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COMM 110: Quantitative Research Methods: Find Articles

Research guide for students taking COMM 110

Quick Links

Find Journal Articles on your topic

The easiest way to find scholarly articles on your topic is to use a library database. 

NOTE: If searching from off-campus, you will need to input your name and password to access any library database.

The best databases for your research project are:

How to Construct Your Search

  • Before you start your research, try focusing your topic by writing a one sentence research question.  For example:  "What factors affect sibling communication patterns at different stages of life?"
  • Identify the main ideas in your research question:
    • communication
    • siblings
    • stages of life
  • Then, enter keywords into the database search boxes for each idea.
    Separate synonyms with "or" connectors (without the quotes). Use an * to search for different endings of a word (communicat* will search for both communicate and communication). For example:

How to Search Many Databases at Once:

It is possible to search many databases at once if they are published by the same vendor.  For example you can use several EBSCO databases at the same time. To do that:

  • Go to an Ebsco database, for example Communication Source.
  • Click on "Choose Databases" (see screenshot above)
  • Select all the databases that seem relevant for your topic and click OK.
  • Enter your search 

Getting the Full-Text of Articles

You have 4 options for getting the full-text of an article:

1. The database you are using has the full-text article. Just click on the link (pdf version is better).

2. If not, click on FindIt@SCU Libraries:

  • Is the article available in another database (e.g., JSTOR, OmniFile)? If so, click on the link and follow the citation information (volume, issue number, date of publication, etc.)
  • Does the library have this journal in print? It is possible the library has the journal, but not the year you need. The print collection is shrinking as we move toward electronic access.

3. If none of the above work, you can request the article from another library via Interlibrary Loan. If another library can send the article electronically, this usually takes 1-2 business days.