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*Communication: Subject Guide: Articles

Resources for researching mass communication.

What Are Databases?

Steve Rhodes CC-BY-NC-SA

Databases tell you about articles that have appeared in periodicals.

Periodical (n.):
A magazine or journal issued at regular or
stated intervals (usually weekly, monthly, or quarterly).
Source: Oxford English Dictionary

Getting the full article

1) First, look for a direct link to the article. "HTML Full Text" or "PDF Full Text" are the most common forms.
2) If you don't see one of these links, look for a  button in the article's record. Clicking this button will check for full text availability in GSU's other databases and also search the library's catalog to see if we have the journal in print or on microfilm. You will see one or more of the following results: 
Full text available at: [database name]
Means that electronic full text of the article is available from one or more of GSU Library's full text providers. Check the years available in each option to identify which option will work for you.
No full text available
If this link appears as the first option, then no electronic full text is available. However, the library may have a print or microfilm copy of the article: scroll down to the "Get It" section to see if there are print or microfilm options for this journal. If so, you will need to check the Recent Issues or Volumes Owned fields to see what volumes/issues are available.
Request via Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
If neither electronic nor print access* is available at GSU Library, you can click this link to begin the interlibrary loan process (sign in with your Campus ID and follow the prompts). This service is free for GSU students/employees. Articles requested via Interlibrary Loan are usually available within 24 hours -- check your email address for notification of availability.
*Depending on which borrower group you belong in, you may be able to place an ILL request for GSU materials in print or microfilm. Click here for more information about our Desktop Delivery service.
Occasionally, people encounter problems trying to access articles from home using the "Find It @ GSU" button. Sometimes pop-up blockers prevent the "Find It" window from opening, so check your browser settings. 
Ask a librarian for help if you can't find what you need!

Free E-Journals

What Is Browzine?

BrowZine logo

BrowZine is a service provided by the University Library that lets you browse, monitor, and read scholarly journals in your subject areas. It works by consolidating academic journal articles from GSU Library subscriptions with Open Access collections and organizes them into an easily browsable newsstand format.

The web version is listed in our A-Z database list under "B." You can also download the free app for your mobile devices.<

With BrowZine, you can:

  • Sync your settings across devices>
  • Browse by title or subject to find journals of interest
  • Read the tables of contents of journal issues

If you set up a free personal account, you can also:

  • Download articles, share on social media, or export to Zotero, Endnote, etc.
  • Customize your personal bookshelf with journals you want to track
  • Receive notifications when new articles are published

View an introductory video here: Staying Current with BrowZine For more information about how to download BrowZine, see our BrowZine Research Guide

Communication Databases

Using "Advanced Search" in Databases

Most databases have an Advanced Search option, which will let you search using multiple terms at once. For example:

An asterisk (*) is a truncation symbol that will bring up results using all the letters leading up to (or following) the * -- so, Islam* will bring up both "Islam" and "Islamic" etc.

The search string in the third box got cut off in the image: it should be lgbt or gay or homosexual or lesbian or bisexual or transgender or queer -- the "ors" mean that you're asking for articles that use any of the terms linked by the "ors"

* * * * * 

A database's Advanced Search option will also let you limit your search in a number of ways, including:

  • Limit by year of publication (helpful if you need the most current scholarship/literature)
  • Limit to scholarly/peer-reviewed articles (this is often just a box you can check)
  • Limit by language (if you read a particular language or languages, you can select those; you can also limit your search to just items in English)

For example, here are some options that often appear in Advanced Search:

Different subject databases may have other options as well, but most of our databases have these as Advanced Search options.

* * * * *

One box that you SHOULD NOT CHECK is the "Full Text" box. Sounds backwards, I know, but here's why:

Many databases will give you only the citation for a particular article and not the full text.

But! We have lots of databases, and the article that you need may be in a different database.

If you find an article that you want, and it looks like we don't have full text, click the blue "Find It @ GSU" button. That button will point you to the article if it's held in another database, or will help you set up an Interlibrary Loan for the article. (If you have a citation for an article, you can also place an Interlibrary Loan request by starting here and following the prompts).

If you check the "Full Text" box in a database, you're actually saying that you only want articles which that particular database has available in "full text." You're shutting off that "Find It @ GSU" option.

Interdisciplinary Article Databases available @ GSU

Communication is interdisciplinary!

Don't forget to check related research guides to find additional databases for your topic. To see all of our databases, use our A-Z list.

Selected Subject Article Databases Available @ GSU

These databases focus on specific social-science disciplines. To search more broadly, try the databases in the "Interdisciplinary Articles Databases" box.

You can also use the dropdown "Find by Subject" box in the Articles / Databases tab to identify relevant databases by subject.

Subject-specific research guides can also help you find more databases for your topic.

Video: How to Search in Communication and Mass Media Complete

In this video Communication Librarian Jill Anderson teaches

  • How to search in Communication and Mass Media Complete using Advanced Search
  • How to limit your search to scholarly/peer-reviewed articles
  • How to use an article's record in CMMC to find more terms to search with
  • How to search within CMMC for articles using a particular methodology
  • How to use AND, OR, and NOT to construct effective searches
  • How to use Find It @ GSU and Interlibrary Loan to find/request articles
  • Using references and "cited by" in Google Scholar to find more articles 

All of these are skills that you can use in many other databases as well!

Search Hints

   to search names as a phrase | ex: "anderson cooper"

   as a wild card | ex: wom*n

AND between words to NARROW results | ex: media AND healthcare

OR between words to EXPAND results | ex: African American OR Black

Finding Impact Factors (Journal Citation Reports)

Use the Journal Citation Reports database to identify Communication journals by impact factor: (what's an impact factor?)

  • To find an individual journal's impact factor, just type the journal's name into the search box
  • To find high-impact journals in a particular subject area, click on Journals by Rank
    • Select categories under "Select Categories" in menu to the left (note that while Communication is a category, you might want to include other categories like Political Science, Health Policy & Services, or others as relevant to your particular area of interest)
    • and then click on Submit for a list of journals ranked by impact factor

**Note that Journal Citation Reports only ranks journals that are included in the Web of Science database. Not every journal in every field is included in Web of Science (this is especially the case for humanities fields), so not every journal may have an impact factor attached to it.**

Searching the GSU Library for Periodical Titles (Journals, Magazines, Newspapers)

To see if the GSU Library provides access to a particular periodical (newspaper, magazine, or journal), follow these steps:

  • From the library's homepage, select "Journals" from the "Discover" dropdown menu
  • Type in the periodical title (see below)


This search will give you more information about our holdings of this journal/magazine/newspaper.

This search does NOT take you directly to individual articles in that periodical, but if a "Full Text Online" result appears, you can click there to search in the journal.