Research in Communication Studies Project (Neffenger)

Searching Databases for Peer-Reviewed (Scholarly) Articles

Enter your interpersonal topic into these article databases to locate peer-reviewed academic research on the subject. A few things to keep in mind:

  • Use KEYWORDS to search (individual words or phrases, not full sentences)
  • Make sure to check the Full Text and Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals checkboxes 
  • Keep in mind you can narrow a search after you have results by changing the options on the left

Looking for information on interpersonal topics generally?

Looking for examples from the workplace or business?

How to create a basic search for scholarly journal articles

EBSCO peer-review search tips

  • To start your research, type into a database the search word(s) that describe ONE ASPECT of your topic
    • look in this guide for a list of library databases to perform your search in
  • Note that you will need to design several different searches to find info on different aspects of your topic 
    • Below is a search designed to find info on how women's body image is affected by the media.
      • You would need to design a different, modified search to find out how women's body image affects eating disorders, for example.

click image to enlarge:

image of a search design using Boolean menu options and asterisk truncation

    Option – Use quotation marks to keep a phrase together in your search:
    • “body image”
  • Option – Use AND to connect your ideas and focus your search:
    • "body image" AND women
  • Option -  In the same box, use OR and parenthesis to expand your search to synonyms or related ideas:
    • (women OR girls)
  • Additional Option – Use an asterisk to find word variations:
    • Example: advertis* = advertise, advertisements, advertising, and so on.

Look for and try relevant Subject Terms

Select "Subject Terms" in Academic Search Complete (or "Thesaurus" in ProQuest, "CINAHL Subject Headingsin CINAHL - you get the idea) to search a keyword and browse relevant subject categories. You can click on a term (or its "scope note" in CINAHL) to read a definition and more about how a subject heading is used in that database.  

  • Example: In this screenshot, you can see that instead of the common expression "blended families," Academic Search Complete uses the Subject Term: STEPFAMILIES.

(click on image to enlarge)

subject search showing alternative terms listed in text above image

Other databases to consider

Scholarly Articles

Some features of scholarly literature:

  • Reports of original research

  • Authored by credentialed experts in the scholarly field

  • In-depth analyses of topics

  • Abstract that summarizes the article. Read to determine relevance

  • Explanation of methodology and materials

  • Discussion of study and results

  • Literature Cited section

  • In-text citations or notes

  • Use technical vocabulary