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Library Research in Communications Media: Getting Started

This guide helps students to familiarize themselves with using the IUP Libraries for their communication research.


1.    Set up your VPN – This will give you the advantage of being on campus to access all IUP Libraries databases without have to use the 16-digit I-card number.  You will also be able to utilize your virtual H-drive. Note this must be mapped to your computer.

2.    Set up your ILLIAD account

3.    Utilize PALCI for books IUP Libraries does not own or is checked out.

4.    Set up account managers in databases such as My EBSCOhost.

5.    Contact your Librarian for further assistant

Getting Started

START HERE: Library Webpage

To find books go to the Online Catalog

If the IUP Libraries does not own the book or it is checked out you can borrow the book from other institutions through:

  • PALCI (Borrow books IUP Libraries does NOT OWN or CHECKED OUT)
  • arInterlibrary Loan (ILLIAD ) (For books not found in PALCI and articles)
  • To find articles got Articles & More (Holds all the databases owned by IUP Libraries)

Information Literacy

Understanding the Source

Primary sources are original document or account that is not about another document or account but stands on its own.

  • novel, poem, play, diary, letter, speeches, autobiographies, or other creative work
  • the data from a research study because it comes straight from the participants' replies, statistics
  • Interviews, a first hand account— not of experts but of people actually experiencing something "on the scene," are also primary sources
  • Public documents, hearings, laws, and treaties

Secondary sources ones that interpret primary sources or are otherwise a step removed. Provides analysis—an explanation or a restatement of primary source. Often based upon and cite primary resources

  • A journal article or book about a poem, novel, or play
  • or a commentary about what an interview signifies is a secondary source.
  • Your paper will likewise become a secondary source.
  • Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, textbooks

Primary vs. Secondary Sources


Primary Source

Secondary Source


Original artwork

Article critiquing the piece of art



Interview with a politician

Slave diary

Article on interviewing politicians

Book about the Underground RR



Treatise on a particular genre of poetry

Political Science


Essay on Native American land rights


Videotape of a performance

Biography of a playwright


Suggested Databases

Below are suggested databases for the discipline of Communication Mass Media:

Academic Search Complete

Designed specifically for academic institutions, ASC is the world's most valuable and comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database, with more than 5,300 full-text periodicals, including 4,400 peer-reviewed journals . Uses the EBSCOhost interface.

Access - the Supplementary Index to Periodicals ON-CAMPUS ONLY or VPN

Access provides a unique indexing resource for popular periodicals. It does not duplicate any indexing in the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature and following Access' publication on the internet in 1999 any indexing found in the general indexes of the H.W. Wilson Company available via the WilsonWeb. Access was the first index to provide indexing for a number of important U.S. periodicals like the New York Review of Books and Rolling Stone. Uses a Web interface.

Access NewspaperARCHIVE

Access NewspaperARCHIVE contains tens of millions of searchable newspaper pages, dating as far back as the 1700s. It is your gateway to searching and reading historical newspapers online including the Indiana Gazette and other Pennsylvania newspapers. Use the archive to view, save and print full-page newspapers from around the world. Content on Access NewspaperARCHIVE is a unique primary resource, as newspapers provide information as news happened and not necessarily the way it was remembered.

Access World News (NewsBank)

Find current and archived state, national, and international articles on issues, events, people, government and more with the collection of full-text newspapers and other news sources including the New York Times (2000-Current), Philadelphia Inquirer (1981-Current), Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (1990-Current), and the Washington Post (1977-Current). Paid advertisements & obituaries are excluded. Uses a Web interface.
★Licensed with Student Technology Fee Funds.

 Communication Institute for Online Scholarship (CIOS)

The Communication Institute for Online Scholarship is a not-for-profit organization supporting the use of computer technologies in the service of communication scholarship and education.

Communications and Mass Media Complete

Provides the most robust, quality research solution in areas related to communication and mass media.

