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MEDIAST 130: Research Methods in Media Studies Fall 2017: Finding Articles

Instructor: Timke

Article Databases

Search an article database to find citations (title, author, title of journal, date, page numbers) for articles on a particular topic.  The Library gives you access to over 200 article databases covering different disciplines.

1.  Think about which academic disciplines might write about your topic.  Examples:  literature, film, anthropology, history...

2.  Find the appropriate article database by subject (academic discipline or department).  Look for "Recommended" databases.

Library home > click on Databases, then click on:  Browse Databases. 

Pull down the "All Subjects" menu to browse a list of databases by academic discipline, and/or pull down the "All Database Types" to browse lists by type of database (article databases, statistical databases, image databases, etc.).

Searching multiple article databases relating to Media Studies

Library home >click on Databases > Browse All Databases > pull down "All Subjects" to "General" > Academic Search Complete

Academic Search Complete is an interdisciplinary database (covers all disciplines)

african american*  (select a field optional)
women  (select a field optional)
dating site*  (select a field optional)

african american*  (select a field optional)
dating site*  (select a field optional)

african american*  (select a field optional)
online dating  (select a field optional)

african american*  (select a field optional)
social networking sites  (select a field optional)


bisexual* (select a field optional)
media  (select a field optional)

bisexual* (subject)
media  (subject)

     illegal or undocumented        (select a field optional))
     immigra*   (select a field optional)
     media or news*     (select a field optional)

type or if you need it between two terms

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

add more databases!

click on choose databases (at the top)

select Communications Abstracts, Film & Television Index, then OK

finally, try using official subject terms:

     illegal or undocumented        (keywords)
     immigra*   (keywords)
     media or news*     (subject terms)


Searching Social Science Article Databases

To find individual social science databases, start with the Library home >click on Databases > Browse All Databases > pull down "All Subjects" to  (name of specific discipline, such as Sociology or Psychology)

To search multiple social science databases simultaneously, try ProQuest Social Sciences which searches 22 databases simultaneously.  Click on "22 databases" at the top of the page to add or subtract databases.

facebook   (all fields + text)
identit*  (all fields + text)

narrow down results by using official terms (NOTE: each of the 22 databases uses their own list of official terms, so a term that is a subject term in one is not necessarily a subject term in another!)

facebook   (all fields + text)
identit*  (subject heading (all))

narrow down by format:

on the right, click on Source type:  scholarly journals

notice you can narrow by a variety of other factors (language, person's name, company name, etc.)

Newspaper Databases

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

UC-eLinks - Find Article Text/Location

Once you've searched a database to find articles, you may need to use UC-eLinks orange logo to link to a PDF or html file if the full text is not immediately available. Each database is a bit different, but a good rule of thumb is this: when you see the Uc-eLinks icon click on it to view your article access options, which can range from full text to a call number to an Interlibrary Loan request:

UC e-Links image

For more information, here's a tutorial on using UC-eLinks.

About JSTOR!

Library home > Articles > General Article Databases > JSTOR

Everyone Loves JSTOR:

  • interdisciplinary
  • scholarly
  • full text available AND searchable - you may find topics you won't find elsewhere because they're only part of an article on a related topic
  • covers journals from their earliest publication dates


  • DOES NOT INCLUDE THE LAST 3-5 YEARS of a journal!  not good for contemporary topics!
  • doesn't include as many journals in a particular discipline as the discipline-specific database (example: MLA Bibliography for literature)
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