Skip to Main Content

Communication, Film, and Media

A research guide for topics in Communications, Film, and Media.

Search Tips

Starting Out

  • Utilize our guides for finding articles and books.

  • Navigate to your database of choice, from the Find Articles tab.

  • When starting a search, use one or more keywords that describe your topic.

    • If you don't turn up any results or receive too few, think of alternative keywords that may describe your topic.

  • On the results screen, sorting by relevance can help turn up articles that may be buried because they aren't the newest items published in the field.

When You've Found An Item

  • Look at the item in the database to get more information about it.

    • Look specifically for words often repeated in the abstract, "subject" words, or "author supplied keywords."  Write these down.  These may be alternative ways for you to find other articles similar to the one you've just found.

  • If the item is available in full text look at the reference list / bibliography to see if any items in that list might be of interest.

    • Search the journal title under the Journals tab on the library homepage to find out if that particular journal is available in full text or in print in the library.

Search Using the Thesaurus

  • In some databases, there is often a Thesaurus or Subject search.  Use this to find articles that have been tagged with a specific subject word.

    • Thesaurus/Subject searching helps eliminate extraneous results that often occur with keyword searching - saving you time.

    • Thesaurus/Subject searching can give you ideas for alternative words that can be used in your search.

Search for Articles That Have Cited An Article Since it's Publication

  • You can find out if an article has been cited by other researchers since its publication date while using some databases. 

    • This can help you build upon research that may have been published years ago and find how that research is being tweaked and updated.  (It's also a great way to find more items for your research!)

    • Example: "Policing crime and disorder hot  spots: A randomized controlled trial" by Braga & Bond (2008)

  • See the guide below on Forward Searching for more.

When you can't get an Article from Ingram Library

  • If you find an article in one of the databases we provide, we can get it for you, usually free of charge!  Just use the InterLibrary Loan service to request an article be sent to you.

Support for Online Students