SFU Library Communication collections policy

Communication is engaged in the study of information and how it is created, shared, distributed, consumed and used. It includes the study of culture as well as the media of communication and the study of the organisations and systems involved in these processes -- from telephone companies, radio and TV broadcasters, national and international government agencies, publishing companies, and computer information systems, to schools and families. Communication studies complements studies in journalism, advertising, business communication, technical media programs, cultural studies and educational programs.

SFU's  School of Communication offers a full set of academic degree programs (Ph.D., M.A. and B.A.) in this field. Communication' s place in the Faculty of Applied Sciences recognises the fact that communication studies are a discipline of practical application.  The approach is interdisciplinary, offering a concentrated program of study in a variety of fields. Undergraduates can specialise in the following areas: communication and society / the social context / public arena; history and communication theory; information technology; political economy, cultural industries, policy; popular culture and media studies; publishing; sound and video production.  Undergraduates can complete joint majors in Communication and Business Administration, Communication and Latin American Studies, and Communication and Sociology and/or Anthropology.

Faculty resources provide for graduate studies in the following areas of interest: theoretical foundations in communication studies; communication in history; broadcasting and telecommunication regulation, policy and practice; communication, development & the environment; the information society / economy; computer mediated networks and virtual environments; publishing; international communication, inter-cultural communication; science and technology policy, technology-transfer, communication of science; media and cultural studies; cultural practices, policies, and politics; acoustic environments and communication; management of technology; telework, telelearning, distance education; political communication; communication in conflict and intervention; crisis / emergency communication; comparative communications and cultural policy research.

Faculty research encompasses the following areas: international development and community economic development; negotiation as communication; women and information technology; technology assessment; participatory design of technology; information technology and work; technology and social movements; film & video; media analysis; feminist analysis; aesthetics & pop culture; social & political theory; economic discourse & market populism; journalism studies; information policy & access to information; documentary research techniques; news discourse on war, peace & social movements; computer mediated communication & collaboration; social network design & evaluation; advertising; children's media & culture; audience research; public communication campaigns; non-broadcast video designs & uses; mass communication; communication network theory & methods; dynamic system simulation methods; social & organisational network; management of technological change; mediated communication; risk communication focussing on the social implication and context of risk assessment..

Centres of education linked to the School of Communication are the Publishing Department and the Centre for Policy Research on Science & Technology.

General Collection Guidelines
Languages:  the emphasis is on the acquisition of materials in English.
Chronological guidelines: the contemporary period is the most relevant
Geographical guidelines: Canada is the primary focus but no area is specifically excluded.
Treatment of subject: Focus should be on theoretical, technological, political, economic and social aspects of communications; approach should be academic rather than technical
Types of materials: collecting is split between books and journals with increasing emphasis on electronic products; government policy and regulations are of particular interest.
Date of Publication: emphasis is on current publications; retrospective acquisitions are normally only for the replacement of important titles that have deteriorated or disappeared
Co-ordination and Co-operation with other campus resources: none at this time
Other factors for consideration: the multidisciplinary nature of Communication results in subject overlap with other departments, as specified below.

Subjects (levels of collecting - soon)

Collecting activities focus on the social and political functions of mass communications in society and the relationship between communications and culture, popular culture, communications technologies, media analysis, political economy of the media, communications policy and law.

Note: subject descriptors are taken from Blackwell's subject headings with the exception of those in italics that are LCSH; notes are from Blackwell's thesaurus or my own additions.

Subject Descriptor - Notes

News photography - Photojournalism
Art as social history - As means to depicting and commenting on social conditions
Art & society - Includes public & private support for art; art and state
Cultural policy
Sociolinguistics - Language & society, sociology of language; incl bilingualism
Language & culture
Censorship (Constitutional law)
Intellectual freedom - Freedom of information, generally
Communications law
Book industry & trade - General
Private presses
Individual publishers
Government publishing
Periodicals publishing
Newspaper publishing
Individual periodicals/newspapers - Use for histories of individual periodical publications
Electronic publishing - Includes publishing and copyrighting of software & databases
Desktop publishing
Other specific publishing
Journalistic reprinting
Book selling
Printing history
Block books
Other printing history
Copyright - Limited to copyright of books; for broader or legal aspects, use Copyright law
Mass media studies
Communications theory - Theory, philosophy & practise of human communications; not information theory
Content analysis - Methods of interpreting & summarising essential points of any kind of communication
Popular culture
Popular culture and children
Propaganda/public opinion
Public opinion
Public opinion polls
Public relations
Communications media
Radio communication
Television communication
Television viewing - Includes ratings
Public broadcasting  - Radio & tv
Broadcast journalism
Literary journalism - Journalism as literature
Reporting - News journalism, including journalistic interviewing
Specific types of journalism - Sports, religion, science, business, crime, editorials, etc.
Technical writing - Includes scientific & medical writing
Interpersonal communications - Includes intercultural communications
Non-verbal communication - Includes body language
Practical politics - Political communication
Citizen action - Action of individuals & private groups in the socio-political arena
Lobbies and lobbying
International relations - Focus on international communications
International cultural exchange
Technology transfer - Especially to developing nations
Educational technology  - Focus on telelearning
Distance education - Focus on telelearning
Communications industry - Includes newspaper, radio, telecommunications, telephone industries; focus on regulatory, public policy aspects
Entertainment industry - Includes television;  focus on regulatory, policy aspects
Printing and publishing industry  - Focus on regulatory, policy aspects
Computers in business - Focus on telecommuting, social aspects of computers in the workplace
Communication services
Telecommunication services
Journalistic advertising
Television & radio advertising
Business communication - Focus on theory, economics of information, intercultural/cross-cultural communication
Cultural analysis
Technology and society - Effects of scientific and technological change on society
Disaster preparedness/planning
Disaster relief - General works on emergency management, risk management, focus on communication
Conflict and its resolution - Sociological studies of conflict in areas of political science, economics & sociology not military
Multiculturalism - Focus on intercultural communications
Science policy - Normally used with a geographic code; focus on public policy
Human/computer interaction
Information technology - Focus on the digital economy, ethics, information systems
Information theory - Theory of transmission & storage of communicated information; incl. machine translation
Technological innovations - Fundamental improvements in materials, methods, management, etc.; focus on managing technological change
Technology and state Technology policy
Telecommunications  General works
Cable television
Videotape & videotaping


Business administration: advertising, computers in the workplace (telecommuting), business communication Contemporary arts: visual communication, video, social history of arts, art & society
Computing science: information theory, information technology, human/computer interaction, technological innovation
Education:  educational technology, distance education (telelearning)
Engineering:  telecommunications technology, videotaping, cable television
Linguistics: study of language use, non-verbal communication, sociolinguistics, semiotics
Political science: government policy and regulation, propaganda, political communications, international communication, conflict resolution
Psychology: non-verbal communication, advertising, propaganda & persuasion, effect of media on behaviour, interpersonal communication
Sociology: intercultural & intracultural communication, cultural analysis, social impact of communication; violence on television; audience studies; popular culture

Created by SR. Last updated by TM (09/12/00).