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Communication Research Guide


This guide is designed to support the college's major in Communication. It describes the best resources for doing research in communication studies, both in the library and online. If you need in-depth assistance or have questions about any of the resources mentioned in the guide, please contact the Head of Reference.


Reference Resources

These sources can provide a starting point for your research. For example, encyclopedias can help you identify interesting topics to research, while providing the background information that will get you started. Dictionaries can help clarify unfamiliar terminology.

The Advertising Age Encyclopedia of Advertising
     Ref HF5803 .A38

The Communication Handbook: A Dictionary
     Ref P87.5 .D46

Concise Encyclopedia of Sociolinguistics
     Available in Credo Reference

Dictionary of Media and Communication Studies
     Ref P87.5 .W38

Encyclopedia of Children, Adolescents, and the Media
     Available in Gale Virtual Reference Library

Encyclopedia of Communication and Information
     Ref P87.5 .E53

Encyclopedia of Communication Theory
      Available in Gale Virtual Reference Library

Encyclopedia of Human Behavior
     Ref BF31 .E5

Encyclopedia of Human Relationships
      Available in Gale Virtual Reference Library

Encyclopedia of International Media and Communications
      Available in Credo Reference

Encyclopedia of Journalism
      Available in Gale Virtual Reference Library

Encyclopedia of New Media: An Essential Reference to Communication and Technology
     Ref QA76.575 .E5368

Encyclopedia of Rhetoric
     Ref PN172 .E52

Encyclopedia of Sociology
     Ref HM425 .E5 (print version)

Handbook of Mass Media Ethics
     General Collection P94 .H355

Media and Politics in America: A Reference Handbook
     Ref P95.82 .U6 S74

Propaganda and Mass Persuasion: A Historical Encyclopedia, 1500 to the Present
     Available in Credo Reference


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Journal Articles


Search the following databases to locate journal articles in the field of communication studies. Although some databases provide full-text articles, others will require you to use WebBridge to locate the full text. WebBridge will also help you place Interlibrary Loan requests for articles that are not available through our library. To learn how to use WebBridge, please watch our video tutorial (3.5 mins; includes audio).

To browse a list of relevant journals that are available online through Geisel Library's full-text databases, see Journal Finder's list of Communication and Mass Media journals. In this listing, click any of the database links beneath a journal's name to browse or search that specific journal.

Communication & Mass Media Complete
The best starting point for finding scholarly journal articles in the fields of communication and mass media studies.

Academic Search Premier
This is a broad index providing abstracts and some full-text for a range of academic areas, including communication studies. It is also an excellent source of material for issue-oriented speeches.

JSTOR provides full text for back issues of hundreds of journals, including numerous titles in the fields of sociology, fine arts, and linguistics that publish articles on communication.

LexisNexis Academic
This database offers full-text articles from US and foreign newspapers, plus articles from trade publications on the media industry.

MLA International Bibliography
This database contains citations to journal articles, books, and dissertations related to literature, language, and literary criticism.

ProQuest Central
This large database covers a wide range of subjects, with full-text of scholarly journal articles and newspaper articles.

A great source for citations to journal articles, books, and book chapters relating to the psychology of communication and media.

Search this database for journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers that offer sociological perspectives on media and communications.


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Geisel Library Catalog
Search the catalog to locate books in Geisel Library. Search by keyword to find books on specific topics. You may also wish to conduct Subject searches on any of the following defined Subject Headings in the catalog. Click on relevant subject headings to see a list of available books.

  • Advertising
  • Communication
  • Communication in Management
  • Communication in Politics
  • Communication - Social Aspects
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Journalism
  • Mass Media
  • Mass Media - Social Aspects
  • Mass Media - United States
  • Oral Communication
  • Reporters and Reporting
  • Social Interaction
  • Violence in Mass Media
  • Visual Communication

Use WorldCat to search the collections of libraries worldwide. If you find a book in this database that is not owned by Geisel Library, you can request it through Interlibrary Loan by clicking on the "Request via Interlibrary Loan" link in the book's catalog record.

Ebrary is an online library containing thousands of e-books spanning across all scholarly disciplines, including communications and media studies. You can open these books online and search them for keywords of interest.


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Selected Websites

The websites below have been handpicked for their quality and their relevance to student and faculty needs. Searching the Internet can yield a vast amount of information, but in terms of quality and reliability, your results may be uneven at best. This makes it important to always evaluate the information you find. To learn how, see our guide to evaluating websites.

The Advertising Archives
A massive online collection of advertisements from 1850 through the present day, including British and American print ads along with still shots from British television commercials. Free registration is required.

Center for Media Literacy
Browse the website's online Reading Room to find a wide array of articles and papers on topics like advertising, media advocacy, health issues, and media literacy in the home.

Committee to Protect Journalists
In addition to documenting the stories of journalists who are killed, imprisoned, or missing in action, the CPJ produces an annual report called "Attacks on the Press" that summarizes assaults on press freedom in individual countries.

Foundation for American Communications
This organization's mission is to equip journalists with background information on hot-button issues like immigration, energy, and healthcare.

Media and Communication Studies Site
A portal to online resources (many of which are scholarly), with the links organized by topics such as Gender and Ethnicity, News Media, and Visual Image.

Media Awareness Network
This Canadian website offers a variety of resources related to media and Internet literacy. The Media Issues section provides nice summations of hot topics like information privacy and media portrayal of minority groups.

Online Communication Studies Resources (University of Iowa)
A comprehensive gateway to websites relevant to communication studies. The links are organized by subtopics like Advertising, Digital Media, and Political Communication.

Project for Excellence in Journalism (Pew Research Center)
This group reports on the state of American journalism and analyses media coverage of current events. See the Analysis section of the website for in-depth discussions of the latest media trends.


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Citing Sources

See the library's Citing Sources guide for resources on how to properly cite research materials. Always confirm the style required by your instructor.


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