 Communications Studies: A Sage Full-Text Collection

The Sage Communications Studies Collection includes the full-text of 19 journals published by SAGE and participating societies, some journals going back 23 years, encompassing over 5,000 articles. It covers such subjects as Journalism, Public Opinion, Political Communication, Mass Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Cultural Studies / Intercultural Communication, Television / Film Studies, Media Studies, Business Communication, Organizational / Management Communication, Written Communication, Rhetoric, and Literacy Studies. The searchable database consists of bibliographic records (indexed summaries or abstracts) as well as the complete text of each journal article. Every bibliographic record in the Collection links to the appropriate full-text in PDF format. NOTE: These titles are also available from the SAGE Premier database Uses the CSA interface. ☼?Licensed with Student Technology Fee Funds

Digital Microfilm ON-CAMPUS ONLY or VPN

Proquest is now delivering editions of its microfilm for The New York Times (2008-Present), Wall Street Journal (2008-Present) or the Pittsburgh Post Gazette (2009-Present). You must have a citation for the article you need then use the search box to enter the title, the year, and finally the month of the newspaper you want to access. Digital microfilm delivery is currently available only on campus but can be accessed at any campus computer.

E-BOOKS on EBSCOHost (formerly NetLibrary)

A collection of electronic monographs now delivered through the EBSCOHost Interface. EBSCO's extensive collection of NetLibrary eBook titles on EBSCOhost allows for a comprehensive and powerful search experience - with every search, relevant eBook titles can appear directly alongside your other EBSCO databases, exposing users to the full depth of IUP's eBook offerings and increasing usage and visibility of our entire collection.


Provides full-text access to peer reviewed journals in the areas of Business and Management, Health and Environment, Library and Information Management, Training and Education, Material Science and Technology.

Ethnic NewsWatch + ENW, A History

News, culture and History from 240+ publications of ethnic, minority and native presses. Designed to provide the "other side of the story", the full-text titles included offer additional viewpoints from those proffered by the mainstream press.
★Licensed with Student Technology Fee Funds

Humanities Full-Text

Includes some of the best-known scholarly journals and numerous lesser-known but important specialized magazines in the humanities, with indexing from 1983 forward and full-text starting in 1995. Uses the WilsonWeb interface.

Indiana Gazette

In Access NewspaperARCHIVE, you can access historical newspapers online including the Indiana Gazette and other Pennsylvania newspapers. Use this browse form to limit your search to USA>Pennsylvania>Indiana to see the newspaper titles from our city. Note: There is a publisher delay so that the most current issue for the Gazette is December 31, 2007. IUP Libraries also maintains coverage for the current issues in paper copy until the microfilm is received. Uses a Web interface.

InfoTrac OneFile

A one-stop source for news and periodical articles on a wide range of topics: business, computers, current events, economics, education, environmental issues, health care, hobbies, humanities, law, literature and art, politics, science, and more. ☼Licensed with Student Technology Fee Funds


Online archives of over 500 journals in African-American Studies, Anthropology, Asian Studies, Ecology, Economics, Education, Finance, History, Literature, Mathematics, Philosophy, Political Science, Population Studies, Sociology, and Statistics. ☼Some content licensed with Student Technology Fee Funds

NewsBank Full-Text Newspapers

Complete full-text content of local and regional news, including community events, schools, politics, government policies, cultural activities, local companies, state industries, and people in the community.

★Licensed with Student Technology Fee Funds

Newspaper Source

Provides selected full text articles from 143 US and international newspapers. This database is updated daily. Uses the EBSCOhost interface.

SAGE Premier

SAGE's electronic journal package includes access to approximately 440 Peer-Reviewed Full-Text Journals, that is over140,564 articles on a signle platform. Uses the Sage interface. ☼Licensed with Performance Funds

Wilson OMNIFILE FullText (EZProxy Link)

Provides the complete indexing, abstracts, and full text - from six of Wilson's full-text databases: Education Full Text, General Science Full Text, Humanities Full Text, Reader's Guide Full Text, Social Sciences Full Text, and Business Full Text.
★Licensed with Student Technology Fee Funds

WilsonWeb (EZProxy Link)

Includes indexing from Humanities and Social Science Retrospective (1907-1984) and Readers' Guide Retrospective (1890-1982) and Wilson OmniFile Full Text, Mega Edition.
★Licensed with Student Technology Fee Funds

Women and Social Movements

A resource for students and scholars of U.S. history and U.S. women's history. Organized around the history of women in social movements in the U.S. between 1700 and 2000, the website seeks to advance scholarly debates and understanding.
★Licensed with Performance Funds

Womens Studies International

Women's Studies International, produced by NISC, covers the core disciplines in Women's Studies to the latest scholarship in feminist research. Coverage includes more than 548,220 records and spans from 1972 and earlier to present.
★Licensed with Student Technology Fee Funds

Coordinator of Online Information Literacy Design Center (OILDC) and Distance Education Librarian

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