Research Guide to Communication

| Citing Sources | Reference Books | CONSULS Catalog | Online Databases | Locating Periodicals | Interlibrary Loan | Questions? |

Citing Sources

Plagiarism is a form of cheating which may lower the grade you receive on your assignment. You must cite the source of any direct quotation and any facts or ideas you obtained from another source. For more information about how to avoid plagiarism, please watch this brief video from Bainbridge College in YouTube: Plagiarism: How to Avoid It (

For tips on citation format, please see the APA Formatting and Style Guide courtesy of OWL: Purdue Online Writing Lab (

Reference Books for Background Information

Reference books are shelved by Library of Congress call number on the fourth and fifth floors of the Ruth Haas Library. To learn about LC call numbers, please watch the brief video Reading a Call Number in YouTube (courtesy of the Douglas College Library). Reference books may not be checked out, but free scanners are available for student use on the first floor of the Library (please use your flash drive).

General Reference on Communication

Encyclopedia of Communication and Information. 3 volumes.Ref P 87.5.E53 2001
Encyclopedia of Communication Theory. 2 volumes.Ref P 87.5.E496 2009
Encyclopedia of Information Communication Technology. 2 volumes.Ref TK 5102.E644 2009
Encyclopedia of International Media and Communications. 4 volumes.Ref P 87.5.E535 2003
Encyclopedia of Political Communication. 2 volumes.Ref JA 85.E64 2008
Historical Dictionary of Political Communication in the United StatesRef JA 85.2.U6.H57 1999
International Encyclopedia of Communication. 12 volumes.Ref P 87.5.I58 2008
Webster's New World Dictionary of Media and CommunicationsRef P 87.5.W45 1990

Related Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

Censorship: A World Encyclopedia. 4 volumes.Ref Z 657.C393 2001
Concise Encyclopedia of SociolinguisticsRef P 40.C564 2001
Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Science. Fourth edition. 4 volumes.Ref BF 31.E52 2010
Dictionary of Marketing CommunicationsYBL Ref HF 5412.G68 2004
Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. 10 volumes.Ref P 129.E527 2013
Encyclopedia of Censorship. Revised edition.Ref Z 657.G73 2005
Encyclopedia of Human Development. 3 volumes.Ref HM 626.E53 2006
Encyclopedia of Psychology. 8 volumes.Ref BF 31.E52 2000
Encyclopedia of SemioticsRef P 99.E64 1998
Encyclopedia of Social Networks. 2 volumes.Ref HM 741.E53 2011
Encyclopedia of Social Psychology. 2 volumes.Ref HM 1007.E52 2007
Encyclopedia of Social Work. 20th edition. 4 volumes.Ref HV 12.E53 2008
Encyclopedia of Sociology. Second edition. 5 volumes.Ref HM 17.E5 2000
Encyclopedic Dictionary of Semiotics, Media, and CommunicationsRef P 87.5.D36 2000
International Encyclopedia of Linguistics. Second edition. 4 volumes.Ref P 29.I58 2003
Propaganda and Mass Persuasion: A Historical Encyclopedia, 1500 to the PresentRef HN 1231.C85 2003

Media Studies

Encyclopedia of Children, Adolescents, and the Media. 2 volumes.Ref HQ 784.M3.E53 2007
Encyclopedia of Gender in MediaRef P 96.S5.E53 2012
Encyclopedia of Media ViolenceRef P 96.V5.E59 2013
Encyclopedia of Multimedia Technology and Networking. Second edition. 3 volumes.Ref TK 5105.15.E46 2009
Encyclopedia of Old-Time RadioRef PN 1991.3.U6.D8 1990
Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics. 3 volumes.Ref JA 85.2.V6.E52 2014
Encyclopedia of Social Movement MediaRef P 96.A44.E53 2011
Encyclopedia of Television. Second edition. 4 volumes.Ref PN 1992.18.E53 2004
Gale Directory of Publications and Broadcast Media (Annual)YBL Ref Z 6951.A972
Historical Dictionary of African-American TelevisionRef PN 1992.8.A34.F43 2006
Media and American Courts: A Reference HandbookRef KF 9223.5.A9154 2004


