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Communication: Articles

A guide for communication majors starting their research.

Some databases to use in the field of communication

Academic Search Complete - "Academic Search Complete provides comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database, with more than 5,990 full-text periodicals, including more than 5,030 peer-reviewed journals. this database offers indexing and abstracts for more than 9,990 journals and a total of more than 10,400 publications including monographs, reports, conference proceedings, etc."

Newsbank or Access World News - "Full-text information and perspectives from over 600 U.S. and over 700 international news sources, each with its own distinctive focus offering diverse viewpoints on local, regional and world issues. The search engine provides researchers with the ability to gather information from one source or country, or any combination specified by the user."

Ethnic Newswatch - "News, Culture and history from 200+ publications of the ethnic, minority and native press. The material is available in both English and Spanish search interfaces."

Jstor - "This source is a scholarly journal archive. Jstor provides full text image content for 322 titles in subject areas such as African American Studies, Language and Literature, Sociology, Philosophy, etc."


Tampa Tribune & Tampa Bay Times - "Complete full-text content of local and regional news, including community events, schools, politics, government policies, cultural activities, local companies, state industries, and people in the community. This database covers the year 1987-present."

What is a peer-reviewed article?

A scholarly periodical which requires that each article submitted for publication be judged by an independent panel of experts (scholarly or scientific peers). Articles not approved by a majority of these peers are not accepted for publication by the journal.

Peer-reviewed journals can be identified by their editorial statements or instructions to authors (usually in the first few pages of the journal or at the end). Many databases allow you to search for only "peer-reviewed" or "scholarly" articles.

Note: often your university instructors will expect you to use scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles. However, if you are not sure about the acceptability of an article, website, or other source get in touch with your faculty member.

Other common characteristics of scholarly, peer-reviewed, or refereed journal:

  • Formal in format
  • Sources are cited with footnotes or a bibliography at the end of the article
  • Authors are scholars and researchers in the field and are identified as such
  • Purpose of the article is to publish the results of research
  • Publisher may be a professional organization, research institution; usually not-for-profit
  • Very little advertising
  • Graphics are usually statistical illustrations, in black-and-white