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Communication in Relationships (04:192:201)

Library research guide for Communication in Relationships (04:192:201)

Tips

  • Untrained searchers generally get too few or too many results.
  • Your success also depends on the scope of the database you use. Choose indexes specifically for communication research rather than broader multi-disciplinary databases.
  • Different databases may require different phrases, keywords, or search terms. Look for a database thesaurus or subject index to find the right terms to use.

For more help with searching, check out the videos and tutorials available through the libraries.

Communication Studies Databases

Interdisciplinary Databases

Basic Search: Quick and Dirty

This kind of searching is what most people do -- you simply enter a word(s) or a phrase and hope that relevant articles will turn up. Most of the time you will find a few articles that are of interest to you, at least to browse. We often call this type of searching "quick and dirty." In case your basic search does not retrieve any articles that are of interest, or retrieves too many articles, you will need to learn about advanced search strategies that will increase the probability of obtaining helpful results.

Advanced Searching Using Boolean Operators

One of the more commonly practiced advanced search strategies is Boolean searching using operators like "and" and "or".

  • Use "and" to retrieve fewer results (i.e., narrow down your search) and find only articles that include all of the terms specified.
  • Use "or" to retrieve more results (i.e., broaden your search) and find articles that include any of the terms specified. In the latter case, using synonyms or similar words separated by the word "or" may also help expand your search.

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