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Professional Communication: Advertising, Journalism and Public Relations

Finding academic articles for communication research

Communication and Mass Media complete is a database for finding articles on general communication and mass media topics. It's the best place to find articles either about the best practice in the journalism, public relations, advertising or communication sectors.

If you are having troubles finding the best keyword to search on your topic, using the Thesaurus option in this database. If you click in Thesaurus, you can search the keywords used in the database to describe different topics, and check to see if you are using the best keyword that matches with your research topic. For example, if I search for Brand names, the database suggests I use the keyword Trademarks for my searching.

Once you find one or two good academic articles on your topic, you can usually look at the reference list in the article, to find other good sources to widen your research. You can then try and search for the books, journal articles and reports that the author of the article used in their research.

Image source: Press 

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Database search Tips

I'm not finding many relevant resources, how can I find more?

To increase your search results you can apply some of the strategies outlined below:

Join similar terms with OR, for example:
TV OR television to ensure either term appears in your results

Use a ? to replace a character in a word to find different spellings or endings, for example:

organi?ation will find both organisation and organization

Use the truncation symbol at the end of your terms to find variant endings. The truncation symbol is usually the asterisk * for example:

  • brand* will find brand, brands, branding
  • market* will find market, markets, marketing, marketer
  • Australia* will find Australia, Australian, Australians

Use quotations marks around words that go together (this is called phrase searching). For example if you search "communication plan", with the quotation marks you should get results with both words together, rather than results that just have the word communication, and just the word plan.

I'm finding too many resources, how can I narrow my search?

To narrow your search results you can apply some of the strategies outlined below:

Join different concepts or ideas with AND, for example:

brand recognition and celebrity to ensure both terms appear in your results.