Biographical Dictionary of American JournalismRef PN 4871.B56 1989
Encyclopedia of American JournalismRef PN 4855.V38 2002
Encyclopedia of Journalism. 6 volumes.Ref PN 4728.E48 2009
Encyclopedia of War Journalism, 1807-2010Ref PN 4784.W37.R68 2010

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CONSULS Online Catalog for Books and Media

CONSULS catalog workstations are concentrated on the first floor of the Haas Library, but there are some workstations on each of the other floors. You may logon to CONSULS via the WCSU Libraries Homepage at or directly at For more detailed instructions on searching, please see the yellow CONSULS flyer on the display rack on the first floor.

Please Note: CONSULS ignores upper and lower case, and you may omit punctuation, except the hyphen which must be replaced by a space.


Select Title at the CONSULS Main Menu, then type as much of the title as you remember in correct word order. In CONSULS, you may omit "a," "an," or "the" at the beginning of a title.

Example: Conversational Style: Analyzing Talk among Friends (press ENTER)
Or just: conversational style analy (ENTER)


Select Author at the CONSULS Main Menu, then type the person's name last-name-first. Correct spelling is important.

Example: tannen deborah (press ENTER)
Or just: tannen d (ENTER)

To limitsearch results to items owned by WCSU, click on Limit/Sort and then select WCSU under "Where Item Is Located."


Select Subject at the CONSULS Main Menu, then type the person's name last-name-first. Correct spelling is important. To limit results to items owned by WCSU, use Limit/Sort.

Example: mcluhan marshall (press ENTER)
Or just: mcluhan m (ENTER)


Select Subject at the CONSULS Main Menu, then type the Library of Congress subject heading which best describes your topic. Correct spelling and word order are important. The complete list of Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) is published in a set of big red books available in the Reference Area on the first floor of the Haas Library.

Example: Electronic surveillance--Social aspects (press ENTER)
Or just: electronic surveillance (ENTER)

Example: communication in small groups (press ENTER)
Example: propaganda (ENTER)
Example: nonverbal communication (ENTER)
Example: body language (ENTER)


Select Keyword(s) at the CONSULS Main Menu, then type the words which best describe your topic, in any order.

Example: terroris* and surveillance and internet press ENTER
Broader: terroris* and surveillance and communication press ENTER
Narrower: terroris* and surveillance and (email or texting) ENTER

Example: nonverbal communication and (gender or sex*) press ENTER
Broader: communicat* and (gender or sex*) press ENTER
Narrower: nonverbal communication and (men or male* or masculin*) ENTER
Narrower: nonverbal communication and (women or female* or femini*) ENTER

Example: propaganda and opinion and news* press ENTER
Broader: propaganda and opinion and media press ENTER
Narrower: propaganda and opinion and news* and (television or tv) ENTER

Example: mass media and body image press ENTER
Broader: mass media and (self-image or self-perception) ENTER
Narrower: (television or tv) and body image press ENTER
Narrower: (television or tv) and body image and (advertis* or commercials) ENTER

Use the * (asterisk) as a truncation symbol to retrieve variant forms of a word root. Use the Boolean OR to expand your search by including synonyms and related terms. When using two different Boolean commands in the same search statement ("and" and "or" in the preceding examples) you must include parentheses to indicate which command is to be performed first.


If the item you need is owned by one of the other CSU Libraries (CCSU, SCSU, or ECSU) but not by WCSU, or if WCSU's copy is checked out, you may order the item electronically via Inter-Campus Loan by clicking on Request at the full record display in CONSULS. Then select "WCSU" and type your WestConn network username and password. Be sure to specify a pickup location (Haas or Young Library) before initiating your request.

