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MCOM 286: Research Methods in Mass Media (Bottomley): Home

Librarian: Jodi Oaks

Finding Research Help

Librarians are available to help you in several ways:

  • Visit the Research Help Desk in Milne Library located on your left after you enter the library through the main entrance or through Jazzman's Cafe.
  • Call the Research Help Desk at Milne Library at 607-436-272.  If the librarian is busy, you can leave a message on voicemail.
  • Email a question to a Milne Librarian and get a response within 48 hours.
  • Request a research consultation to meet individually with a librarian.  Request form is available on the library web site and the the Research Help Desk.


Finding Background Information

Encyclopedias, almanacs, and handbooks provide brief, reliable information about a topic.  They are excellent starting points for research when you need to find background information, important concepts, names and dates.  These sources often include lists of books and articles for further reading. Reference sources generally do not count toward the number of required sources because they provide background rather than substantial information.

Students can request free photocopy of pages in print reference sources at the Research Help Desk. Staff members will attempt to make copies at the time of the request, but students should generally expect to pick up photocopies one or two days after the request has been submitted. A scanner is also available in the reference area for copying information. Assistance is available at the Research Help Desk.

Taking sides, Clashing Views in Media and Society REF H 35 T32 2017 MS
Entertainment, Media, and the Law:  Text, Cases, Problems REF KF 4290 A7 W45 2011
Encyclopedia of Communication and Information REF P 87.5 E53 2002
The John Hopkins Guide to Digital Media REF P 90 J5575 2014
Encyclopedia of Social Movement Media REF P 96 A44 E53 2011
Encyclopedia of New Media REF QA 76.575 E5368 2003


Finding Print and Selected Electronic Books in Milne Library

Use the Classic Catalog link at the top of the library home page.  This is an index to the physical contents of Milne Library and to selected books, documents, and media available online.  For books in Milne, note the call number for the item and consult the information guide Library Floor Plans to determine the location of the item.  For electronic books, follow the link to the Electronic Book or Online Item.

Search Tips:​​

  • Use truncation to search for variations of a word, including plural forms

                     Example:  politic* finds politic, politics, political, politician, etc.

  • Use quotation marks to search for a phrase

                     Example:  "mass media"

A Words Anywhere search will bring up a list of items that might not all be on your topic.  For example, if you enter “media” in the search box, your results will include items with “media” anywhere in the record for the item, which could be in the title, author, publication information, contents notes, or subject headings.

In any list of results, the number of items owned by the library will be followed by the number of items in circulation, for example, (1 owned/0 out).  In this case, the book should be available in the library.  Click on the title to see more information about the item.  Click on terms after Subject for items that provide more substantial coverage of the topic.


Finding Print Books in Milne and Other Libraries using WorldCat

WorldCat is an online database listing materials in the U.S. libraries and selected libraries throughout the world.  Holdings are indicated for Milne Library, and the Stevens-German Library at Hartwick College.  You can search by author, title, subject, and keyword.  If Milne Library does not own an item, you can request items by following the Request via Interlibrary Loan link provided on the record for an item in WorldCatLocate WorldCat in the alphabetical list of databases.

You can also check out items at Hartwick College with your SUNY Oneonta ID card.

Finding Periodicals in Databases

For academic research, it is often important to use peer reviewed (or refereed) journals rather than popular magazines. Peer-review is the process by which a journal article is evaluated by experts in the field.

All of the following databases are listed on the web site alphabetically by title under the tab Databases. Databases are categorized under Browse by Discipline


Communication and Media Related

Comprehensive Subject

Finding Copies of Articles

Locating the full text of the article in electronic form:

If there is no full text with the citation for an article in a database, but the full text of the article is available in another database, there will be a link that connects to that database, in which the article can be found. If the article does not appear, follow the directions under “Finding an Article in a Particular Periodical” on this guide.

Locating the article in print or microfilm, if not available in electronic form:

If the periodical is available in print or microfilm, the Print Journals in Milne Library link will lead to information about the specific issues available in Milne Library. Click on Is it here? to see specific library holdings, and locate the periodical in the library. Print periodicals are located on compact shelving, and microfilm is available in metal cabinets in the Microform Room, both of which are on the sub-basement (SB floor) of the library.

 Requesting an article on Interlibrary Loan:

If you find an article from a periodical that is not available at Milne Library in any form, you can request the article through the link Request through Interlibrary Loan. You need to be registered to submit requests. You can also request articles through the Interlibrary Loan link on the library web site under the Student/Faculty Services tab.


Finding an Article in a Particular Periodical

  • Use the Journals tab at the top of the library home page.
  • Enter the title of the periodical, for example, Science, in the search box and click on the magnifying glass icon. the title of the periodical, if available, will appear at the top of the results list.
  • If the periodical is available in other databases, Full Text Access will link to databases that include the full text of the periodical.  Check dates of coverage to determine if full text for the needed article is available.  Click on the Database title and search for the needed volume and issue number of the periodical OR enter the title of the article in the search box to obtain the full text.
  • If the periodical is available in print or microfilm, the Print Journals in Milne Library link will lead to information about the specific issues available in Milne Library.  Click on Is it here? to see specific library holdings, and locate the periodical in the library.  Print periodicals are located on compact shelving, and microfilm is available in metal cabinets in the Microform Room, both of which are on the sub-basement (SB floor) of the library.


Using Search Everything (EBSCO) Discover Service/EDS

The EBSCO Discovery Service points researchers to appropriate databases and is not a substitute for searching these databases.  EDS does not search the database but “scratches the surface” of selected library databases to produce a single list of results, including print books, electronic books, scholarly journal articles, magazine articles, research reports, documentary films, and much more. 

NOTE:  Because results include Open Source titles, not all materials are appropriate for college research assignments.

Click on the Advanced Search, and enter terms in the search box.  You can limit search results by unclicking boxes next to “apply related words” and “also search within the full text of the articles.”

Refining or Narrowing the Results:

The results from a search can be very large.  Use the limiters on the left side of the search results page to refine and narrow your results.  The most useful limiters are listed below:


Click on Subject and then Show More to see a list of all subjects.  You can select multiple subjects.  Subjects at the top represent the largest number of results.  Subjects at the bottom will give the fewest results.  The list can be alphabetized by clicking on NameUpdate results.


Use to limit results to print or electronic items owned by Milne Library, among other types of sources.  Click on desired format(s). Update results.


Click on Sources and then on Show More for a selected list of databases in which results were found.  Select the most appropriate databases.  Update results.

Use Databases tab on the library web site to link to alphabetical list of individual databases. Click on database name(s) and enter words in the search box(es).  Searching the individual databases improves search results because more refined searching can be done with appropriate subject terms. 


Use to limit results to particular dates. 



Jodi Oaks (

Milne Library, SUNY Oneonta

Last revised September 2016