A) First Steps
- Your OneCard is your library card. New cards should be automatically registered.
- Working from home? Log in first
- Developing a Research Question (video: 5:07)
- Creating a Search Strategy (video: 3:45)
For your assignment, you need to find:
- 8 items, minimum 4/maximum 6 peer-reviewed articles…
- 2 to 4 items must be books or book chapters…
- At least 5 should have been published since 2000 or after
- Sources must be from communication/media/cultural studies or cognate disciplines…
Sidebar: What about using Google Scholar?
- The biggest database in the world!
- Convenient, easy
- Good if you need to find a source quickly and you have a citation
- Good if using the “cited by” feature
The not so good:
- NOT only scholarly materials: Course syllabi, Academic blog articles, Discussion papers, "White papers," "think tank" papers – not all peer-reviewed
- No way to get only peer-reviewed; typing "peer-reviewed" in search box won’t work
- Weird and wonky: you can’t really refine the results properly
- "Commercial" results?
If you use Google scholar: if off-campus, follow the setup instructions here
B) To find scholarly, peer-reviewed articles
- Start at the Communication Studies Subject Guide
- Start with Communication Studies @EBSCOhost database bundle
- make sure you select the Scholarly or Peer-reviewed check box on the search page of the database to limit to scholarly articles
- Don't limit yourself to only 1 database; if results are not what you are needing, try another e.g. ProQuest
- Learn about different resource types:
- Break your research question down into specific concepts and subject terms; don't enter a question directly into a database
- E.g., don't search for "Fake news" and the culture of politics on social media
- Instead, look for specific terms and link them together, e.g. "fake news" AND politic* AND "social media"
- Use " " to search an exact phrase
- Use a * at the end of a word to search for all letter combinations (wildcard)
- The “AND” operator indicates the term must be included in our search
- Scan the abstracts for related subject headings (e.g. Fake News = False News in EBSCO)
- Add related terms using “OR” e.g. "Fake news" OR "False news" - searches for both phrases
To find articles published after 2000 (or any particular date)
- Look for the Limit area on the database's search page to limit to a particular month/year; often you can do this in the results listing as well
- keep track of where you look and the keywords you use
- start early. (library staff can deliver items from other libraries)
Additional Tips on Results:
- Change the default sort of results from "Newest" to "Relevance"
- Don't limit results only to "Full Text" in EBSCO; you'll miss a large set of full-text articles that can be accessed
C) To find 2 books or book chapters
Use the Primo Catalogue to identify books at Laurier, the Universities of Waterloo and Guelph, and the Annex
- Use the Advanced search; select the Books+ tab, and then select Resource Type: Books (drop down menu at right side)
- When using operators to connect terms remember Primo is case sensitive; type AND instead of and; other databases are not
- In your results list, use the Details tab for each book to find additional subject terms for books to add to your search
Additional book search tips
- Learn about call numbers
- Floor plans for locating books
- Requesting books from other libraries (note videos)
D) Finding sources in communications/media/cultural studies (or cognate disciplines)
- You can add/remove databases to search depending on the discipline you are interested in
- In EBSCO, on the main search page, click the "Choose Databases" option and select additional databases that are appropriate, e.g. Anthropology plus (ProQuest also has a similar feature)
- You may also need to search in other discipline specific databases, found on the Databases page, listed by discipline
How do I keep out sources from adolescent or behavioural psychology or medicine or psychiatry?
- You can remove databases by following the step above, and then deselecting those that are not appropriate, e.g. Psychology databases such as PsycInfo
- You may have to check the results carefully to see they are not coming from a journal outside the areas of interest, e.g. look at the bibliographic information in the results list