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COM 465 (Communication Theory & Research): Searching for Scholarship Online

This guide provides direction for communication researchers enrolled in COM 465.

The Constant Question

"Is this site the BEST source for the information I need?"

Be Clever. Many online search tools (like Google Scholar) can be used without a subscription, but accessing the articles or chapters in those results lists may require a login. Many of these tools will redirect you to PLNU's subscriptions if you are logged into a networked computer on campus. 

Be Picky. Your task as a researcher is to identify the most relevant, reliable information regarding your research topic. Don't settle for summaries or other brief descriptions of scholarly work; use that information to track down the primary research. Read articles thoroughly and keep only those that truly enrich your research.

Be Honest. Never claim to have seen something you haven't actually read. Always do your best to track down the original research even if you find it described in another article. If it's impossible to retrieve the original article, follow the example in section 6.17 ("Secondary Sources") of the APA Manual to identify the original source appropriately.

Useful Websites

These sites may provide helpful background for your research in COM 465:

Open Access Communication Journals

Open Access? JACKPOT!

A growing trend in scholarly publishing is the provision of open access journals. These journals make their articles available in an effort to encourage more research and greater freedom in the exchange of scholarly ideas.

Cogent Social Sciences:  This journal includes information on a wide variety of topics in the social sciences. Explore the Media & Communication Studies section by selecting it from the sections menu.

Cyberpsychology: Journal of Research on Cyberspace: This publication is a web-based, peer-reviewed scholarly journal dedicated to researching the importance of the Internet on individuals and on society at large.

International Journal of Communication: IJOC allows both keyword and advanced searching of its articles, which can be downloaded in their entirety. It is published by USC Annenberg Press.

International Journal of Internet Science: This publication describes itself as "an interdisciplinary, peer reviewed journal for the publication of research articles about empirical findings, methodology, and theory in the field of Internet Science."

Journal of Intercultural Communication: Although this journal is included in PLNU's Communication & Mass Media Complete database, it is also searchable on the open Web through its own search interface.

M/C Journal: Each issue of the M/C (Media and Culture) Journal is organized around a one-word theme that fuels several related articles.

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies: This online journal is published four times each year. Articles can be browsed by issue or searched via keyword.

Public Relations Journal: The Public Relations Society of America produces this journal in an effort to bridge academic and professional communities in the public relations field.

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