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COMM 4200: Senior Seminar

Tips for Mass Communication Research

Getting Help

The single most important thing to know about research is that you can always get help from the Library!

Research Consultations

Need help with research for a paper, project, or other research-related task? Schedule an appointment with a Research Librarian and meet via Zoom conferencing software. See below for  science research librarian contact information.


Beth Leahy is the subject liaison for Communication and Lane Wilkinson assists with most Communications research. For help with your research, email Lane at While email is a great way to get in touch and get the research ball rolling, you likely be asked to meet online using Zoom, which offers a richer learning experience.

Online Chat Service

Need an answer quickly and it's after 5pm? Use the Library's chat service! Our Ask A Librarian chat service allows to you live chat with a real librarian who can answer your research questions. Check the Library's website for chat operating hours. You can also text us at 423-521-0564.

Finding Top Journals

There are hundreds of peer-reviewed journals that may be of value to your research. If you want to read or browse a specific journal, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Set the Library Quick Search to Journals

Step 2: Search for your journal by title



Step 3: Click the title and scroll down for access options

IMPORTANT: Make sure you select the link that has the date-range you need. If there is no ending date listed, that means the journal runs to the latest issue. In the example below, the second link covers 1996 to the most recent issue.




Recommended Databases

The following databases are recommended for communications and mass media research. Each database has different strengths and weaknesses.

Communication Source

  • A good first-stop
  • Hybrid database (both citations and full-text)
  • 820 journals indexed. Over 500 in full-text
  • Good mix of empirical, interpretive, and some culturalist research


Taylor & Francis Journals

  • All content is peer-reviewed.
  • Full-text access back to 1997.
  • References and citations are linked to both UTC databases and Google Scholar. 
    • If you find an article that works for your research, look at it's bibliography to find additional, relevant articles.


Project MUSE

  • Full-text database
  • Over 350 journals
  • Good for more critical/culturalist research
  • Includes many books from leading university presses



  • Full-text database
  • Almost 2,000 journals. Some back to the 17th Century.
  • IMPORTANT: Most journals are subject to a 3-5 year “moving wall.” JSTOR does not provide access to the most recent issues of a journal.


Google Scholar

  • Google Scholar searches through the publicly available descriptions of books, articles, dissertations, and conference proceedings.
  • A Google Scholar search only searches through titles, authors, and abstracts--not through the full text of articles.
  • In order to download articles, you need to let Google know that you are a UTC student. You can do this by following the instructions at
  • Pay attention to the "Cited by" link under each article. It tells you which scholarly articles have cited the one you are interested in. THis is a great way to quickly expand your reference list.

Ask a Librarian