terms with the same root: child* for child, children and childhood
- Combine terms with boolean operators, AND contains both terms, OR contains at least one term
- Search phrases; quotes work for most databases
- Use dropdown menu or radio buttons to limit search to fields such as title, subject, abstract, descriptors
- Save time and frustration with the Help menu: every database has one!
Finding Articles in Full Text
Once you have identified a useful article, check to see whether it is available in full text from that database. You will see a link or an icon for an HTML or PDF version of the article (sometimes the full article is displayed below the abstract). If the article is not available in full text through that database, it may still be available through another resource. Click the find it button to see if it is available. This will take you to the 360Link screen:
Even though you have been using APA style for the past 4 years, you may be full of dread at the thought of writing your reference list. The library is here to help!
Whether writing your reference list by hand or proofreading a Refworks bibliography, you will definitely need to have the APA rules on hand. Check out the resources below:
- If you need to see the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association-the official authority on all things APA-stop by the Information Desk to browse a copy.
- If you find the Publication Manual confusing or scary (or both), try the APA Online Tutorial. This video guide is clear and easy to watch. It gives a thorough overview of how to format your paper and cite your sources.
- For those trickier scenarios (how do I cite my class notes? how do I cite a blog post?), try searching the APA Style Blog. This is another official APA site, so it is an authoritative source.
- The Purdue OWL is a clear and easy to understand source of information for how to use APA style. Since it is not an official publication of the APA, check the Publication Manual when in doubt.
RefWorks is a Web-based software package designed to help you easily gather, manage, store and share all types of information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies.
See the Library Guide to Refworks for more information.
- Good Research Handout
- PowerPoint Version of Workshop (Fall 2011)
- APA Article Citation Proofreading Exercise (Fall 2011)
- Wikipedia vs. E-Reference Exercise (Fall 2010)
- Article Database Exercise (Fall 2010)