MEDIAST 130: Mass Communications Research and Methods

Searching CSA Illumina Social Sciences

Note:  remember, some very current topics won't retrieve any academic journal articles yet.  You'll have to search for broader, related topics for articles that can provide you with the scholarly background for your paper, and use popular articles for the current information.  Check with your instructor.

Sample searches in CSA Illumina Social Science databases:

Library home > Articles > Article Databases by Subject > Media Studies > Communication Abstracts:  click on the CSA Illumina Social Sciences link to search multiple social science databases

1.  Example of a search using multiple keywords, phrase searching, truncation,etc.

     Topic: media coverage of black athletes, especially in criminal cases (ex:  Michael Vick, Kobe Bryant)

     crim*             (keywords)
     media            (keywords)
     black athlet* (keywords)

keywords = searches most important parts of the record
two or more words together in one box = phrase (words found together, in that order)
select "English only" checkbox if desired

2.  to retrieve more items:  add another term; split up a phrase; add alternative terms

click on add row

     media                                      (keywords)
     crim*                                       (keywords)
     black*  or african american*   (keywords)
     athlet*                                      (keywords)

 3.  other strategies for retrieving more:  leave out terms; use broader terms

     basketball player*                    (keywords)
     film*    or    movie*                   (keywords)


     basketball                               (keywords)
     film*       or    movie*               (keywords)

another example:

     marriage*                      (keywords)
     situation comed*          (keywords)


     marriage*   or    family   or   families   (keywords)
     situation comed*    or    television         (keywords)
     portrayal*  or depict*  or representation*       (keywords)

4.  use official subject terms (aka subject headings, descriptors, etc.)

     food                                           (keywords)
     blog*   or media   or advertis*    (keywords)


     food                                                  (descriptor)
     advertis*    or media    or television   (descriptor)

Watch a 3 minute movie:  accessing CSA Illumina Social Sciences, searching, revising a search, using descriptors, saving items to a list, e-mailing the list!


Searching Academic Search Complete

Academic Search Complete is an interdisciplinary database; watch the movie

     distribution        (keywords)
     film*   or   movie*    (keywords)
     internet or online     (keywords)

type or if you need it between two terms

click on academic journals in the left column to limit to peer-reviewed journals

note official subject headings in the left column; click on motion pictures distribution


Search Results

  • click on the title to see full record (including abstracts and descriptors)
  • to limit by publication type (peer-reviewed journals, conferences, books, etc.) click on the appropriate tab or link
  • if necessary,look for other limits (latest update, journal articles only, english only) and more advanced searches
  • select records to save to your personalized list; lists may be e-mailed, downloaded, printed
Last Update: February 02, 2012 16:56 | Tagged with: media studies mass communication