COM 400 — Communication Theory & Research
LIB SOUTH 2037K
Locating Books and eBooks by Using ToroFind Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC)
Finding Journal Articles
Off-Campus Access to databases and ebooks
Finding quality websites
Useful Websites for Communication Theory and Research
- Before borrowing books, read the regulations on the Circulation /Borrowing Books page.
- Use the Library's ToroFind catalog to search for books by author, title or subject. In addition to finding materials available in the CSUDH Library, you will find links that enable you to request books directly from other libraries.
- To borrow books, take your CSUDH photo ID with a current sticker to the Library Circulation Department on the 2nd floor of the library.
- Find books and other materials available in the CSUDH Library by Using Torofind Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC).
You can search for books by author, title or subject. In addition to finding materials available in the CSUDH Library, you will find links that allow you to directly request books from other libraries.
- Use keywords or Library of Congress Subject Headings to find books about communication theories and research.
Here are sample Library of Congress Subject Headings to try:
(don't bother to type dashes and commas when you type a search into the catalog)
ü Communication (37 related subjects and 100s of subdivisions)
ü Television viewers – Research
ü Television –
ü Communication and culture
ü Mass media and culture
ü Communication in politics - United States
- "But I just want to browse...":
Many books about communication theory and research may be found in the P90 - P95 call number area on the Library 4th floor North (old wing).
Reference books are in the P90 area on the 2nd floor (near the Reference Desk).
The library also has several collections of ebooks (books that have been scanned in that you can access from home using the library website). For instance, Ebrary is a growing collection of ebooks on a variety of topics geared to academic libraries and college students.
When you search in the Torofind catalog, you will see that many of the newest books acquired by the library are in ebook format.
- A few direct links to ebooks that may be useful:
- Critical Theories Of Mass Media Then And Now
- Mass media and communication
- Show Sold Separately Promos, Spoilers, And Other Media Paratexts
- Interlibrary Loan a book using a request form. Since books may be requested from libraries in other states, this can be the slowest method. If you are unable to locate a book in the CSUDH Collection, try these links:
- the Library home page has a Search All CSU Libraries button for books available in the 23 libraries of the California State University.
Find journal articles by going to the library home page and clicking the link under Articles, E-books, Online Scholarly Resources that sounds the most like your situation.
- If you only know what subject you're looking for (e.g. Communication) click Databases by Subject.
- If you know which database you want to use (e.g. SocINDEX) click Databases by Title.
- If you are looking for an article from a specific journal (e.g. ) click Journals by Title.
- If you aren't sure where to start, click How to Find Articles for a tutorial.
Once you are logged into a database, you can start to search for your article. All databases offer slightly different search options, but they usually include several search boxes you can fill out. Most databases will also let you search only for peer-reviewed or scholarly journals.
Articles you can read in that database will have a link to the PDF full text or the HTML full text. Click on that text link to read the article. Some databases also let you e-mail yourself the files by clicking on an e-mail link.
Some articles have red and white "Find it @CSUDH Lib" buttons instead of links to the full text. That means the full text of that article is not in the database you are searching. Clicking the button to see a list of databases that do have the full text. If there are no databases containing the article you want, you can request it via Inter-Library Loan.
If you are on campus, you can access all of our electronic databases and ebooks without any further steps. Just click on the database name in the Database List to go immediately to the search screen.
If you are off campus, you can log in using your MyCSUDH Username and Password (the same thing you use to log in to Blackboard, MyCSUDH, and student e-mail). When you click on a database name from off-campus, you will see a screen asking you for this information.
After you enter your login information, you should be able to access any of our electronic databases and ebooks just as you would on campus. If you have trouble, the tutorial here may help, or during library hours, give the reference desk a call at (310) 243-3586.
- Communication & Mass Media Complete: provides the best quality research, and is an invaluable resource for students, researchers, and educators interested in any and all aspects of communication and mass media.
- PsycINFO: useful adjunct to Communication & Mass Media, especially for information on effects of these on individuals and groups.
SocINDEX - also a useful addition to Communication & Mass Media, particularly for articles on mass media and groups.
These databases are not specifically communication-related, but they are helpful for general information on studies and current news:
- Academic Search Premier: interdisciplinary; popular magazines and peer reviewed journals.
- ProQuest Databases : excellent resource for newspaper articles.
- Humanities Full Text: provides complete content - indexing, abstracts, and full text.
- JSTOR: full text of peer reviewed journal articles on a wide range of subjects.
- To find journal articles on a particular topic, search a journal article database by both: keyword (free text, your own ordinary vocabulary) and subject (controlled vocabulary listed in an online Thesaurus or subject guide).
Subject or controlled vocabulary searching is important because each database may use different subject headings to represent the same subject.
For example, if you’re searching for the concept of group cohesion:
SocINDEX uses social cohesion
ERIC uses group unity
PsycINFO uses group cohesion
- Use connecting words (also called Boolean operators) to join search terms and narrow the results of journal database searches.
Boolean searching is a way of using simple connecting words to combine search terms so that you retrieve what you really want.
Here are three common Boolean operators or connecting words:
- AND means every term you type must be present in the record.
MTV AND California.
It is an effective way to narrow your search results.
- OR means one of the terms must be present in the record.
For example: AIDS OR HIV.
OR usually broadens your search results.
- NOT means that a term must not be present in the record.
For example: volume NOT book.
Be careful when using this operator since you may get rid of references that could have been useful.
- Always use the Print and Save functions embedded within the database screen (usually closest to the printing in the article).
Avoid using the File-Print or File-Save As functions in the upper left hand corner of the browser.
Truncation and wild cards:
most electronic journal indexes let you truncate a word to retrieve different forms of that word.
For example: theat* retrieves records containing the words theater, theatre, theatrical and so on.
a wild card symbol (stands for 1 or more letters) lets you search variant spellings of the same word
For example: wom?n (retrieves woman or women)
- As each index handles truncation and wild cards differently, read the online HELP pages (link is often in the upper RH corner of screen)--- they really are helpful!
- Infomine (infomine.ucr.edu): A project from the University 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.
- 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: a good checklist from 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.