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The following guide is intended to be an introduction to higher level research strategies appropriate for finding peer-reviewed articles and other scholarly content, whether investigating appropriate research methodologies, identifying key literature, staying current in your field, etc. There are also links to research tools and services intended to save you time and support your work as a graduate student.
As the liaison librarian for Communication at SFU, I'd be pleased to consult about your specific research needs, whether it's tracking down a specific title, identifying relevant literature or managing the information flow.
Powerpoint slides from Jan 17, 2022, Zoom workshop with Sylvia Roberts, Liaison Librarian, and Robyn Long, Graduate Writing Coordinator
Communication research is widely cross-disciplinary. Your research interests may also be served by databases covering related fields (sociology, political science, computing science, health sciences, business, cultural institutions). You can find databases grouped by subject (disciplinary groupings) or try searching a multi-disciplinary sources like Google Scholar, to help you identify research across fields.
DON'T miss these key tools:
Communication & Mass Media Complete Indexes complete contents of more than 500 journals related to communication & media studies, with selected indexing of 150 more journals, with good coverage of linguistics and film as well
Web of Science Index to articles in major journals in science, technology, social sciences with some arts & humanities content. NO controlled vocabulary so you need to use synonyms and related terms to ensure comprehensive searching. Enables citation searching and for "related records", article that have citations in common, even if they don't cite each other.
Google Scholar Indexes the full text of articles, books, reports, academic web sites, reports, etc. Good for cross-disciplinary and emerging fields of research. Relevancy ranking are citation counts are questionable; seems to be more of a popularity contest.
Oxford Bibliographies Online provides annotated bibliographies to key scholarly texts, organized by discipline and research theme. The entries are written by experts and reviewed regularly. An excellent starting point for locating important literature and scholarly sources on a topic. Focuses on the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
Most of our article indexes have a link embedded in the record which allows you to find SFU library holdings for the article (print or online) or request it.
- WorldCat lets you search holdings of major research libraries in North America and Europe, including (selectively) archival and media holdings, web sites, etc.
- ProQuest Dissertations and Theses an index to PhD and Master's theses in all subject areas. Along with social media and conference proceedings, you can use t a view into recent research by emerging scholars, as well as another source of scholarship to mine for sources.
- Archival materials
Tracking your research
- Citation or reference management tools collect your journal article, book, or other document citations together in one place, and help you create properly formatted bibliographies in almost any style — in seconds. Citation management tools help you keep track of your sources while you work and store your references for future use and reuse
- NVivo can be used to track sources and may be worth using if you're familiar with it. The Research Commons offers a workshop on using it for that purpose.
- New Library acquisitions 3 months of new materials, updated weekly. Browse by discipline: Communication.
- Current Awareness Resources
- Guidelines for preparing and submitting your thesis includes templates for formatting thesis to meet the university requirements
- The Research Commons provides support for academic writing and learning at the graduate level
- Scholarly publishing guide to support services and information about the world of scholarly publishing: open access and digitization funds,
SFU Library Services for Graduate Students provides an overview, useful for those new to SFU
Communication Information Resources links to course research guides, specialized sources for background information, statistics and data, key associations & organizations, government information, etc.
- Reciprocal borrowing privileges for SFU students at BC postsecondary and Canadian university libraries. Be sure to check with our Library Loans staff before leaving town, to make sure you have the documentation you need.
- Off-campus and wireless bookmarklet and other ways to authenticate as an SFU researcher to as to access licensed sources from off-campus
- Ask a Librarian: all the ways you can reach a librarian for a quick question about research