Salisbury University Libraries

 

Holloway Hall

CMAT297 - Communication Research


CMAT 297 Tutorial Table of Contents:

Introduction         Scholarly Sources        Keywords        Finding Books      

Find It Button/ILL     
    Finding Articles       Statistics        Citing Your Work       

Getting Help


SCHOLARLY SOURCES

Dr. Mullins wants you to find and use scholarly resources for your assignments.  Students are often perplexed by this concept of scholarly resources.  See below for the lowdown:

Understanding Scholarly Communication

Here are the basics: (Check out this handy dandy chart for more information!)

Popular Magazines:

  • glossy, pretty pages with lots of advertisements and pictures

  • written by hired reporters for a general audience

  • short, easily read articles

Scholarly Journals:

  • somewhat dull looking - very few pictures or advertisements

  • written by experts in the field and reviewed by other scholars before publication

  • long articles with citations and bibliographies at the end

Why can't you just use Wikipedia to get your information?

Wikipedia can be useful for some research, especially popular culture topics, and particularly when the entries are well-documented with citations.  However, it should NEVER be cited in an academic paper.  We have so many authoritative, high-quality resources available in the library and accessible online, that you have no excuse not to use them, especially when you have this super helpful tutorial, right? 

If you need background information on Communications topics, try a reference tool.

And to further drive home my point about Wikipedia not being a valid source, please enjoy this clip from the Colbert ReportTrust me, it's really amusing!

Why should you use the library and not just use Google to find some good websites?

Most of the time, scholarly publications are not available to the general public, nor are they available for free on the internet.  Individuals or organizations (such as a library) subscribe to these publications.  Because subscriptions are expensive, many choose to access this content through libraries. 

Often, content from scholarly journals is indexed in databases that the library subscribes to.  The content is on the web, but it is not accessible unless you are affiliated with the institution who is subscribing.  It isn’t the same thing as just finding a website through a regular Google search.  Sometimes the full text of the article is available through the database; other times it is only a citation to the article and you will need to find the print version of the article in the library or order the article through interlibrary loan if we don’t subscribe to it.

So, basically what I'm saying is that the only way you can access this scholarly information for free is by using the library databases! 


This tutorial was created by the liaison to Communications, Krista Knapp.  Please let me know if you have questions or comments.  (updated 5/2010)