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COM 400 — Communication Research & Methods March 2014

Mass Media

Contact Information

Carol Dales


Library Basic Information

Background Information

Books & E-Books


Online Communication Organizations

Plagiarism & Citation

Class Handout-quick tips!


Library Basic Information

Library Location

Library Hours

Reserve Desk

Library Guides

Ask A Librarian  

Reference Desk

Background Information

Articles, chapters, and reviewed essays from subject encyclopedias and handbooks are particularly helpful for providing a snapshot of the scope and aspects of a particular topic. These resources are a good starting point if you are new to a particular research area.

Subject Encyclopedias

Encyclopedia of Communication and Information (ebook)

Encyclopedia of Journalism

Encyclopedia of new media : an essential reference to communication and technology

Encyclopedia of political communication

Encyclopedia of politics, the media, and popular culture (ebook)

Encyclopedia of rhetoric

Encyclopedia of television

Encyclopedic dictionary of semiotics, media, and communications

World press encyclopedia: a survey of press systems worldwide (ebook)

Other Useful Subject Encyclopedias

Culture Wars : An Encyclopedia Of Issues, Viewpoints, And Voices (ebook)

The Gale encyclopedia of psychology (ebook)

Encyclopedia of human behavior

Encyclopedia of sociology

Books & E-Books

Searching for Books and other materials at the CSUDH Library

Toro Find Online Catalog allows you to identify books and other materials held in and available to the library. You can also use the library online catalog to renew your books, save and e-mail searches, and more.

Below are some subject headings used to describe materials available in our catalog. The hyperlinks will take you to the result list.


Intercultural communication




Language and culture  

Communication and culture           

Mass Media -- 61 Related Subjects

Communication in management

Persuasion Rhetoric

Communication in medicine


Communication in organizations

Press--United States

Communication, International

Public opinion

Communication--Moral and ethical aspects

Radio broadcasting

Communication--Social aspects      

Radio journalism

Conflict Management

Social interaction



Discourse Analysis

Visual Communication

Electronic Mail Systems


Browsing Books and Other Materials

The University Library contains many books and other relevant materials, arranged according to the Library of Congress system, pertaining to the discipline of Communication. Below is a chart with some call number ranges and the locations:



3rd Floor North


Public relations. Industrial publicity

3rd Floor North


Communication.  Mass media

4th Floor North


Oratory.  Elocution, etc

4th Floor North


Journalism.  The periodical press, etc.

4th Floor North


Checking Out Materials

If you have a current student ID you may check out up to 30 items for 28 days at the Circulation Desk, located on the second floor of the library. For more information on renewals, holds, overdue fines, etc. contact the Circulation Desk at (310) 243-3712.

Searching Other Library Collections

The Catalog of the CSU Libraries allows searching of the collections for all 23 CSU campuses and for finding materials that are not available at your CSUDH Library. These materials may be requested through Interlibrary Loan online at no cost.

WorldCat lets you search the collections of libraries in your community, state, country and from around the world.  WorldCat locates the item of your interest in the nearest libraries to our campus. Items available for loan may be borrowed online and include: books, journal articles, and some dissertations and theses. For additional information on obtaining research materials from other libraries, contact Interlibrary-Loan Services at (310) 243-3716.


Access to electronic databases is available through the librarys main webpage via Databases by Title. Databases are also arranged by topics under Databases by Subject. Full-text access and date coverage varies by individual periodical title as well as from one database to another; therefore you may find it necessary to search in multiple databases.

The Journals by Title allows you to identify and locate specific journals, their availability, whether they are accessible electronically or in print, and their coverage dates.

If you are accessing the databases from off-campus, you will be prompted to login with your My CSUDH username and password.


Core Databases

  • Communication & Mass Media Complete provides quality research information in communication and mass media. It includes full text for over 500 journals as well as monographs, conference proceedings, working papers and other publication types. Many major journals have abstracts, full text access, and searchable cited references from their first issues to the present.

  • Sage Journals provides full text access to many communication periodicals such as Communication Research, European Journal of Communication, and Management Communication Quarterly, as well as relevant communication-related fields.

Related Databases

These databases focus on periodicals from disciplines other than communications that also deal with communication issues, and selectively include journals that are specialized in this subject area.

  • Academic Search Premier provides access to a wide range of general interest magazines (trade and consumer) as well as scholarly journals on social and computer sciences, education, language and linguistics, arts and literature, medical sciences, and ethnic studies.

  • Humanities Full Text provides access to a wide range of general interest magazines (trade and consumer) as well as scholarly journals on archaeology, art, classical studies, communications, dance, film, folklore, gender studies, history, journalism, linguistics, literature, music, philosophy, religion and theology.

