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Communication Studies Research Guide

Reference Sources - Finding Books - Finding Articles in Magazines and Journals - Selected Websites

This guide includes basic resources in communication studies. Since the field is interdisciplinary, there are many other potentially useful resources for your research in such fields as sociology, psychology, and political science. Consult a librarian for your particular informational needs.


The reference collection is located on the 2nd floor of the library and includes dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, and other sources that provide background information on a topic. Many articles in reference sources also include bibliographies, that is, lists of books and articles in periodicals where you can find more information on the topic. Reference books do not circulate.


Encyclopedic Dictionary of Semiotics, Media, and Communications. University of Toronto Press, 2000.
REF P87.5 .D36 2000
Ample definitions and descriptions of terms, concepts, people, schools of thought, and historical movements in the fields of semiotics, media, and communications.

Webster's New World Dictionary of Media and Communications. Simon & Schuster, 1990.
REF P87.5 .W45 1990
Short, easy to understand definitions for an extensive collection of words in the media and communication fields, including advertising, broadcasting, marketing, public relations, radio, and much more.


Encyclopedia of International Media and Communications. Academic Press, 2003.
REF P87.5 .E535 2003 (4 vols.)
An encyclopedia that offers a comprehensive description of international media activities. Bibliographies included at the conclusion of each article. In volume 1, the contents of the set are grouped by subject area. Under “Media Issues,” for example, you can find articles such as “Freedom of the Press” and under “Historical Views,” you can find articles such as “Role of TV.”

International Encyclopedia of Communications. Oxford, 1989.
REF P87.5 .I5 1989 (4 vols.)
This encyclopedia attempts to “define, reflect, summarize, and explain” the field of communication. Includes bibliographies. A topical guide in v. 4 categorizes all the articles in the set. Under “Nonverbal Communication,” for example, you will find such articles as “Body Decoration,” “Interaction, Face-to-Face,” and “Touch.”

Encyclopedia of Communication Theory. Sage, 2009.
REF P87.5 .E496 2009 (2 vols.)

Encyclopedia of Journalism. Sage, 2009.
REF PN4729 .E48 2009

Encyclopedia of Media and Politics. CQ Press, 2007.
REF95.82 .U6E47 2007
Through entries written by scholars and researchers, this encyclopedia explores the role of the media and its influence on the U.S. political system.

Encyclopedia of Politics, the Media, and Popular Culture. Greenwood, 2009.
REF P95.82 .U6C62 2009
This work examines important interactions among popular culture, politics, and media in the U.S., concentrating on developments since the dawn of the 20th century.

Encyclopedia of Gender in Media. Sage, 2012.
REF P96 .S5 E53 2012

Encyclopedia of Social Movement Media. Sage, 2011.
P96 .A44 E53 2011

Encyclopedia of Radio. Fitzroy, 2004.
REF TK6544 .M84 2004 (3 vols.)

Encyclopedia of Television. Fitzroy, 2004.
REF PN1992.18 .E53 2004 (4 vols.)


Handbooks provide an overview of research in a particular area of communication. Most handbooks of communication studies are shelved in the reference collection on 2nd floor. Here is a selected list of handbooks. See a complete list on Moodle/Library/Communication Studies.

Handbook of Children and the Media
REF HQ784 .T4S533 2001

Handbook of Communication and Social Interaction Skills
REF HM1111 .H36 2003

Handbook of International and Intercultural Communication
REF P94.6 .H36 2002

Handbook of Interpersonal Communication
REF BF637 .C45 H287 2002

Handbook of Media Audiences
REF P96 .A83 H35 2011

Handbook of Peer Interactions, Relationships, and Groups
REF BF723 .I646 H36 2011

Handbook of Political Communication Research
REF JA85 .H36 2004

The New Handbook of Organizational Communication: Advances in Theory, Research, and Methods
REF HD30.3 .H3575 2001


Mass Media: Opposing Viewpoints
REF P92 .U5M276 2005
Presents a variety of viewpoints on bias in the media, media ownership, media’s effect on society, and the effect of the internet on the media.

Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Family and Personal Relationships
REF HQ536 .T35 2010

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Find books in the Tredway Library through the library’s catalog ALiCat. Find books in college and university libraries in Illinois through the I-Share catalog. Both catalogs work in the same way. You can request books from I-Share, and they will be sent to Augie is a few days.

Here are some useful subject headings to browse in ALiCat or I-Share:

Communication in Organizations
Communication in Politics
Intercultural Communication
Interpersonal Communication
Mass Media
Nonverbal Communication
Oral Communication
Public Speaking

Useful Library of Congress call numbers for browsing in the stacks (A-H books located on 3rd floor; J-Z books located on 1st floor):

BF 637 Applied psychology
HE 8698-8700.9Radio and television Broadcasting
HF Advertising
HQ Family
J Political science
P 87-96 Mass media
P 99-99.4 Semiotics
P 99.5-99.6 Nonverbal communication
PN 1865-1999 Special types of drama (including radio, tv, and film)
PN 4001-4355 Oratory
PN 4699-5650 Journalism

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Here, we list the essential indexes for finding articles in journals and magazines related to communication. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the field, there are many other indexes that might be appropriate to use. Explore other subject areas on the library’s web site, such as psychology or social sciences, or consult a librarian.

A comprehensive database of articles and books in human communication studies, ComAbstracts indexes over 125 journals. Search by keyword, phrase, or author. Citations and abstracts, not full text, are provided. We may have the journal in full text in another database or in hard copy. To find out if we do have the journal in full text, search the title of the journal under the tab “Journals and Magazines” on the library’s web site.

Communication & Mass Media Complete (CMMC)
Offers full text access to about 200 journals, and citations and abstracts for many more. Again, use “Journals and Magazines” to locate the full text of any periodical owned by Augustana.

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“Reelradio’s Reel Top 40 Repository, for the preservation and presentation of music radio history.”

An essay and tutorial on using semiotics techniques to analyze advertising, media, and contemporary culture.

The web site for the National Communication Association which includes information on conferences, rankings of graduate school programs, and more.

Political Communication:
Project Vote Smart
The web site of the Commission on Presidential Debates. Includes transcripts of presidential debates since 1960.
The Pew Center for the People & the Press. An independent opinion research group that conducts national surveys and polls about attitudes towards politics and the news. All data is available on the site.
Stanford University’s online archive of ads from political campaigns.
From the Museum of the Moving Image, The Living Room Candidate is an online exhibit of presidential campaign ads from 1952-2008.

Archive of American oratory and related documents. Search by speaker, issue, or time period. Also provides links to other places on the web that include speeches and documents.
American Rhetoric provides links to lots of full text, audio, and video versions of thousands of speeches. Includes “figures in sound” which gives examples of speeches that illustrate certain rhetorical devices. Check out the “100 most significant American political speeches of the 20th century.”

Yahoo’s Issues and Causes page on media ethics and accountability.
Research tools in journalism, compiled by Northwestern University.
Run by the Pew Research Center, this site presents data on the state of the news media.

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