Canadian Communication in Context

Course #: CS101B

A) Five tips for scholarly research

  1. Read your topic question closely to find relevant keywords
    • Class example: argue for or against ownership restrictions in Canadian Media
    • Relevant keywords: Canada / Canadian; Convergence; Concentration; Ownership; Bias; Influence; Competition; Media; Newspapers; Radio; Television; Telecommunications; Bell (communication company, case study)
  2. Use Omni (from the library homepage) for books, and research databases for articles
  3. Don't start your research by typing in questions; use the keywords you come up with instead
  4. Use specialized research databases listed on the Communication Studies subject page for scholarly articles
  5. If you have questions, ask me

B) How to find a focus

C) What are scholarly sources

For the annotated bibliography, you will need 10 sources, seven of which should be scholarly: peer reviewed journal articles, academic books, government reports.

Important search tips:

  • read each source and check reference lists
  • start early: library staff can deliver items from other libraries
  • keep track of where you look and the keywords you use
  • don't pay for articles
  • know how to combine keywords.

D) Books and government documents

1) Use the Omni to identify items at Laurier, the Universities of Waterloo and Guelph, and the Annex

  • Start with a narrow focus, then broaden to find more items
    • Hint: for Canadian topics, try searching for specific provinces as well as Canada
  • Check the facets at the left of the results page to focus your results
  • In each book, check the tables of contents and indexes for your keywords
  • Learn about call numbers
  • Floor plans for locating books
    • Check out books at main floor service desk
  • Requesting books from other libraries

E) Scholarly articles

1) Identify articles using a database:

2) Need more articles? Search journal titles to track down references listed in articles and books.

F) News articles and Government sources

G) Other resources

H) What about using Google Scholar

  • Be cautious when using Google scholar; get to know how to use research databases first
    • Advantages: largest online index of materials in the world; good if you need to find a source and have a citation; good if using the "cited by" feature
    • Disadvantages: not only scholarly materials - you can retrieve course syllabi, academic blog articles, much non-peer-reviewed material such as "white papers" or "think tank" papers; no way to retrieve only peer-reviewed articles; some predatory articles appear in results
  • Instructions on how to use Google Scholar from off-campusĀ are here

Having problems? Don't hesitate to contact me: email, call (519-884-0710 x3912), drop in, or make an appointment. My office, L3-310, is one floor up from the main floor of the Library on the Waterloo campus. Come up the stairs, then walk straight ahead.