Resources for Communication Research

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About this guide

This guide provides students with recommended resources for conducting research on topics related to Communication. Use the tabs above to navigate through the pages of the guide.

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The language you use to describe your topic may be different from the language used by scholars in the field of Communication. Try using some of the following words in your search:

  • Body language
  • Gesture
  • Intercultural communication
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Man-woman relationships
  • Nonverbal communication

Reference Sources

Print Reference Books

Reference books are a good place to begin your research. These resources are available in the Luria Library Reference section.

  • The Handbook of Communication Science — R 302.2 B496h 2010
  • 21st Century Communication: A Reference Handbook — R 302.2 E11t 2009
  • Encyclopedia of Communication Theory — R 302.203 L779e 2009
  • Encyclopedia of Communication and Information — R 302.203 S323e

Online Reference Books

The library also subscribes to some online reference sources, including the following general reference database. To access this resource from off campus, you will need to log in with your Pipeline account information.

  • Credo Reference: Contains the full text of nearly 600 encyclopedias, dictionaries, bilingual dictionaries, and other reference books.

Books

The library’s collection includes both print books and online eBooks. Search the library catalog (books+) for books on your topic. Your search results will include articles as well. Limit to books by choosing the appropriate box from the menu to the left of the results.

Articles

Articles from periodicals (journals, magazines, and newspapers) often provide current information and scholarly research on a topic. To find articles on topics related to Communication, search the following database:

    Communication and Mass Media Complete: Provides full-text articles from over 450 journals in communication, mass media, and other closely-related fields of study. Also provides cover-to-cover indexing and abstracts for more than 570 journals, and selected coverage of nearly 200 more. Many major journals have indexing, abstracts, PDFs and searchable cited references from their first issues to the present (dating as far back as 1915). Includes over 5,400 Author Profiles, providing biographical data and bibliographic information for the most frequently searched for authors in the database.

Evaluating Websites

Figuring out whether the information you find online is credible enough for college research can be challenging. Use the P.R.O.V.E.N. Source Evaluation Questions to help you determine whether the sources you find are credible:

  • Purpose: How and why the source was created. Is it intended to educate, inform, persuade, sell, or entertain? Do the authors, publishers, or sponsors state this purpose, or try to disguise it? Why was this information published in this particular type of source (book, article, website, blog, etc.)? Is the source designed for the general public, students, or experts?
  • Relevance: The value of the source for your needs. Does the type of source meet your assignment’s requirements? Does the information answer your question, support your argument, or add something to your knowledge of the topic? Is it too general or too specific? Is it too basic or too advanced?
  • Objectivity: The reasonableness and completeness of the information. Do the authors present the information thoroughly and professionally? Is it fact or opinion? Is it biased? Do the authors use strong, emotional, manipulative, or offensive language? Do they leave out, or make fun of, important facts or alternative perspectives?
  • Verifiability: The accuracy and truthfulness of the information. Do the authors support the information they present with strong factual evidence? Do they cite or provide links to other sources? What do experts say about the topic? Can you verify the information in other credible sources? Does the source contradict itself, include false statements, or misrepresent other sources?
  • Expertise: The authority of the creators of the source. What makes the authors, publishers, or sponsors of the source authorities on the topic? Do they have related education, experience, or other expertise? Do they provide an important alternative perspective? Has the source been reviewed in some way, such as by an editor or through peer review?
  • Newness: The age of the information. Is your topic in an area that requires current information (such as science, technology, or current events), or could information found in older sources still be useful? When was the information presented in the source first published or posted? Are newer sources available that would add important information to your understanding of the topic?

Recommended Websites

For more help locating reliable information online, see the Finding Credible Web Sources research guide.

Professional Organizations