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Communications: COM608

This guide is for anyone searching for information on an aspect of Communications Studies, to include Advertising and Public Relations.

Skills Refresh: Advanced Research Skills

Keyword versus Subject Searching

When you search by keyword, you are telling the database that the word can be located in any of the labeled areas of the item record (those labeled areas are called "fields") or in the full text of the item you've looked up if the full text is attached to the record.  Subjects do tell the researcher the overarching theme of an item (of course, there are often multiple subjects listed as there are often several facets being discussed in a work).  Subjects are assigned language for that database, i.e. not only does the word or phrase connote the meaning of the item, but in order to be universally found in that database, it must be typed in the same way every time.  For instance, it may be just a word (Communication). Other times, it might be a phrase like China--Mass Communication--Social Aspects. This controlled language assures that items are being categorized in universal, discoverable ways rather than labeled haphazardly and expecting the researcher to look over and over again for every possible word that could represent an idea.  That said, when you search by Subject, you're telling the database that, for that line in your search box, that word or phrase has to be found SPECIFICALLY in the Subject line of the item's record.

Truncation & Phrase Searching

Week 2 Discussion Board - Instructions

Part I
Select one of the key communication journals listed in your text (Rubin, chapter 7) or one available from the National Communication Association. Locate the academic journal through one of the SAU Databases and review the Table of Contents for one of the latest issues. [Note: The online equivalent of the Table of Contents may simply be a listing of the articles included in the journal. There may not be a heading "Table of Contents" as it commonly appears in print journals. Select one article of interest to you.]What database did you use?

  • Why did you select this database?
  • What is the name of the journal and what, if any, professional association sponsors the journal?
  • What is the focus of this journal? (for example, social science, humanities, applied, quantitative methods, qualitative methods, etc.).
  • Is it a peer reviewed journal?

Select one article from the journal, and using a key term from the article. Search the communication database, Communication and Mass Media Complete, to find another article on the same/similar topic.

  • What is the title of the article, the name of the journal and, the professional association, if any, that sponsors the journal?
  • What is the focus of this journal?
  • Is it a peer reviewed journal?

Part II
Using the White Library's online book catalog, find a scholarly book related to the “key term” selected in Part I.

  • What is the title and the name of the publisher of the book?
  • Who is/are its author(s), and what credentials do the author(s) have on this topic?
  • If you were interested in obtaining a copy of this book, how would you proceed?

Please limit your initial posts for your initial post (Parts 1-2) to 400-450 words total. Your initial post is due on or before Tuesday, 11:59 p.m. EST/EDT. You must reply to at least two of your colleagues’ initial posts. Remember: discussion begins on Monday and ends on Sunday. Be sure to answer any questions that your colleagues and instructor may present.