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COM 308 - Advanced Research Methods in Communication

Course page for COM 308

Communication Research Measures

Research Databases

ComAbstracts - indexes articles published in the primary professional literature of the communication field. 

Communication & Mass Media Complete - thisdatabase has the most comprehensive coverage of Communication journals. 

PsycInfo - the primary index of psychological literature as well as related disciplines such as medicine, sociology, linguistics and other areas.

SocIndex - offers in-depth coverage of sociology, encompassing all sub-disciplines and closely related areas.

Sociological Abstracts - covers theoretical and applied sociology, social science & policy science. Includes sociological aspects of anthropology, gender studies, family studies, urban studies, social psychology and more. 

Google Scholar - enables you to search Google specifically for scholarly literature and find cited articles. 

Academic Search Ultimate - a multidisciplinary database that provides full-text access to over 3,600 peer-reviewed scholarly publications.


APA Citation Assistance

APA Web Guide from the OWL at Purdue  

A comparably thorough and easy to use guide, only for APA.

Style Wizard
This interactive site guides you through writing individual citations one step at a time.  Steps for each part of a citation explains how information for that part should be entered. 

Citation Fox
Contains templates and examples for over 500 different resource types, sorted by type of resource (book, journal article, etc.)  Provided by the University Libraries at University at Albany SUNY

Tracing Citations

Because the data comes from the same source, you may compare citation counts from Experts.ASU with citations counts from Scopus (provided the articles are in the same field and published close to the same date.)

  1. Go to Experts.ASU
  2. In the center of the screen Click on "Scholarly Works" and type the title of the article into the search box. (Putting the title within quote marks will make the search more efficient; for long titles, searching the first 5-7 words is usually sufficient.)
  3. On the results page, find the article and look to the right of the screen for the citation count. If the article has one, you will also see the colorful "Altmetric donut".
    Experts.ASU Screenshot

To find citation counts in Google Scholar:

  1. Go to Google Scholar via the above link (through ASU Library).
  2. Enter the title of the document within quote marks.
  3. The Google Scholar citation count will be the first item of the last line of the article's entry, as "Cited by #".
  4. To see what documents cited this article, click on the "Cited by" linkGoogle Scholar Screenshot

To find citation counts in Scopus

  1. Go to the Scopus database
  2. Search by the document's title
  3. In the results list, look in the far-right hand column for the citation count.
  4. To see what documents cited the document, click on the citation count.Scopus Screeshot

In addition to the two large multidisciplinary databases developed for citation analysis (Web of Science and Scopus), many other indexing and abstracting service now also provide citation counts for the articles in their databases.  These other databases have limitations, however, mainly because they do not have as wide a scope of sources from which they pull the data and for the lack of specific citation reports the larger databases can generate.  Frequently, citation counts from subject-focused databases will be smaller than the counts obtained from Web of Science, Scopus or Google Scholar. 

For example, while PubMed provides citation counts for articles, it is only looking at the other articles in the PubMed database to obtain that count. Should an article in PubMed be cited by a social sciences journal article, PubMed will not be able to count that citation.  

On the other hand, these specialized subject databases may cover some lesser-known journals in the field or even cover types of literature (patents, conference papers) that the larger services don't.  If your goal is to find as much literature as you can that has cited an article then always include searching the specialized subject databases in your area in addition to the large multi-disciplinary ones.  

As always, make "apples to apples" comparisons; if you use citation counts from a subject focused service, only compare them with counts from the same service.

Most citation counts in other databases will either be located on each entry in the results list (similar to Web of Science or Scopus) or you may have to click on the title in each entry to find the count on the "full record" page.  


PsycInfo (ProQuest)

Literature Reviews and Annotated Bibliographies

Contact me

Debbie Abston 602-496-0307 ASU Library Downtown Phoenix campus UCENT L131

The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-three Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.