Welcome to the APSU Library! Below is
information that you will find useful for Communication 5000. The following
information is intended to assist you in determining what your information needs
are, finding the information you need, and evaluating the information you
find. Links to various library services are provided throughout this document.
You will need to follow each link to find out about that particular resource or
service. Through the Ask A Librarian service,
you can request assistance via email, chat, or telephone. You also have access
to a librarian via telephone (221-7346 or 1-800-250-1890), via email librarian,
or in person by coming to the Library.
The first question you need to ask yourself is
"What types of information do I need for my research
project/paper?" You have access to many types and formats of information
through the APSU Library. You may have done library "research" for other classes you have taken at APSU
or other schools. You probably had to find a certain number of articles, books,
and/or web resources for your paper or project. Much of your previous research
was probably done in conjunction with writing a paper that was intended to
inform or analyze a particular topic. Your research for this class will be
much more intensive and include quantitative methods, historical and legal
research. Dr. Kanervo will inform you as to the specific types of resources
she expects you to use for your project. So, how and where do you find
the information you need? The APSU Library is the place to start.
What does APSU Library have available?
A good way to think of the APSU
Library is as an information portal. The Library's website is a bridge to
vast amounts of information both inside and outside APSU. Use the Library's website to find
out what is available (http://library.apsu.edu). The Library owns or provides
access to a wide variety of materials.
Austin is the Library's online catalog. It lists items that are available
both physically in the Library and
items that you have access to through the Library. You can check Austin to
see if the Library owns a particular book (either in print or in electronic
format), a journal title (not a specific article), videos, selected
government publications, websites and other materials. The Library subscribes to a number
of general and specialized databases
that provide you with bibliographic citations to resources, and in some cases
the full-text of the resource. Subject
pages (arranged by discipline) have been developed so that many of the
information resources for a particular discipline are grouped together in one
place. Now that we have determined that the place to look for information
is the Library, we need to find out how we find the needed information.
Searching for information
You will find the following search protocols
useful when searching for any kind of information.
Start with a specific topic. Broaden or narrow it as
necessary. For example you might begin your research by searching for Interpersonal
Communication. Depending on your specific topic you may
need to broaden your search to Interpersonal Interaction or narrow it to
Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to help construct your
search strategy. Boolean operators assist you in combining search
concepts and defining your searches. The AND operator narrows
your search. The OR operator broadens your search. The NOT
operator excludes information from your search. Examples: Television
Advertising AND Brand Preferences would retrieve resources
containing information about both television advertising and brand
preferences. Consumer Attitudes OR Consumer Behavior would retrieve information about
either topic. Study NOT Qualitative would exclude qualitative
studies, but include all other studies.
Limit by format and material type when searching databases.
Many databases allow you limit your searches by material type and format such as journal articles, refereed publications, research, literature
reviews, and many others. Check in each database you use to see how to
limit by publication type and format.
Use the references at the end of an article or book chapter
to find other resources. The references used by someone else in their
research are extremely valuable to you. By consulting those resources,
you may find information that you may not have known about and that
will improve your research.
Check subject terms assigned to an article to see if there
are more accurate or specific terms for your topic. Whenever you search
a catalog or database, always look at the subject terms that have been
assigned to the resource. You may find a better or more accurate
subject term for your topic and improve your research.
If you are having trouble finding information about your topic,
think of other terms to describe your topic. Example: another way
to describe death penalty is capital punishment.
If the database or index you are searching uses a controlled
vocabulary or thesaurus, use it! Your search will be much more
accurate than if you use keywords. By using the thesaurus in a
database, you are using the language used by the indexers and abstractors.
Note: For new concepts or buzz words, you may have to use keyword searching
because the new terms may not have made it into the controlled vocabulary of
the discipline. Also, if you are having no luck using the thesaurus in
particular database, you may want to perform a keyword search and check the
subject headings or descriptors used for a relevant article.
You are going to find much of the information you
need for Dr. Kanervo's class in journals. These journals are going
to be indexed in various subject databases. Databases index a variety of
information including articles, book chapters, book reviews, letters,
retractions, editorials, and others. Some databases you will use contain
only bibliographic citations, some include an abstract, and others include the
full text of a resource. I will describe some of the subject databases you
will use in your research for this class in the next section.
