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CO 309: Communication Research Capstone - Wills

Resources & Research Tips

Welcome, CO 309!

This is the research guide for the Communication Research Capstone course. My name is Barbara Ghilardi and I am the research librarian leading your class session. If you need further help this semester (and beyond!) feel free to contact me at

Below, you will find some database suggestions (on the left) for locating scholarly journal articles to support your research paper.

In the right-hand column - Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:

Selected Databases

Use databases to find articles on your topic. These databases are the best place to start.

Databases for Business Topics

Databases for Psychology

Databases for Sociology

Databases for Education

Evaluate Your Sources

The video below recaps the peer review process, which you are probably already familiar with. The following are additonal important criteria to consider as you complete your literature reviews:

  • become familiar with the major scholars working on your research topic
  • keep an eye out for bias, errors, contradictions, or misinformation
  • research the sponsorship of the research study
  • consider intercultural, political, international, and ethnic influences or perspectives
  • visit this guide made by librarians at UNC for more in-depth information on evaluation

Beyond the DNL

Can't find the book or article you want?

Try Interlibrary Loan (ILL)!

  • Use materials from other libraries' collections free of charge.
  • Articles arrive via e-mail within 3-5 business days.
  • Books arrive within 2 weeks and are held in your name.
  • You will be notified by e-mail when your items arrive.

Request materials online:

If all else fails, you can always try searching Google Books to see if you can access the partial or full text of the book you need!


Use Google Scholar as shown in class to locate more recent research. Paste in the title of your article in quotes and then click on the Cited By link to see all of the articles that have subsequently cited the original article. This is also a great tool to use to gauge influential an article is - how many times has it been cited?

Google Scholar


Google Alerts are a great way to follow a company or topic. Set up one here: 

Searching in the databases

  • When searching databases, use AND, OR, and parentheses to focus your search.
  • The asterisk * symbol will search for all variations of a word. For example: basket* will search for baskets and basketry. Using quotes will search for a phrase.
  • Combine synonyms with OR and put them inside parentheses, like this:
femini* AND (film OR "motion picture")
Already have the citation? Find an article with citation linker

Ask a Librarian

Barbara  Ghilardi's picture
Barbara Ghilardi
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DiMenna-Nyselius Library
Fairfield University
203.254.4000 ext.3459