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Communication Studies Research Guide: Database Searching

Research Databases

You'll be looking for journal articles that discuss your selected research topic. Journal articles are written by a researcher to describe a study that he or she has conducted and are published in scholarly journals. The library subscribes to thousands of scholarly journals; you can locate most of these journals in the library's research databases. 

Look for the following sections in any journal article:

  • Methodology
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion

Searching Suggestions

  1. Identify the key concepts of your topic
    Pick only the most important, distinct words or concepts to search

          Topic:    What is the affect of children being exposed to violence on TV?

          Keywords:    children    violence    TV
  2. Make sure to search for the main concept or theory

          Example:   "affinity-seeking strategies" will retrieve fewer results than searching for "affinity-seeking"
  3. Combine keywords with Boolean Operators (OR/AND)

          OR for synonyms:                tv OR television 

          AND for different concepts:    television AND children 
  4. Use a truncation symbol (*) to find all words that start with the same root

    For example, relation* will retrieve: relation, relations, relationships

Put it all together: 

(children OR adolescents OR teenagers) and violen* and (tv OR television)

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