Databases are produced by many different vendors
and each vendor has their own search software. Wouldn't it be
wonderful if there were a uniform search platform? The search protocols
that I mention in the previous section will help you to search each database
effectively regardless of the vendor.
Many database vendors provide abstracts for many
of the publications they index. Be sure to read them carefully. They
can save you a lot time. An article may seem to be perfect from the title,
but may discuss something irrelevant to your topic. The abstract helps you
determine if the publication is meaningful to your research topic. The
abstract is NO substitution for consulting the complete article or study.
Consult the specific databases listed below to
determine which one or ones you need to use for your research topic. You
may need to consult the list of all
databases to decide if there are other databases that will assist in your
As an APSU student you have access to databases
available through the APSU Library both on campus and off-campus via remote
access. Consult the Remote
Access to APSU Databases guide for assistance.
(Educational Resources Information Center) is the premier national
bibliographic database of education literature. The areas of education
covered by ERIC include communication, assessment & evaluation, educational
management, elementary education, higher education, and many others.
Materials indexed in ERIC are books, journal articles, proceedings, theses,
dissertations, book/product reviews, classroom guides, computer programs, and
others. The ERIC link above takes you to a brief user guide
and a search link to the database. Additionally, there is online help
available once you are in ERIC. Use the Database Guide or Help link in the top
right portion of the screen.
ERIC has an online thesaurus available.
The link to the Thesaurus is located just above the search box on the
initial search screen (as one of the tabs). Consult it to construct
your search. The ERIC thesaurus provides a scope note for terms that
may include a definition, the date term was introduced, broader, narrower and
If you are searching for a particular author
important to your topic, click on the Index tab. Select the Personal
Author Index from the pull-down menu and type in the author's last name
and first initial if it is a common last name.
The Limits feature is located to the
right of the search box in the top portion of the screen. Click on the
<Change> button to set limits initially or to change them. You
may limit by document type, language, date and others. Note:
Using the document type limit, you may restrict your search to research
Academic is a database that provides full-text
documents from over 5,600 news, business, legal, medical, and reference
publications with a variety of flexible search options. Lexis-Nexis
Academic's sources have been selected to meet academic research needs and
National and regional newspapers, wire services, broadcast
transcripts, international news, and non-English language sources
U.S. Federal and state case law, codes, regulations, legal
news, law reviews, and international legal information
Shepard’s® Citations for all U.S. Supreme Court
cases back to 1789
Business news journals, company financial information, SEC
filings and reports, and industry and market news
Searching Lexis-Nexis is done via five different
search forms [News, Business, Legal Research, Medical, and Reference].
Additionally, there is a “Quick Info” default search form on the homepage.
Searching in Lexis-Nexis Academic is by keyword.
Select one of the five search forms above to
perform research in a specific area (news, medical, legal, etc.)
Use the Quick News Search to search
all the English language full-text news sources including up to the most
recent two years in Lexis-Nexis Academic.
Use the Guided News Search form to run precise news
searches. This search form provides drop-down menus that allow you to
customize your news sources.
Use quotations to search a phrase ( example: "truth in
provides full-text access to back issues of selected academic
journals in the following areas: African American Studies, Anthropology,
Asian Studies, Ecology, Economics, Education, Finance, History, Languages &
Literature, Mathematics, Philosophy, Political Science, Population Studies,
Sociology, and Statistics. JSTOR does not include current
To determine if a particular journal title is
included in JSTOR, and the dates available, use Austin (Library Catalog).
Searching in JSTOR is by keyword. Search
terms are searched in the title, abstract, full-text or author
indexes. You may select which index you want to search. Note:
When you select full-text, your search terms are compared with
every word in the body of the articles as well as the citation
information (author, title).
If you know the name of the journal and have your
citation information, the best way to search in JSTOR is by Browsing
the journal titles.
You may limit your search in JSTOR by journal (subject
individual title), type of article and date range.
