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Research Guide for Communication majors and students enrolled in Communication classes

Finding Articles

The library's journal articles can be accessed in one of 3 ways:

Print journals can typically be found bound together in book form and can be checked out. These are often referred to as "periodicals" and can be found on the 2nd floor of the library (on the same level/wing as Starbucks)

You can find journals that are on microfilm in the library. Each reel of microfilm contains several issues of a particular journal or newspaper. You can look at and print from microfilm using machines called microfilm readers. Please ask at the reference desk or at the information desk on the 2nd floor for assistance.

The library subscribes to hundreds of journals online which are available through the databases. Each database provides access to different journals. See the links to these databases in the Databases box on this page.

Citation Searching

You can use Google Scholar to find out if other authors have cited a specific article. This can help you to find other articles that are relevant to your topic and to figure out the interconnections among various articles and research.

Simply perform your search from the Google Scholar search page and then click on the Cited by link at the bottom of each citation in your results. Be aware that the number of results you find are limited to the content that is available on the web.

For advanced citation searching, check out the article "Google Scholar: the New Generation of Citation Indexes".

Search the Databases to Find Journal Articles

Searching the databases for journal articles: 

  1. Start at  the Library Homepage
  2. Beneath the search box, choose the link Databases by Subject
  3. Select Journalism and Mass Communication from the list of subjects. Here you will see a list of databases that are relevant to this subject. Click on the database name to search directly. Remember that it's always a good idea to search in more than one database. Depending on your topic, you can also explore the databases we have for CommunicationHistory, Psychology, or any other subjects that may apply to your topic. 
  4. When you get your results list, click on the link that says "Find It @ Fresno State" in the article you want to see if the library has it in another database or in print or microfilm. You will sometime also see a PDF or HTML link from the article that will take you directly to the full text.


See below for some databases to start with when researching topics in mass communication and journalism. Remember, due to the interdisciplinary nature of mass communication and journalism studies, other databases in topics such as history, philosophy, and cultural studies (to name a few) may also be worthwhile to explore. Click here for a subject list of links to all the databases provided by the library.

When you find an article, click on link that says "Find It @ Fresno State" to see the library's holdings. There also may be a PDF Full Text link from the citation which will give you the full text of the article immediately.

Communication and Mass Media Complete (EBSCO) 
Excellent source for scholarly articles in areas related to communication and mass media. 

Academic Search Premier (EBSCO) 
Large database that covers most subject areas. A good database to search for just about any topic. 

PsycInfo (EBSCO) 
Contains more than one million citations and summaries of journal articles, book chapters, books, dissertations and technical reports, all in the field of psychology. It also includes information about the psychological aspects of related disciplines such as medicine, psychiatry, nursing, sociology, education, pharmacology, physiology, linguistics, anthropology, business and law.

America: History and Life (EBSCO) 
Source for research on the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present.

Historical Abstracts (EBSCO) 
Source for research on world history from 1450 to present, excluding U.S. and Canadian history. 

NOTE: All of the above are EBSCO databases that can be searched simultaneously. Access any one database and then click on the Choose Databases link at the top of the page to select additional databases to add to your search. 


Full text database for research in many disciplines, primarily the humanities and social sciences. 

Ethnic NewsWatch
Ethnic NewsWatch is an interdisciplinary, bilingual (English and Spanish) and comprehensive full text database of the newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press.

With archival material dating back to 1970, GenderWatch provides authoritative historical and current perspectives on the evolution of gender roles as they affect both men and women. 

Google Scholar

Google Scholar

In addition to the library databases, you can use Google Scholar to search for peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and journal articles from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations. With the Advanced Scholar Search, you can search by author, publication, and date and limit your results to specific subject areas. 

When you are using a computer on the Fresno State campus (including laptops), Google Scholar is set up to provide a link to all journals that Henry Madden Library subscribes to. Just click on the link next to the search result that you are interested in and you will be directed to the library catalog to see if we have it.

To see these links from your home computer, go to Scholar Preferences from the main Google Scholar search page. Go to the Library Links section and search for Fresno State. From the results, choose the library and then click on Save Preferences at the bottom of the page.

Click here for more information about using Google Scholar.

Search Tips

Search Tips: Using Boolean Logic

You can use Boolean logic when you are searching a database for journal articles. Boolean "operators" (AND, OR and NOT) define the relationships between the terms you enter in the search bar(s).

  • AND can be used between terms to expand the search to include all terms (ex. search for the terms "travel" and "Europe")
  • OR allows for results that contain at least one of the terms you enter (ex. "college" OR "university")
  • NOT excludes terms so that you can specificy that search results not contain certain terms (USE WITH CAUTION)

The following table illustrates the operation of Boolean terms:

Each result contains all search terms. Each result contains at least one search term. Results do not contain the specified terms.
The search heart and lung finds items that contain both heart and lung. The search heart or lung finds items that contain either heart or items that contain lung. The search heart not lung finds items that contain heart but do not contain lung.

Other tips: 

  • Use quotation marks to search for terms together (useful when searching a certain phrase or the title of an article) ex. "social networking"
  • Use an asterisk (*) to search for alternate word endings (ex. immigra* retrieves immigration, immigrant, immigrants, immigrated, etc...)