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CMJ 402: Communication Research

Individually or in teams of two, students will design a research study, including study instruments, such as surveys. The final paper must include the following sections: abstract, introduction, theory and hypotheses/RQs, methods, results, discussion, conclusion, and references.

Find books on your topic

Selected reference books for background information on your topic or study design

Search the library catalog for books on your topic

  • URSUS - UMaine's library catalog of electronic and print books as well as journals, videos, maps, and more
  • MaineCat - catalog of library collections across Maine, including books from Colby, Bates, and Bowdoin Colleges

Example subject terms to use in URSUS 

  • communication--statistical methods
  • case study
  • Internet surveys
  • mass media--research--methodology

*Also look for key terms on your topic in URSUS book records and journal articles

Find articles on your topic 

Peer Review
What are scholarly peer-reviewed articles?
  • Usually published in scholarly journals
  • Well-researched original articles on specialized topics written by scholars
  • Author affiliation and contact details are provided
  • There is an abstract at the beginning of peer-reviewed articles
  • Contain in-text citations and a list of references at the end
  • May include charts tables, graphs, and other statistical data
  • Use subject-specific language that include technical terms unique to the field
  • Presented in sections such as Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Results, Discussion, Conclusion
  • Subjected to intense critiques by a team of subject specialists who are peers of the author(s)
Not sure if the journal article you've found is peer-reviewed? You can find the journal on the free web and see if it has an editorial board or if there's an explicit mention of peer review for submissions.
Communication Studies is an example.

Example popular article on smoke-free college campuses

Example peer reviewed article on smoke-free college campuses

Scholarly journals vs popular/trade magazines

Article databases

  • Academic Search Complete - limit search to scholarly peer-reviewed articles
  • Communication and Mass Media Complete - premier database for communication and media studies
  • ERIC - wealth of material on all aspects of teaching and education research
  • PsycINFO - includes information from empirical studies, case studies, surveys, bibliographies, literature reviews, and more
  • Google Scholar - full-text library-licensed resources
  • OneSearch - books and articles; ability to limit your search to scholarly articles and to Fogler resources
Identify tests & measurement instruments
  • PsycTESTS - unpublished tests developed by researchers that include tests, measures, scales, and surveys, many in full text.
  • Mental Measurements Yearbook (one user at a time) - contains descriptions of tests, validity, analysis, but not the full text of the tests themselves.
  • Tests: A comprehensive reference for assessments in psychology, education, and business (Fogler reference book) - directory of 2000+ commerical tests from over 150 publishers. NOTE: This book does not contain the full text of the tests, but helps you find the test's name, intended population, method of administration, purpose, features, and author/publisher.
  • Search article databases (like PsycINFO or Communication and Mass Media Complete) for articles on your topic, and see if the test/instrument is appended to the article.
Citing your sources

Using Fogler Library Off-Campus Access
  • Check with the Circulation Desk to confirm that your MaineCard (207.581.1641) has been activated.
  • To use Fogler Library databases from off-campus, you will be prompted for your MaineStreet credentials.
  • If you are unable to login, check the Remote Access Troubleshooting page.
Where to Go for Assistance
Created by: Jen Bonnet | Revised: 06/23/2014
5729 Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5729
Phone: 207-581-1661 | Fax: 207-581-1653
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The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469