University Library at St. Cloud State University

CMST 403: Methods of Inquiry in Communications Studies

Find Journal Articles

To find scholarly articles on your topic, you need to search library databases. The main database for Communication Studies is Communication & Mass Media Complete. This database searches the contents of journals that have a focus on communication studies and mass media. Other databases search a different collection of journals. Try searching at least two databases to find different perspectives on your topic.

Databases to search:

Communication & Mass Media Complete Restricted Resource Some full text availablefindit database
The main database for Communication Studies and Mass Communications. Searches over 600 journal titles that support research in communication, mass media, linguistics, language learning and related fields of study.

ComAbstracts Restricted Resource database
The most comprehensive database for the discipline of Communications. Provides 26,000 abstracts of articles drawn from the professional literature on Communications. 

Ethnic NewsWatch Restricted Resource Some full text availablefindit database
Articles from over 200 newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press. Provides in-depth coverage of a wide range of current and historical topics. Limit the Source Type to "Scholarly Journals" for peer-reviewed articles.

GenderWatch Restricted Resource Some full text availablefindit database
Articles on topics like sexuality, religion, societal roles, feminism, masculinity, eating disorders, day care, and the workplace that support LGBT studies, family studies, gender studies, and women's studies with a unique interdisciplinary approach. Click the check box to limit results to "Peer-reviewed" for scholarly articles.

LibSearch Unrestricted Resource Some full text availabledatabase
Search the library's physical collection (books, movies, music, government publications, etc.) along with online journals and e-books to which the Library subscribes -- all in a single search.

Google Scholar Restricted Resource database
Searches academic papers and other scholarly literature. Go to Settings and set SCSU as your "Library link" to get full text available through the library.

Individual journal titles:

Communication Currents
An online professional/trade magazine from the National Communication Association that translates current communication scholarship published in scholarly journals into a form that is understandable and usable for broad audiences, including communication experts working with the general public, instructors, and students.

Journal of Social and Personal Relationships Restricted Resource
The Journal of Social and Personal Relationships is an international and interdisciplinary peer reviewed journal that publishes the highest quality original research on social and personal relationships. Available online via SAGE Premier from 1999 volume: 16 issue:1 to the present.

National Communication AssociationTo browse articles published in scholarly journals of the National Communication Association, click on the titles below. Note that most articles from the past 18 months are not directly available in full text. To obtain these articles, click on the FindIt! button and order through Interlibrary Loan. You will receive the article via email within one to three days.

Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies
Communication Education
Communication Monographs
Communication Teacher
Critical Studies in Media Communication
Free Speech Yearbook
Journal of Applied Communication Research
Journal of International and Intercultural Communication
Quarterly Journal of Speech
Review of Communication
Text and Performance Quarterly

Subject Specialist
Picture: Robin Ewing

Robin Ewing
Professor, Research Librarian
MC 204F
(320) 308-2093

Picture: Melissa Prescott

Melissa Prescott
Professor, Diversity and Inclusion Librarian
MC 204E
(320) 308-4751

Search Tips for Library Databases
  • Search by concepts, taking out common words like effect, affect, good, bad, etc.
  • Using AND focuses or limits your search (you get fewer results). Using OR broadens or expands your search (you get more results).
  • Use * to search for different word endings (child* searches child, child's, children, children's but also childbirth) and plurals.
  • Use quotation marks around phrases.
  • Try the Advanced Search. Change the "field" you are search using the pull down menu (for example, search for keywords only in the "Title" of an article).
Advanced Tips for Literature Searches
Use the Thesaurus tool to find the terms that the databases use to describe the concepts that you are searching. Review the scope note as well as broader, narrower, and related terms that you can use in your searches.

Find one good article on your topic, read the introduction/literature review section and identify other articles that the author(s) used for their research, locate the citations for those articles in the bibliography and search for those articles.

Also, check to see if others have cited that article. Search for the author or title of an article in the Cited References option at the top of Communication & Mass Media Complete.
Communication Books in the Library
Books and More (Library Catalog)
Search for books, ebooks, video, government publications, recordings, music scores, and other materials available through the library.  


Books on Communication Studies have call numbers beginning with P87 - P96 and P99 and are located on the basement level

P94.7=Interpersonal communication
P95-P95.6=Oral communication
P99.5-P99.6=Nonverbal communication
Finding Scholarly Articles on the Job
After you graduate from SCSU, you can still access scholarly journal articles through ELM (eLibraryMN). You may need a barcode or identification number from your local public library to sign into these databases.

ELM: Electronic Library for Minnesota Unrestricted Resource elm database
ELM (eLibraryMN) gives Minnesota residents online access to magazine, journal, newspaper and encyclopedia articles; media including images, videos, audio files; and other information resources via a selection of databases.

On the eLibraryMN homepage, click  All Databases. Academic Search Premier, Business Source Premier, and several other databases are available for you to search.

If you find an article that isn't available in full text, you may be able to order it through interlibrary loan at your public library.

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