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COM 712; Empirical Research Methods (Pennington): Introduction to Library Services & Resources

Resources to assist students with research projects

Welcome!

Welcome to the COM 712 Library Research Guide!

 

To begin, view the UNLV Libraries tutorials at this by clicking here.

Need more help?   Contact your librarian, Susie Skarl at susie.skarl@unlv.edu

Communication Studies Related-Databases

Learn Effective Database Searching Strategies

Learn Effective General Searching & Database Search Strategies

  (The following are suggestions to improve your search results)

 Please note: Many publishers require authors to provide a list of keywords with their submitted publication. If you find a really great article that deals with your topic, check out the author's list of keywords (generally provided under the abstract). Here's an example:
Article Title: Channels of Computer-Mediated Communication and Satisfaction in Long-Distance Relationships
Keywords: communication technologies, computer-mediated communication, long-distance relationships, relationship satisfaction, communication satisfaction

Below are some other useful searching tips:

Use different search terms or keywords

  • Try using other words to describe your topic, it will give you better results. 
  • Examples: social media, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

 Truncation or wildcard (*)

  • This will locate alternate endings for your search term.
  • Example - comm* to find communications, communication, communicator, etc.
  • Note: Some databases use different symbols; consult the help page for the correct symbol

 Try different databases

  • Each database contains unique material, so searching a different database may yield more relevant research.

 Help page

  • Each database has a page with tips to help you effectively search that resource.

Some Journals to Get You Started

Finding Measures

Sage Research Methods Database

APA 7th Edition Resources

new edition of APA is has arrived (as of 10-19)!

APA has posted the introduction and table of contents, including what's new in the Seventh Edition, here:

https://apastyle.apa.org/manual/publication-manual-7th-edition-introduction.pdf

 

Examples of some of the changes: 

  • endorses the use of singular "they"
  • no running head for student papers
  • issue number always included for journal articles
  • DOIs and URLS presented as hyperlinks

Using Mendeley

Tips for Searching Google Scholar

A note about Google Scholar . . . 

Although Google Scholar contains many resources, it does not contain access to all relevant resources for your research topic.  Researchers are strongly encouraged to look at the additional resources mentioned above to conduct a thorough literature review.  You do not need to purchase articles via Google Scholar many are available for through the UNLV Libraries or via Interlibrary Loan.

For help connecting to UNLV Libraries' resources through Google Scholar see the following.

 

 

  

Annotated Bibliographies Samples & Guides

How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography

WHAT IS AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY?

An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited.


ANNOTATIONS VS. ABSTRACTS

Abstracts are the purely descriptive summaries often found at the beginning of scholarly journal articles or in periodical indexes. Annotations are descriptive and critical; they may describe the author's point of view, authority, or clarity and appropriateness of expression.


THE PROCESS

Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills: concise exposition, succinct analysis, and informed library research.

First, locate and record citations to books, periodicals, and documents that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic. Briefly examine and review the actual items. Then choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.

Cite the book, article, or document using the appropriate style.

Write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article. Include one or more sentences that (a) evaluate the authority or background of the author, (b) comment on the intended audience, (c) compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or (d) explain how this work illuminates your bibliography topic.


CRITICALLY APPRAISING THE BOOK, ARTICLE, OR DOCUMENT

For guidance in critically appraising and analyzing the sources for your bibliography, see How to Critically Analyze Information Sources. For information on the author's background and views, ask at the reference desk for help finding appropriate biographical reference materials and book review sources.


CHOOSING THE CORRECT FORMAT FOR THE CITATIONS

Check with your instructor to find out which style is preferred for your class. Online citation guides for both the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) styles are linked from the Library's Citation Management page.


SAMPLE ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY ENTRY FOR A JOURNAL ARTICLE

 

The following example uses APA style (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, 2010) for the journal citation:

Waite, L. J., Goldschneider, F. K., & Witsberger, C. (1986). Nonfamily living and the erosion of traditional family orientations among young adults. American Sociological Review, 51, 541-554.

The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living.

 

This example uses MLA style (MLA Handbook, 8th edition, 2016) for the journal citation:

Waite, Linda J., et al. "Nonfamily Living and the Erosion of Traditional Family Orientations Among Young Adults." American Sociological Review, vol. 51, no. 4, 1986, pp. 541-554.

The authors, researchers at the Rand Corporation and Brown University, use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and Young Men to test their hypothesis that nonfamily living by young adults alters their attitudes, values, plans, and expectations, moving them away from their belief in traditional sex roles. They find their hypothesis strongly supported in young females, while the effects were fewer in studies of young males. Increasing the time away from parents before marrying increased individualism, self-sufficiency, and changes in attitudes about families. In contrast, an earlier study by Williams cited below shows no significant gender differences in sex role attitudes as a result of nonfamily living.

Credit: Research & Learning Services, Olin Library, Cornell University Library, Ithaca, NY, USA

Use Time-Saving Library Services & Resources

UNLV Interlibrary Loan: Use this account to get articles, books, and other resources from our interlibrary loan system that are not available through UNLV Libraries for free by clicking HERE to set up an account. 

RefWorks: Software that will allow you to store, organize and format your research citations via the Internet automatically.

Google Scholar is a subset of Google that is designed to search for academic and scholarly articles and books online.

Follow UNLV Libraries on Twitter & Like Us on Facebook: For library news, research assistance, schedules, resource updates, and more, follow us on Twitter: @unlvlibraries  & Like Us on Facebook.

Suggest a Purchase for the UNLV Libraries: Do you have a suggestion for an item that we should add to the library collections?  Click here to make your request.

Research Consultations: If you would like to schedule a time that is convenient for your schedule to discuss your research, please contact me at susie.skarl@unlv.edu or 702-895-2141.

Citation Analysis Tools

Use the following resources to track citations, including by author, number of articles cited, number of articles published, etc.

Publication Information

Need to know where to publish, how to contact a publisher, and what has been published?  Check out the following resources.

Need Additional Help?

Susie Skarl, Urban Affairs Librarian's picture
 
 
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UNLV Libraries
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Box 457014
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702-895-2141
 
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