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COM 379 — Media Industries


Contact Information

Caroline Bordinaro




Finding Books

Finding Magazine, Newspaper & Journal Articles

APA Citation Style

Scholarly Internet Research and Media Websites

General Research Tips

  • DATABASE: An organized collection of electronic information, such as photographs, addresses, or journal articles.
  • ONLINE JOURNAL INDEX: A database that contains magazine, newspaper and journal articles, e.g: Academic Search Premier. AKA Subscription Database.
  • SCHOLARLY JOURNAL: Also called academic or refereed journal. Articles usually reviewed by experts in the field before publication, published for a research audience, narrow focus, e.g.; Molecular Endocrinology
  • MAGAZINE: Publication of general interest: popular interest and broad subjects (e.g: Psychology Today)
  • SUBJECT HEADINGS : Also called descriptors. Official terms used to classify items in a database.
  • THESAURUS: List and finding aid for official controlled vocabulary terms. Also called Topic Index or Subject List.
  • ABSTRACT: a brief summary of the main content of an article
  • FULL TEXT: the complete article. Click on theFindItCSUDH button to see if the Full Text is available.
  • CITATION: The basic information you need to find the full text of an article. It includes the title of the article, the author, the name of the publication, the date, the volume and issue number and the page numbers.


What is plagiarism? - Plagiarism is "The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft." (OED)

But I didn't know! - Ignorance of the law is unfortunately no excuse. You can commit plagiarism without meaning to, and it's just as serious a problem if you do.

How can I avoid it? - You can avoid plagiarism by always citing your sources. Whenever you put a quotation or borrow information heavily from a source, be sure you include a citation in the proper APA style. This will let your professor know you aren't trying to pass the idea off as your own. Taking detailed notes on where you get your information helps a lot with this, since it prevents you from forgetting which is your own work and which is borrowed from others.

Finding Books

Go to TOROFIND: the CSUDH Library Catalog and search on the title, author, subject or keyword.

  • Try a keyword or title search on media or communication.
  • Click on subject headings attached to useful book titles for more books on that topic.

Look not only for that specific call number, but also check out the books in that section.

  • If you don't see the right item listed, or want more titles, try an on a few keywords (in separate boxes).
  • The item you want may not be a book. It may be some other kind of document, or it may be on microfilm.
  • If you don't find what you need, ask a reference librarian.

Finding Magazine, Newspaper & Journal Articles

These indexes must be accessed through the library home page at library.csudh.edu. Under Articles, E-books, Online Scholarly Resources, you may either browse by subject area or go to your favorite resource using the alphabetical List.

NOTE: These are subscription databases, selected and provided specifically for CSUDH students. To access from home, please see our Remote Patron Access Instructions guide for login instructions.

Articles and Scholarly Journal Databases

  • Communication & Mass Media Complete*: provides the best quality research in any and all aspects of communication and mass media.  Indexes several scholarly public relations journals.
  • Humanities Full Text*: provides complete content - indexing, abstracts, and full text.
  • Business Full Text*: Source for leading United States and international business magazines and trade and research journals. Full text coverage begins January 1995.
  • ABI/Inform*: indexes many international media and business communications titles.
  • Wilson OmniFile Mega Full-Text*: complete articles from media journals and many other related fields.
  • Business Source Premier*: indexes many authoritative U.S. and international communications, media and other business titles.

These are databases are not specifically communication-related, but they are very good for general information on studies and current news :

  • Academic Search Premier*
  • ProQuest Databases*
  • JSTOR: Peer reviewed journal articles on a wide range of subjects.

Newspaper and Media Databases

  • LEXIS-NEXIS Academic Universe - Over 5,600 news, business, legal, medical, and reference publications with a variety of flexible search options.
  • ProQuest Newspapers (1988 - current) - Full text of 300+ U.S. and international news sources. Includes coverage of 150+ major U.S. and international newspapers such as The New York Times and the Times of London, plus hundreds of other news sources and news wires.
  • Los Angeles Times (1988 - current) - Full text of the LA Times from 1988 to current.
  • New York Times (1981 - present) - Index of NY Times from 1981 to current
  • Regional Business News - Includes full text coverage for regional business publications: 75 business journals, newspapers and newswires from all metropolitan and rural areas within the United States.

*To limit search to peer-reviewed journals only, look for check box next to Peer-Reviewed, Scholarly Journals, or Academic Journals on database search screen (may be in Advanced Search)

Having trouble logging in? Click Here

APA Citation Style

APA style is the citation and formatting style created and used by the American Psychological Association. Not all citation styles are the same, so be sure to ask your professors which they want you to use. Other styles include MLA , ASA and Turabian.

This comprehensive guide from the librarians at CSULA will help you use the APA citation style.

Click here for our tutorial on citing sources.

Click here for a cheat-sheet on APA citation style.

Scholarly Internet Research and Media Websites

Remember, not all Internet sites are created equal. Some sites can be valid sources of information, but others are filled with opinion represented as fact. Here are some guidelines to follow when using the internet for research:

    Scholarly Internet Resources

    These are indexes to quality web sites that have been reviewed by librarians. The sites have been checked for accuracy, timiliness, stabilty, and will generally conform to the standards of academic research. However, please be judicious in the use of websites in general, because anybody can put anything on the web.

    • Infomine (infomine.ucr.edu): A project from the Univeristy of California and other universities, it is a searchable index of websites specifically appropriate for university research. Click on SocSci & Humanities to search their specialized index.
    • IPL2 - The Internet Public Library: Index of websites reviewed by librarians, geared toward the general public. Choose a topic from the index or use Advanced Search to search for keywords.
    • Evaluating Information on the Web: This is a very good checklist from the Pasadena City College Library for judging the quality of not only information on the Internet, but any information you may want to use for an assignment.

    General Research Tips

    Use multiple search terms - Remember, not every database or article uses exactly the same words to describe the same thing. Make sure you try several synonyms for the term you're trying to find. Most databases have a link titled "thesaurus" or "subject terms" which you can use to find out what words to search for.

    Search in multiple places - The more places you look for information, the more information you're likely to find. Don't just search in one database and assume it's all you'll be able to find! Take a look at the list of Useful Databases earlier on in this page for where to start your search.

    Ask for help - Don't be afraid to ask for help! Research can be an exhausting process, and sometimes a fresh perspective will make your task immensely easier. You can stop by the reference desk in the library and ask any of the reference librarians for help with your research. You can also http://library.csudh.edu/info/ask.shtml an online help request which a librarian will answer within a day or two.

    Don't leave it until the last minute - The earlier you start, the better your paper will be.  Starting early gives you plenty of time to read and absorb the information so that you'll be properly informed when writing your paper.