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Communication Research Guide

  • Find Background
  • News Sources
  • Find Books and Films
  • Find Articles
  • Citing Sources

Find Background

Background sources such as specialized encyclopedias and dictionaries, are an essential piece of the research process. They can help you:

  • Gather information about your topic and understand the scope of the research
  • Locate reliable sources and clarify keywords
  • Pinpoint important authors, texts, ideas, and keywords about the research area; knowing what the primary phrases and concepts are will help you a lot as you are searching library databases and online sources.

Background Sources

MasterFILE Complete

This database features popular full-text magazines, reference books and other highly-regarded sources from today’s leading publishers, covering virtually every subject area of general interest. It also includes an extensive image collection containing photos, maps, and flags which can be found on the right hand side of the results list.

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Opposing Viewpoints in Context

Opposing Viewpoints in Context presents an overview of social, medical, scientific, ethical, historical, and current issues. The result is a dynamic online library of current event topics—the facts, as well as the arguments, of each topic's proponents and detractors. OVRC's unique features include topic overviews—frameworks which allow students to explore each topic's many facets—and exclusive electronic access to Gale's Information Plus reference program of statistics, government data, legislation and more.

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CQ Researcher

CQ Researcher provides award-winning, in-depth coverage of the most important issues of the day. Written by experienced journalists, these reports are footnoted and professionally fact-checked. Full-length articles include an overview, historical background, chronology, pro/con feature, plus resources for additional research. Graphics, photos, and short "sidebar" features round out the reports. Shorter "Hot Topics" articles provide a solid introduction to subjects most in demand by students.

Search CQ Researcher

Credo Reference

Credo Reference is multi-publisher collection of high-quality reference titles covering everything from the arts to astronomy, law to literature, and science to Shakespeare. The collection currently contains over 162 titles taken from 36 different reference publishers and more titles are being added. Available titles also include a range of multimedia options including thousands of high-quality diagrams, photographs, maps, and audio files.

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News Sources

Newspaper Source

Provides selected full text articles from US and international newspapers.

Search Newspaper Source

ProQuest Newspapers

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global features dissertations and theses from around the world. Designated as an official offsite repository for the US Library of Congress, PQDT Global offers comprehensive historic and ongoing coverage for North American works and significant and growing international coverage.

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New York Times – Historical Edition

New York Times Historical Edition provides access to the New York Times from 1851 to 1993.

Search New York Times – Historical Edition

Global Issues in Context

Global Issues in Contexts integrates international news, global viewpoints, reference materials, country information, primary source documents, videos, and statistics. This is a useful database when you are doing background research of searching for a topic.

Search Global Issues in Context

Utah Digital Newspapers

Utah Digital Newspapers contains digitized copies of historical newspapers from throughout the state of Utah and is browsable by county or title and searchable by keyword.

Search Utah Digital Newspapers

Find Books and Films

Print and e-books are valuable sources for academic research. They will help you gain an overview of your topic and often contain in-depth information about the scholarship or history of research on a subject. Some books are written by single authors, while others include essays or chapters by multiple scholars within a discipline. Don’t let the length of books intimidate you because you don’t need to read them from cover to cover. Look at the table of contents and index to find the sections that are relevant to your work.

Find Books Using GriffinSearch

GriffinSearch is a good starting place if you are looking for books, journal articles, films, and other materials available in the library. In addition to searching the Giovale Library catalog for physical materials, GriffinSearch finds e-books and articles from several of our databases. To get started, search by keyword or type in the title of a book here:

Academic Videos Online (AVON)

AVON provides unlimited access to a comprehensive selection of videos curated for the educational experience.

Search Academic Videos Online

Videos about Communication

Videos about Media Studies


WorldCat lets you search for books, articles, videos, and other material that are available in libraries worldwide. If you are doing in-depth research on a topic and are considering requesting resources through Interlibrary Loan, WorldCat can help you discover resources that might not be in the Giovale Library collection.

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Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Interlibrary Loan is a service where patrons of one library can borrow books and other materials, and access journal articles that are owned by another library.

Explore Interlibrary Loan Materials

Utah Academic Library Consortium

Giovale Library participates in the Utah Academic Library Consortium (UALC) and Westminster College students have reciprocal circulation privileges at UALC partner libraries. Each UALC library has different circulation policies, but all require a current, valid, legal photo identification and proof of current enrollment at Westminster. Some libraries may also require other verification methods, so it is recommended that you contact the library you are interested in for details.

Explore the Consortium

Popular Titles and Featured Texts

Language in the Trump era : scandals and emergencies book cover

Language in the Trump Era : Scandals and Emergencies

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Antisocial : online extremists, techno-utopians, and the hijacking of the American conversation book cover

Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation

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Classic Penguin : cover to cover

Classic Penguin : Cover to Cover

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Why Fonts Matter book cover

Why Fonts Matter

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Find Articles

The Giovale Library provides access to a number of subject databases that you can use to find journal articles on topics within a specific discipline or field of study. The databases listed on this page are those that are most useful for finding research published in communications.


GriffinSearch is a good starting place if you are looking for books, journal articles, films, and other material available in the library. In addition to searching the Giovale Library catalog for physical materials, GriffinSearch finds e-books and articles from several of our databases.

Search GriffinSearch

Communication and Mass Media Complete (CMMC)

Provides indexing and full-text access to journals in communication and mass media, including such fields as broadcasting, linguistics, marketing, media history, and more.

Search CMMC


JSTOR is an interdisciplinary archive of full text articles from journals in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.  It includes retrospective coverage of publications which means that a majority of the articles will be 1 to 5 years old. To search for anthropology or archeology articles, after entering your search terms, scroll down to “Journal Filter” and select anthropology or archeology.

Search JSTOR

Academic Search Ultimate

Academic Search Ultimate is an interdisciplinary database. It contains academic and popular sources. Academic Search Ultimate provides full text and indexing for academic, social sciences, humanities, general science, education, and multi-cultural journals.

Search Academic Search Ultimate

Citing Sources

Citation Resources

Properly citing your sources shows that you’ve done research to become knowledgeable about your topic and helps you avoid plagiarism. Explore citation resources to learn how to correctly cite sources based on style.

Need help with your research?

Get in touch with:

Zayden Tethong Headshot

Zayden Tethong

Liaison Librarian for Communication

Librarians are happy to answer questions via email, phone, or in-person.

Contact Zayden with a question or to schedule a research help appointment.

Faculty: Contact Zayden to suggest edits to this research guide.

Chat with a Librarian

Use the chat box below to ask the library staff a question. If chat is unavailable or we don’t respond quickly, please use the email form on our Get Research Help page and a library staff member will contact you as soon as we are available.