  • Lexis Nexis provides access to national and regional newspapers, wire services, broadcast transcripts, international news, U.S. Federal and state case law, codes, regulations, legal news, and more.

  • News & Newspapers (ProQuest 1980-current) offers international, national, regional, and local papers including Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, among many others.

  • PsycINFO provides access to journal articles, book
 chapters, dissertations and technical reports in the field of psychology.

  • SocINDEX offers coverage from the sub-disciplines of sociology, including anthropology, criminology, criminal justice, demography, economic development, ethnic and racial studies, gender studies, marriage and family, politics, religion, to name a few.

Online Communication Organizations

Plagiarism & Citation


  • 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." (source: Oxford English Dictionary)

Instances of plagiarism include:

    • Quoting or paraphrasing someone's work in your paper without citing it
    • Expressing someone else's ideas as your own

Plagiarism is a serious matter and could result in a lower or failing grade and even expulsion from the University.

  • 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.
  • How can I avoid it? - You can avoid plagiarism by giving credit where credit is due and always citing your sources. Whenever you insert a quotation, re-word information you got from a source or present an idea developed by someone else, be sure to include a citation in the proper style. It is important to take detailed notes on where you are finding information for your paper as you find it.  This helps to ensure you will cite the information correctly as you begin writing your paper.  
  •  The American Psychological Association style, or APA, is commonly used within the social sciences including in communications. In order to avoid plagiarism it is important to document the resources by incorporating citations in text and the references page according to this manual style.
  •  For more information about plagiarism, see your student handbook, the CSUDH  Student Code of Conduct, and this APA style page from the Purdue Online Writing Lab.
  •  P.S.: Take a look at our new CSUDH Library anti-plagiarism tutorial: Plagiarism: How to recognize it and get it out of your life! (and don't forget to try out the challenging plagiarism game at the very end!).

Class Handout-quick tips!


Library Resources for 

Communication Theory and Research: COM 400



*       Locate Books by using the ToroFind Online Catalog (at top of Library Home Page)


  Use keywords that describe your topic or Library of Congress Subject Headings to find print books and eBooks on various aspects of communication.

  Newer books will often be eBooksclick to read on or off campus.


*       Sample Library of Congress Subject Headings:

  Communication (has 37 related subjects and hundreds of subdivisions)

  Television viewers Research

  Television United States 

  Communication and culture

  Mass media and culture

  Communication in politics - United States


*       Journal Article Database Searching Tips:

  Use Keywords: Analyze your question or topic looking for its unique concepts and vocabulary Write down the most important key word or words, and try to develop a list of synonyms for each word. The resulting words are your search terms.

  Use the online thesaurus / subject guide to search for  even more search terms.

  Join some or all of your search terms with AND.

  Limit your search (to a date range or to full text or to a particular journal title or other parameter) by clicking in the boxes provided by most database publishers.

  Try several searches using alternate terms rather than trying to pack all possible possibilities into one complex search statement.

  Use the Help functions provided by most database publishers (often in the upper RH corner of the screen).

  Remember that MANY records have "Find it @CSUDH Lib" buttons.  Click this red and white button to see if the full text of the article is in a different database or in printed form.


Too many results?

  Use And searching to narrow your search by adding keywords. e.g.: the search research and method will find all documents that contain both terms.

  Limit your search by publication years, language or other factors.


  Too few results?


  Truncation: Use the truncation symbol to search the root word for plurals and word variations--an asterisk (shift/8) usually works: method* will search for method, methods, methodical and methodology in most databases.

  Use fewer search terms.

  Search for related terms or synonyms by using OR. One of the terms must be in a result, but not necessarily all.

  If you havent used the database Thesaurus or Subject Guide to find subject terms and keywords related to your topic, try it.

  If youre already using keywords or subject terms from the online thesaurus, try using different search terms.



   Im getting nothing? What now? 

  Check your spelling--one tiny typo can ruin your search L

  Use different keywords. Check the Thesaurus or Subject Guide of the database for more or different search terms.

  Adjust your search limits.

  Try a different journal article database and /or try Google Scholar (use the version listed in the Library databases)

  Ask a Librarian!



*       How to get Interlibrary Loan books and articles we dont already own!

If the CSUDH Library does NOT own
in any form specific journal articles or books you need, use the online Interlibrary Loan link on the Library Home page to submit online Interlibrary Loan requests.

We will obtain a print copy (books) or electronic copy (articles) from another library for you.
It will usually take a week or more for books or articles to arrive




*        Prepared by: E. Carol Dales / Library Distance Learning & Instruction Coordinator  
cdales@csudh.edu    Ph: 310-243-2088

               California State University, Dominguez Hills / University Library, LIB 2037-K      March , 2014



Rubin, R. B., Rubin, A. M., Piele, L. J. (2005). Communication research: Strategies and sources (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.