There is a limit of ten (10) Inter-Campus Loan requests per person. Videos are available via Inter-Campus Loan. Please allow 3-4 working days for delivery to the Haas Circulation Desk. Items borrowed via Inter-Campus Loan may be renewed if no one else has placed a HOLD on the item.

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Online Databases for Finding Periodical Articles

To learn how to distinguish scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals from magazines, please see the brief YouTube tutorial Popular Magazines vs Scholarly Journals, courtesy of the library at the University of Detroit-Mercy.

Communication & Mass Media Complete (CMMC) in EBSCOhost
Coverage: Issue number one to present for some publications
Location: Listed under Articles & Databases: A-Z on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Full-text of over 570 scholarly journals in communication and related fields, with selective full-text and/or indexing and abstracting of an additonal 320 journals.
Academic Search Premier in EBSCOhost
Coverage: 1990 - present (earlier for many publications)
Location: Under Articles & Databases: Most Popular at the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Indexes approximately 8,000 newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals in most fields, including language and literature, with 4,000 available in full-text.
PsycINFO in EBSCOhost
Coverage: 1967 - present
Location: Listed under Articles & Databases: Most Popular on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Indexes journal articles and books in psychology and related fields. Published by the American Psychological Association.
SocINDEX with Full Text in EBSCOhost
Coverage: 1908 - present
Location: Listed under Articles & Databases A-Z on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Full-text of over 860 scholarly journals in sociology. Also includes more than 830 books and monographs and over 16,800 conference papers in full-text.
Education Research Complete in EBSCOhost
Coverage: Full-text coverage varies by journal
Location: Listed under Articles & Databases: A-Z on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Indexing and abstracting for over 2,100 scholarly journals in education, as well as 1,200+ journals and 500+ books and monographs in full-text. Includes an online thesaurus of indexing terms.
Business Source Premier in EBSCOhost
Coverage: As early as 1922 for more than 350 top scholarly journals
Location: Listed under Articles & Databases: Most Popular on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Full-text of more than 8,300 periodicals in business and related subjects, such as advertising and marketing, including over 1,100 peer-reviewed journals in business.
Coverage: Issue number one to within 3-5 years of present
Location: Under Articles & Databases: Most Popular on the WCSU Libraries Homepage.
Scope: Full-text backfiles of over 500 core scholarly journals in 50+ disciplines, NOT including communication. Use this database only for interdisciplinary topics.

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Locating Periodicals in the Haas Library

To find out if WCSU subscribes to a specific periodical in print or online:

1. Select Journal Title at the CONSULS main menu, then type the name of the periodical (example: communication research) and press ENTER. If a title list appears on the screen, select the desired title, then look inside the box to find WCSU holdings. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the screen to see if WCSU owns backfiles on microfilm or microfiche.

2. To find out if a given periodical is available in full-text in one or more of WCSU's online databases, use the Journal Finder available under Articles and Databases on the WCSU Libraries Homepage (

How to Use Interlibrary Loan

If the CSU Libraries do not own the book or periodical you need, you may request delivery via Interlibrary Loan using the online ILLiad system available at:

There is a limit of 5 Interlibrary Loan requests per person per day. Videos are not available via Interlibrary Loan. Under most circumstances, Interlibrary Loan is a free service, but please allow at least ten working days for delivery. You will be notified as soon as the material arrives. Faster document delivery service is available for a reasonable fee. Please call the Interlibrary Loan Desk at (203) 837-9114 for more information.

Do You Have a Question?

The Reference service is available on request at the Circulation Desk on the first floor of the Haas Library, or you may contact Joan Reitz, Instruction Librarian, at 837-8308 or My office is located in Room 402 on the fourth floor of the Haas Library (near the glass elevator). Please drop in if you need assistance!

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Please send comments to Joan Reitz, HaaS Instruction Librarian, Western Connecticut State University.
Last updated on September 3, 2015