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Communication Studies

Resource guide for COMS Research


We've recently improved OneSearch! The following tutorial will show you how to navigate the library's resources including books and eBooks. Find books, articles, media, and more in OneSearch.

Find books, articles, media, and more! Start your search in OneSearch.

Finding Books Beyond the University Library

What if the University Library doesn't own a book you need? You can request it through CSU+, a new resource sharing program with other CSU Libraries. The following tutorial will show you how to use this option:

**The CSU+ Resource Sharing program is temporarily on hold due to public health mandates for our campus. Please visit the library's COVID-19 webpage for updates on when this service will once again be available.**

Finding Specific Journals

Need to find a specific journal? 

On the library homepage, guide your eyes to the OneSearch box. Just underneath that box is a link titled 'Journals'.


Once you've clicked on the link, type in the name of the journal (or ISSN).

When you've found your journal, click on the title. The information noted lets you know two things: 1) the link to the database where the article can be found; and 2) what kind of publication access you'll have to the journal (i.e., are there several timeframes or what's the oldest publication date you can see).


Boolean Operators

Boolean Operators are used to connect two, or more, keywords together as a way to narrow or expand your search results.  

AND - narrows your topic; only results with the terms 'women' and 'media' found in the title, subject heading or description will be shown.

OR - expands your topic; useful when you want to add to your results; this terms works well when using synonyms as keywords.

NOT - removes results; if your keyword can be defined in multiple ways. For example, 'image' can mean pictures but it could also be related to body image or self-esteem.

Finding Articles

Here is a short list of databases that you can utilize in your research. More options are available on the Communication Studies database page and the A-Z Databases page.

Theses & Dissertations

Searching the Internet

Advanced Google Searching

Google offers many search techniques to help refine results, similar to what can be done in a library database. For example:

Enclose keywords in quotes to search an exact phrase: "san fernando valley"

Enclose in parentheses and separate with OR to retrieve any of those keywords in the results: (csun OR "california state university northridge")

Add a minus sign to remove webpages containing a keyword or phrase: -parking

Limit search to specific website:

Limit search to specific domain:

Limit results by date of last update: From the results screen, click Search Tools and select time period from the Anytime menu

Get definitions or explanations of terms: define keyword/phrase, i.e., define "fiscal cliff"

Watch the Advanced Google Searching video for more help.

See also: Web Search Help for more tips and tricks for searching Google

More Search Engines

Google Scholar - (searches scholarly journals and other academic sources.) 

Google Products - (Google offers many productivity tools as well as other specialized search engines.)

SearchEngineWatch - (There's more to searching the Internet than Google! This is a comprehensive directory of search engines by type.)

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