MUSE includes current issues of nearly 200 quality journal titles from
some 30 scholarly publishers, covering the fields of literature and criticism,
history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political
science, gender studies, economics, and many others. Links to back issues from
JSTOR are available for some titles. These direct links only work from
on-campus (access JSTOR from the Jump to Database box if off-campus).
You may search Project MUSE by article
full-text, article title, article author, Library of Congress subject
headings, journal title, by all fields including article text, or all fields
excluding article text.
The best way to search Project MUSE, if you
know the name of the journal and have your citation information, is to
select Journals (on the homepage). This allows you to select a
specific journal title and go directly to the issue you need.
In the Advanced Search mode, you may limit your search
by document type, by date, or by journal title or subject area.
Business File lists citations and summaries of most articles and the
entire text of some articles in business, management, and economic periodicals.
It also provides access to broker research reports.
You may search General Business File by
subject term or keyword.
You may limit your search to articles with
full-text, refereed & scholarly publications, by date, by journal
title, and by keyword.
A Library holdings link
means that Woodward Library owns some volumes of that publication
(not necessarily the volume that includes the article). To see which volumes
Woodward Library owns, click Library holdings.
Most of the items listed in the databases that are owned by Woodward Library
are located on Level 1.
Use the Advanced Search to search terms in specific
fields such as article title, author, subject, journal title, text word and
Does the APSU Library have the
periodical I need?
The easiest way to determine if
the APSU Library has the journal you need is to search Austin ((Library Catalog)) by
title. If you have identified an article in a periodical
database or index, and the complete article is not available from that
database, check to see if the needed periodical is available by searching
Austin. All Periodicals (both electronic and print or
microfilm) are now listed in Austin.
Evaluation of Information
Material that you find in
has been selected for the APSU Library by librarians and subject faculty using
formal selection criteria and professional reviews. Resources indexed in
subject databases have met certain
criteria set forth by the database publishers such as subjects covered,
publication type, and others. You will have to evaluate this
information further to determine if it is appropriate for your research purposes.
There are various criteria to assist you in evaluating materials for your
research project. Here
are some links that will help you to evaluate journal articles and books.
to Evaluate Journal Articles
to Evaluate Books
I'm sure that most of you
are aware that there is some very good information, some very bad information
and much in between available on the Internet. How do you tell which is
which? As with all information that you examine for your research, you
must evaluate its usefulness and relevance to your particular project. You
must ask yourself questions such as who is responsible for this website?
Are they an expert in the field? Is this information relevant to my
research? Is sponsor of this website a commercial
entity or an educational institution or an organization or what? Is the
information current? Can the information be verified in other
sources? Here are a several links that will help you to evaluate
to Evaluate a Web Page
Criteria for Evaluating Web Pages
You may need some resources for your project that
the Library does not own. If that is the case, you need to use the
Library's interlibrary loan service (ILL). We can borrow materials that you
other libraries worldwide. Just fill out the online ILL
form and submit it electronically. Some of you may request dissertations or
theses that you find in the databases mentioned above. Many times these
documents are only available from the institution which granted the degree and
can be hard to borrow through ILL. That said, please don't hesitate to
submit the request. We may be able to borrow it. The most important
thing to remember about ILL is to plan ahead! While we have the
technology to receive articles via the internet, we still use regular (snail)
mail for books and other resources. Not all libraries that we borrow from
have the technology to send articles via the internet and still use regular
mail. Plan ahead.
Once you select the sources to
use in your research project/paper, you will need to put them in some type of
order and format. Dr. Kanervo has told you that you will use the Publication
Manual of the American Psychological Association, 5th edition as the
basis for preparing your bibliography/paper. She will advise you of the
specific format she wants you to use for citing sources in this class. The Library has copies of the
APA manual at the Information Desk. The Library's web page on style
guides will help you put your resources in APA format.
I have given you a lot of
information. I don't expect you to remember all of it. There is help
available to you in a variety of ways. The Ask
A Librarian service provides help via email, chat or via telephone. You may also
contact me personally (see contact information below). I am generally
available Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. via telephone, voicemail, email or in person.
It is probably best to give me a call to see if I am in my office before
stopping by. Please don't spend hours looking for
something and get frustrated. Ask for help. That's why the Library